This post comes almost three weeks late. Only now I had the right opportunity and sort of prepared for this. As you can see in the picture, this was a poster and kind of logo created for a campaign on "Voice against Noise".
How I came to participate in this campaign and the way it ended was truly unthinkable and amazing.
For many months I've been meaning to write about the Outreach program in my college. It is still in the draft mode, only half written. Reason.....I didn't really know the way to make a socially relevant topic very interesting and short, for, to talk about Outreach, it usually brings yawns in people and I definitely don't want that. It'll soon be published, most probably after the Pongal holidays. You have to WAIT FOR IT! Now coming to this topic, yes.....I participated in this campaign through the Outreach program. One fine day, we were asked to come to a different location for that particular session. It was explained that it was for some campaign. We were grumbling with each other. Only some students turned up that Friday.They sure missed a lot.
The location was an office room inside a building. There, we were explained that this was a campaign for "Voice against Noise" sponsored by TAFE. We were segregated into groups of 5-6 and sent to different petrol bunks in Chennai. Apart from the snack box (Frooti, water bottle, a pack of biscuit), we were given some pamphlets and stickers which detailed about the nuisance of Noise in Roads. It looks like a tiny problem when compared to other types of pollution. But it does harm human beings resulting in things like depression and migraines etc. At the petrol bunk, we gave the pamphlets (both Tamil and English) and stuck the stickers on the front of Autos, after advising them and asking their permission. It is not like only auto drivers cause the most noise by their blaring horns. It is due to the fact that Autos ply in plenty (more assured reach of the message) and partially because auto drivers allow stickers to be stuck (mostly) unlike private vehicles. The campaign ended in two hours and it was to continue the next day with a six hour duration. I went only on Friday cutting the next day. I learnt that TAFE provided students with lunch the next day.
I was happy that Outreach session had been cancelled on two occasions, yet given much more extra attendance than the usual. The real surprise came three days later, on Tuesday. We were asked to come to Hyatt Regency, Chennai where a function cum meeting was taking place, with entry possible in showing a special invitation. Hyatt Regency is a star hotel people. We didnot believe the sentence "We invite you to join us for a lunch buffet" in the invitation. Who would sponsor lunch for twenty-five odd students from a college! And we weren't the only college to have participated. Four other city colleges also participated. The function was held in the presence of Deputy Commissioner of Chennai, the chief guest. The meeting mainly thanked the students for the active participation in the campaign, distribution of prizes for the poster (logo) competition, certificates for the colleges and students in individual. We never thought in our dream that a sumptuous lunch was waiting for almost 100 students. The guilt of my partial participation gradually vanished once I started enjoying the feast. The day couldn't get any more awesome. The inevitable event of bunking of the first hour did not bother us. It was totally worth it. Then came the photo and interview session. A popular news channel asked us about our experiences in both Tamil and English.
Some attended college from the second hour, while some bunked that day too on the pretext that they were experiencing fatigue. And guess what, we were given extra hours than the usual for the Outreach session, technically, for eating in a star hotel :D
The Day couldn't get any more better :D