Abhiwadan 2013- More joy to more elders from more old age homes
13th February 2013
When the foundation of Team ANTAR– the CSR committee of FORE School of Management – was laid in February 2009, it was with the seemingly ambitious agenda of ‘bringing smiles to a thousand faces’.
Circa 2013, the ‘ambitious agenda’ has long been met, with the target now being realigned to a ‘hundred thousand smiles’! ANTAR, now, is a full-fledged movement, powered by the untiring energy of the students of FORE School of Management, with events slated round the year. But perhaps the event that stays in every FOREian’s mind, long after he/she has passed out, is Abhiwadan - an event organised in association with HelpAge India, to honour senior citizens from old age homes. In 2013, Abhiwadan – which had so far hosted about 30-40 senior citizens from two old age homes at the most – hosted 55 senior citizens, from 3 old age homes. These were Nirmal Chhaya (Chattarpur Road, Delhi), Sandhya (Netaji Nagar) and Vriddha Ashram (Kanjawla). Held on the 31st of January 2013, Abhiwadan was also organised on a much bigger scale this year.
“Since Abhiwadan is the last event for our batch of 2011-13, it was all the more special for those of us associated with ANTAR,” said Nainsi Mittal of PGDM Batch-20, who was the Senior Event Coordinator for Abhiwadan this year. “It took us about a month-long effort to be able to earn the priceless smiles on the faces of the old. FORE’ians try to put in that extra bit for this event, also because we find it difficult to digest the fact that people abandon their aged. Every Abhiwadan comes with a thousand emotions, and a dose of pain and happiness, for the entire Team ANTAR. Of course, at the end of the day, it is happiness that triumphs!”
Right from coordinating the movement of the buses to ensure that they reached the old age homes by 1 pm, to welcoming the aged guests with teekas and roses - all activities proceeded in a fluid and seamless manner. After being accorded a grand traditional welcome at 2 PM, the guests were treated to a generous dose of fun and frolic over the next four hours. The youngsters of FORE School of Management pitched in with some excellent skits and a brilliant Guitar session - with the elderly guests clapping to the beat and singing along. But for the most part, the stars were the guests themselves, competing in Musical Chairs, Passing the Parcel, Tail the Cat, Tambola and a laughter-packed Movie Quiz.
“Thank God there were two ‘snacks rounds’ carefully woven into the programme!” exclaimed Tandon Deep of PGDM Batch-20 of FORE School of Management. “Otherwise, we all would’ve forgotten about the food. That’s how much fun we were having! Abhiwadan was a fabulous opportunity to interact with senior citizens. Their singing and dancing always takes the cake! And when they bless you, you truly feel blessed. Abhiwadan 2013 was simply the most memorable day of my life.”
The presence of the well-known philanthropist Mr. Somdutt Bhanda (an active patron of the Sathya Sai Charitable Trust, UK), Mr. R. C. Sharma (President, FORE School of Management) and Dr. Jitendra K. Das (Director, FORE School of Management), along with other faculty members right through the event was a source of comfort to the older guests, as was revealed later during a touching speech given by a few of them.
"You should’ve seen the expressions of amazement and joy – and in some cases tears as well - when the elders from old age homes received a personalized, framed photograph!” said an excited Agam Arora of PGDM Batch 21- one of the 50-odd volunteers of FORE School of Management who helped organise the event. “Yes, Abhiwadan did bring joy and happiness to the elders from old age homes. But it brought even more happiness to young management students like me. It made us feel as if we were a part of something great… something good."
Apart from Abhiwadan, the academic year for Team ANTAR is dotted with events like Aashayein (motivating and spreading awareness among the under-privileged children on the importance of schooling), Sanrakshan (planting saplings across Delhi and spreading the ‘Go Green’ message in schools) and Vastrasamman (collecting wearable clothes, stationery, etc., for the needy in collaboration with organisations like Goonj). With the target now recalibrated to a ‘hundred thousand smiles’, Team ANTAR of FORE School of Management is optimistic that Abhiwadan will soon become a twice-a-year affair, just like Vastrasamman.