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We Gave a SMILE.. Christmas, 2016

It was Christmas eve. I woke up early in the morning and was yet again surprised by Bangalore's weather. It was wrapped up in fog all over. I reached at our decided meeting point, CMRIT bus stop. 5-6 people were already standing there and easily identifiable as most of them were in red-white clothing. Our Santa was also ready and coincidentally he had a natural Santa beard. Then our organiser, Amol came with all the items which were to be distributed and handed us the gift packs, muffins, chocolates, toys etc. We were handed green balloons and quickly our team started blowing balloons, few started writing some meaningful quotes like 'Go green', 'Spread smiles', 'Unity,love,respect for all', 'पढ़ेगा इंडिया तभी तो बढ़ेगा इंडिया ', some people were tying threads to balloons and some were busy to keep them all in one place as balloons were so eager to fly with the wind. 
Then we all had a small introduction and were briefed about the instructions and motive to distribute to kids who were not lucky enough to receive education and also imparting awareness about education and in turn giving smiles.

We started the event from a temple just 500m ahead of us. Some workers were cleaning the roads and their kids were playing in the sand there. They looked deprived of even basic necessities, education might be a luxury to them.The positive point of our group was that we had one Kannada speaking girl, Jyothi. She interacted with the lady workers a bit and tried explaining the importance of education and tried to convince them to send their kids to schools. The kids at first were a bit hesitant but once they saw balloons, toys, chocolates, gift packs they became overwhelmed. Nearby, a lady was selling flowers we wished her Merry Christmas and she got so happy by the gesture that she gifted us a rose stick.
Then we headed towards Channasandra area. We parked our bikes near a temple and walked towards slum area. Luckily we had two photographers in our team who were dedicated in capturing the smiles spread on innocent faces in their cameras. All our eyes were scanning for needy kids all over the area. So we distributed some items there and then headed towards Varthur. On our way near Hope-farm signal we saw an 11-12 year old boy with a broom and cleaning the area in front of a bakery. We immediately halted and went ahead to hand him the gifts but he was so afraid of his master that he was not ready to take the things. We asked him about school but unfortunately he never went to one. With his master's permission we handed the things to him but we all felt something else is needed to be done for such kids.
Then in Varthur there were a whole lot of kids who were selling vegetables. We distributed the gifts to them and spread our message. Luckily we spotted a blue tent area, there were 3 kids. Jyothi asked their parents about school and ensured that they should send kids regularly to schools and help them complete their education as this could help elevate their living conditions of future generations.
Amol also had juice tetrapacks that we distributed to the traffic police on our way to Cubbon Park.
The final meeting point of all the teams was Cubbon park. On our way,we stopped by the footpath toy sellers, there were kids of the sellers roaming there. We gave the gift items left with us. Spreading happiness on their face was a delightful experience. On reaching Cubbon park, we met the other 5 teams who have already reached there.
Till the time the last team reached, the organisers made us play some fun activities like balloons in the air game suggested and demonstrated by Parth followed by the push-up challenge and many more. After arrival of last team, we had the celebrated Christmas over a cake which was equally divided among all by Hiren.
After all the celebrations, as a part of our BTC tradition there was a feedback session. Mostly people were so happy with the experience that there was no place left for negatives. Some people shared some suggestions as well. And finally it was group photo time. All Santas were placed in the front and rest everyone grabbed their positions in the frame. So the campaign 'Give a smile' ended with giving around 700 smiles and very satisfying smile on all the volunteers who were lucky enough to be a part of this great BTC initiative.

Written By      : Harshita Singh
Photo Credits : Too many to name
Organized By  : Amol, Ashish, Channabasappa, Hiren, Jyothi, Sushma, Veera
Date of event  : 25th December, 2016
Place               : Bengaluru
Members         : 63
Pictures          : BTC FB Page

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