Monday, July 09, 2007

Kilikili's awareness programme - Part II

Like I'd promised in my previous post, let me tell you more about the awareness programme I was part of.

I had just then finished distributing the handouts to the people in Coles Park for Kilikili's event, when I heard someone call my name out. That was Vinod, an active and enthusiastic volunteer for Kilikili and my companion for the awareness programme, who has LOADS of energy even in his sixties!!

We greeted each other and started our second task for the day.

- Our first visit was to a shop "Indira darshini" which is on the other side of the road at the Coles Park’s small gate. We met the man at the cash counter and introduced ourselves. I must admire Vinod's attitude to take this up so professionally. And I liked it because I felt so happy working for this good cause!

Vinod: "Sir, I am Vinod. We are volunteers from Kilikili which works for making public parks accessible for differently abled kids......" I joined the conversation to talk to the shopkeeper in Kannada.

Shopkeeper: "Please don't waste my time. Don't beat around the bush. Come to the point. What do you want??”

I was totally disappointed at his rude statement and his attitude towards the cause. I couldn't stop myself from giving it back 'like always'...

Me: "Sir, we have not come here to waste your time. We are trying to educate you about the facility given to disabled kids in Coles Park and how you can spread the word. Even we have come here taking some time out from our work schedules for a good cause. In case you don't want to donate, it's OK. But don't ask us not to beat around the bush because we AREN'T doing that ".

I was just too disappointed with this kind of a start. But Vinod never let our spirits die down through out the evening. He did try to urge that man to do some kind of a donation for the cause but the man went on to say that "I am not the manager here. Please come when he's around"!!

I didn't find one reason to get back to that place again.

I wasn't disappointed because that guy didn't contribute, but yes I felt bad that he didn't care to listen to what we had to say. I would have been more than happy if he at least helped us in spreading the word.

Well, we moved on to the next shop. We went into a mobile phone shop. We introduced ourselves. The shopkeeper was a guy in his late twenties. He asked us for more info and also we showed him our brochures and gave him the handout as well.

He was too happy to help us and donated a generous 100 bucks. Believe me I was not even close to being this happy when I got my first salary which was 8.5K!!

We have got the coupon books of 50 and 100 each done for Kilikili as part of the fund raising programme. These books also let us take down the contact details of the person who's donating and we were so happy to receive our first donation :).

Yes that did lift my spirits up because this guy showed so much interest in what we spoke and was happy being part of the cause himself.

Then we went on to visit small shops, departmental stores, small hotels and a diagnostic centre too and people in most of these were really not keen in listening to us and gave us one same "excuse" for not contributing -

"Our manager/proprietor isn't around. He has gone out. Please come tomorrow."

But still, we made a cool 620 bucks in just about an hour and a half!! :)

Well I have to mention one very important thing here. The entire amount which we collected was donated by men who are in their mid twenties and mid thirties...

This was seriously some food for thought. These were men who were educated, in their youth, who were patient enough to listen to us during their peak business hours, enthusiastic to ask us for handouts or brochures and who promised that they would "spread the word" :)

I mentioned this to Vinod when we almost reached our last shop for that day. He said "hey smart observation! All the old men did refuse to even listen to us and also they kept asking us to come tomorrow!!"

He was excited with this thought and asked the guy from the near by tyre shop about the same thing, the guy had just then finished donating us a generous 50 bucks,

"Sir, we shouldn't worry about what the old people think or say when it comes to understanding a good cause like this. It's definitely the youth in India which will take it to greater heights."

Well, on that note let me thank Kilikili for such a beautiful day on the 30th of June! All of us truly had loads of fun!

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