Mohammad Ali once said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” And that is exactly what MAD does. So, to continue doing just that, we took our kids to CEB – CORPORATE EXECUTIVE BOARD, Gurgaon; making them taste the Corporate Sector of the society, one spoon at a time.
This visit was conducted to expose the children to the ‘corporate culture’ and encourage interaction with the employees. This endeavor, both from CEB and MAD, was for the kids to see a diverse range of fields that people work in and understand the various opportunities that exist upon completion of education. This was to be a first of its kind visit and we knew that it marked the beginning of many more such visits when, by the end, the kids asked us, “How do we get here?” ^_^
25 children from ‘Bachchon Ka Ghar, Daryaganj’, started with reluctance, apprehensions of ‘Oh! Kya hoga?’. The much needed spirit of learning and exploring the real world was very much evident in their eyes. And that was the driving force behind the success of this event.
It is rightly said that whenever you go somewhere, the journey is as important as the destination. And taking in consideration our MADness quotient, it surely had to be. When one of the volunteers pointed at the ‘Rashtrapati Bhawan’, asking who resides there, one of the kids out of excitement replied, “Bhaiya, Rashtrapati Bhawan mein toh Rashtrapati hi rahega naa! Main thoda naa rahunga?!!” (Bhaiya, the Rashtrapati will stay at the Rashtrapati Bhawan! Not me, right?!!)
And then followed a minute of laughter and embarrassment, former for the kids and latter for the volunteer! Just to add up to the discomfiture and the frolic, the supposed ‘Rashtrapati Bhawan’ turned out to be ‘National Museum of Modern Art!’. The minute elongated!
The planes passing by, rather passing over the car made the kids want ‘to fly’ and become Pilots! And so, with every fleeting moment, we saw their soaring aspirations, and that jut strengthened our belief in ourselves and our project!
Their first few steps in CEB left them amazed with its architecture and design, but what redefined their happiness quotient was the warmth in the welcome the employees of CEB presented. The culture with which an MNC works amazed them. Right from the lift lobby to the big glass windows showcasing the sky scrapers of Gurgaon; and from the sensor water taps to the automatic dryers in the washroom.
Excitement ran through their faces, and we could actually see the joy beaming out of their eyes. To the excitement, the kids got the chance to explore the CEB office. The employees made the kids understand the various departments in a company, all the way from Information Technology to Human Resources.
And when the kids got down to asking questions from the big MNC guys, oh-my-God! There was no stopping them! You generally don’t get to see a software engineer or a HR consultant being baffled by a 10 year olds question. But when you do, you feel proud and satiated with your effort being invested in him. The kids didn’t even spare the Managing Director of CEB, who even though wasn’t fluent in Hindi, took personal interest in meeting the kids and building a healthy conversation with them.
However, he was soon boggled with the questions thrown at him. “Sir, aap kya banna chahte the jab aap class 5 mein thhe?” “Sir, aapki favorite heroine?” “Amitabh Bachchan ki first film?” “Yeh nahi toh batao ki world mein total kitni countries hain?” (Sir, what did you want to become when you were in class 5? Sir, who is your favorite heroine? Amitabh Bachchan’s first film? If not this, then answer how many countries are there in the world).
Well, all good things come to an end. Or probably, start the fire within for a new beginning. CEB left no stone unturned in pampering our kids, both via learning and presenting them with ‘Happy meals’ and super-awesome pictures!
The journey of CEB, right from reaching, presenting a scoop of the corporate world, to coming back was one hell of a ride for the kids and the volunteers. Bridging the trust, answering their indefinite questions and enlightening the spark cannot be sufficed in adequate words. So, after a long hectic day, when we asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, the answers were magical! “Actor” “Cricketer” “Army man” “Pilot” “Businessman” “Singer”.
And one replied, “Bhaiya, agar hum woh sab naa ban paye, toh hum CEB mein kaam karengey!” (If we are unable to become those, then we will work at CEB!). Laughter, yet again.
The mission of understanding the importance of ‘Even, I can!’, ‘I want to’ and ‘I will’ was accomplished.
We don’t teach them to dream; we only help them discover it within themselves. One.step.at.a.time!
Contributed by Aayush Katyal, Manan Dhaundiyal and Mahak Chopra
Edited by Ritika Taneja