(A page out of the diary of a S.H.A.P.A.T.H team member)
On 18th January, 2014, the torchbearers from Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development embarked on a journey with a mission to spread the work about the evils of human trafficking in Mumbai. We called ourselves the warriors of the Mumbai Band Drive 2014.
With everything planned and the volunteers and the team all pumped up to carry on the tradition of successful band drive in Pune, we landed in Mumbai around midday. That place had different plans for us. The people were not so recipient about the idea of young, bright eyed, uniformly dressed, neatly done hair as per Nazima mamâ€™s instructions and eager bunch of college students. Nevertheless, while admiring the sheer grandeur and ethnicity of Mumbai, we could finally apply all our convincing skills, engagement and negotiation tactics and the 4Ps of marketing along teamed a wide grin. We were successful in our intent to sell bands, raise money and spread awareness.
On the way we met many social workers, corporates and passionate people who were ready to offer us some interesting insights. I personally cannot forget two people whom I have classified as species belonging to the opposite ends of the spectrum of sensitivity. The one at the lower end would be the guy at the bus stop with a cool I-pad. Gokul and I approached him and encroached his pristine private space that he was oh-so-efficiently using to update his knowledge database about the news feed on Facebook, with our standard opener,â€Hello! May we have 2 minutes of your time, sirâ€. Careful not to lift his calculatedly angled head up, he snapped us at saying a blatant â€œNoâ€. On the contrary, the person at the other end would be a 20 something, curly haired professional photographer who offered to partner with S.H.A.P.A.T.H. and bought a lot of bands. His grandfather incidentally runs a school for the underprivileged and we were delighted to talk to a kindred-spirit who talks our language of passion for social work and development.
We meet a lot of people on our way to the goal, but every soul has something to teach us. They offer a key take away and it is upto us to put in the right perspective.The vicissitudes of the Mumbai band drive, the long hours of walking, clicking pictures, tweets, updates, team updates, a long bus journey and the most exciting bunch of volunteers left a lasting memories for all of us. Be it insights about human behavior, managing the logistics, taking up responsibility for the volunteers, maintaining ethical standards while handling money and of course having fun, all of these factors contributed to the sense of fulfillment that day and I went to bed with gratitude and satisfaction.
Kudos to my team Agrima Singh, Ashish Singhal, Jatin Makkar, Akansha Aggarwal, Akanksha Rathi, Sahil Kataria, Aditya Goel, Anirudh Nimkhera, Cherub Singhal and the entire batch for the good work!
I have more to tell you about the teamâ€™s plans for the future and I am are looking forward to the next band drive! See ya soon!