During early October, members of “More Than HR (MTHR)” consisting of HR leaders from various top corporates across India visited schools where breakfast is currently served by the Annapoorna Team. These leaders were interested in participating in a community service activity as part of their “Daan Utsav”.
The Annapoorna volunteers divided the visiting leaders into groups and escorted them to various Annapoorna schools located in the eastern side of Bangalore. Upon entering the schools, the visitors were received very warmly by the HMs and staff of the respective schools. Special assemblies of children were held to welcome, where the HM, the Annapoorna representative, the visitors and the children addressed the gathering, by turn.
While welcoming the visitors at a particular school, the Headmaster reiterated his gratitude to Annapoorna for the breakfast provided to the children of his school, and extended an invitation for like-minded organizations to continue to engage with the school and the children. After that, the HR leaders and the Annapoorna volunteers together distributed the breakfast to the children. In addition, the HR leaders distributed goodie bags to the children. These bags contained items such as tooth paste & brush, comb, soap, body powder, book, pen, biscuit, chocolate etc. After that the HM invited the visitors to each of the classes, and provided an opportunity to interact with the children. After this, the visitors had a meeting with the HM where there were further discussions on how we could engage deeper with the school. At the end, the visitors took leave and headed back to their conference location.
At another school, the HM explained various innovating practices undertaken, including the concept of NALIKALI or “Enjoying while learning”. Here, the children are given card based education. At the end, the children and the HR visitors sang and danced for some time, while distributing the goodie bags.
Upon return to the conference location, the groups reconvened to share their experiences. The HR team expressed deep gratitude for having been given an opportunity to serve. One visitor said, he perceived an unseen Divinity at work based on how fast the breakfast program has been expanding. One of the ladies from the contingent mentioned that watching the children receive food with so much love and eagerness, reminded her about the value of food, which is often taken for granted. The team, having realized the benefits of service, asked the Annapoorna volunteers how they could participate in the ongoing effort. Various possibilities were discussed, including beginning a breakfast center themselves. One of the team members requested help with starting one at a school in at their location, to which our volunteers readily agreed. Annapoorna team then gave a presentation on all the activities undertaken till date, including the future plans.
Overall, it was really heartening today to hear the HR leaders narrating their experiences on that day. They reported great joy and gratitude for having this experience. Their happiness was truly beyond words. Each of the groups had unique experiences at their respective schools, and the visitors felt very satisfied in all. It was also a great team work displayed by the Annapoorna volunteers!