Three months ago when we first decided to run the TCS W10K, we were skeptical about a lot of things. However, we decided to brush our skepticism aside and work our way out. We chose to highlight our pre-school programme, since this one needed more attention and awareness. There were plenty of things to do and we started off by structuring our work by making lists of things to do. The next task was to urge people to run and donate for our cause. Though the task was a massive one, it definitely wasn’t an impossible one. So we began our work by sending out mailers to everyone informing people about the run. The next thing on the to-do list was to make snazzy posters. We got lucky and found a volunteer from Delhi who happily made the posters for us. The olive green and the yellow poster did stand out and make an impact. While we were gathering the runners we also wanted to make sure we stood out of the crowd. We had no intentions of merging with the crowd this year unlike last year and so this year we chose a blazing red colour for our t-shirts. What made the T-shirt even better was this awesome design depicting Pre-schools by our very own Megha Vishwanath who is a techie and an awesome painter all at the same time. Soon we moved to the next task of getting more runners. In the end, we had a strong contingent of 69 runners, with 36 of them doing the 10kms and the remaining 33 of them participating in the 5.7kms Majja run.Coaxing people to run is not easy, and getting people to run for a cause is a much more difficult a task. But nevertheless, we managed to get runners. Akshara’s very own Care Champion Gautam John was game for a 10k run again this year. Our corporate sponsors Analog Devices India helped us not just raise money but also run for us. A mighty team of 20 members chose to run donning the Akshara T-shirt. The best part about the runners from Analog Devices India was that all 20 of them chose to run the 10k. While most of them were first timers, they were all pumped up to run. At the end of the race, all of them wore a happy smile irrespective of how much their bones and muscles hurt.
19th May 2013, a cloudy morning the Akshara team gathered at the Gate A of the Shree Kanteerva Stadium. The 10kms open run began at dot 7.22am. While some were first timers, others were seasoned runners, yet all of them had just one thing on their mind and that was to finish the run no matter what. We all looked a dapper in our blazing red Akshara t-shirts. Armed with our running bibs, placards and kits we were all ready to get started. While the 10k runners began their run before us, the 5.7kms run was mostly a jolly fun run and hence aptly named the Majja run! Finally at 8.30am, we moved to towards the stadium with hooting, whistling and lots of noise. It was a sea of people there, all running for a cause. This time we surely stood apart from most others as we blazed the run route in our bright red t-shirts which talked about pre-school education. Since our crusade this year was to promote pre-school education, we made placards themed around pre-schools and its importance. On the way we were greeted by a lot of supporters who cheered and clapped for us. That was truly encouraging. And post the run, there was a nice good breakfast which made the run worthwhile. So, all in all, it was a fun experience with everyone pitching in to do their best. The run was more than just a run for us. It was our chance to get people’s attention towards our cause. As we ran the course, we knew that our bit was going to be a big help to those little kiddies who are deprived of quality education and basic facilities. The run was surely a memorable experience for all and we hope that it will help us push our crusade and get help in the form of donations and volunteers. We at Akshara thank each and everyone who helped us put this event together.
A heart-felt thanks to all our donors who helped us raise $ 13,790 ($ 2,625 through GlobalGiving alone!) though this event. It’s been an adventurous bumpy ride, but yes a great learning experience too.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” - Helen Keller
These words of wisdom from the deaf-blind American author, activist and lecturer are so true. And we see good examples of this when we visit some exceptional schools and anganwadis (Government-run preschool centers) that receive the same level of support from the state but perform magic in that the children they serve do so well in the learning process and make their parents, teachers and communities proud. Here's one such outstanding example - The Konanakunte Anganwadi which highlights that dedicated teachers, creating classroom teaching methodologies and active community participation can surely bring about a positive change in the learning levels of children and improve their learning environment.
Watch this beautiful video of the Konanakunte Anganwadi and it's heroes.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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