Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Navratri Celebrations with Pantaloon



Today was the day when we saw the divine smiles on the faces of the children for the 1st time, faces which were out of their homes, out of Airoli; where they experienced the other colours of the life; experience, which has provided more exposure to them; experience, which we believe will remain atleast till we live.

Thanks to PANTALOONS TEAM for all they provided us today including sympathy, emotions, togetherness, support, belief, trust & faith.

Day started at 5:15am.
All SIESCOMites geared up to reach airoli at 7:30 so as to make the registered children’s ready for the event.

Kids? Where are the kids? Except 3, 4; Mostly said “we have classes at 11”, parents: “girls can’t come since they have to take care of the kids” (sad faces of children all-around), “tests at 11”, “I will only come if he/she comes”.


Convincing, motivating, filling illusions, boosting morale of children’s & also of parents, all took 2 hrs to do. Finally 17 children’s instead of 15 (registered). Sign of relief.

Still we felt bad for madhuri, who didn’t come due to the 3kids that she had to take care of, as said to us by 3 ladies & 2 men, who encircled us to leave behind madhuri. Madhuri’s sad face was understood & obvious but of no use.

When the kids met at one place, all were very excited, shouting, hopping, laughing, enjoying. We really felt good seeing all this. Sweat was our friend at that time. Rahul was looking “cute” & Mallesh – all time “mischievous”. Vinod still lost in school-test “dreams”. Sinki (can’t spell) “silent” & “observing”.

All entered the Van (arranged by PANTALOONS); we prepared & gave I-Cards to respective student. Also the same given to each of us – volunteers.

Co-ordinated & communicated with other volunteers: SHILPA, DEEPALI, ARUN-1, ARUN-2 to come & join us; shilpa, deepali & arun1 reached directly & arun2 came with us from airoli with one kid & one SIESCOMite. Another bike was also there – both SIESCOMite with raja.

We reached CENTRE-ONE-Mall, took some pics, lined-up the students, counted, & called up the PANTALOONS head-HR to intimate about our presence.

Then all started running inside the MALL to reach. Husssshhh. Mallesh was leading, so it was obvious.

HEAD-PANTALOONS announced: “we have some children’s with us who are from an NGO - LEAD & they have come here to join us” good start.

PANTALOONS employee were very supportive & enthusiastic; DJ-music’s/DJ-Light’s, awesome, all started vibrating, employees starting dancing with kids, kids still not opening up, thinking what’s happening. Than obviously Mallesh & Raja initiated the group, we too joined to make them move & enjoy. All opened, girls played with dandya sticks with pantaloons girls & also with us (all volunteers).

Lasted for about 1 hr with complete involvement.

Our ma’am from SIESCOMS arrived too, to see what’s happening, know what? She cried... She moulded, dissolved, and touched seeing the kids dancing here inside the pantaloons mall in vashi.

“Everyone please gather at the centre” announced akshay-HR-store, “I would like to call all the LEAD volunteers to please come in front of the audience & the Chief-guest” were the next words. We got excited, lined up all the kids in the front row. Disciplined kids, though.

“Say few words about the LEAD & the students” said HR.

We handed over the mike to Arun (volunteer of LEAD), he started saying:::

“Instead of criticising the government system without doing anything; better to initiate, do something & then confidently criticise” applause.

Said almost all of LEAD specially focussing on getting volunteers as LEAD’s one of the highest priority.

He didn’t stop after that...continued... ended atlast... applause.

Then akshay-HR let the employees-present distribute the gifts individually to every kid one by one. Anjali didn’t get the gift due to the shortage, sad face was expected.

Then the combined BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION of the pantaloons-employees for the month of August/September.

Cake came, it was surrounded by our kids, it was supposed to be cut by our kids. Children saw it 1st time & were not able to guess what that huge spongy thing was. Cake was cut with a loud B’DAY song.

Pantaloons employees gave a bite of cake to every LEAD kids with their own hand. They tasted it for the 1st time. Felt yummy.

Then the chief-guest said few words...

We had arranged a THANK-U GREETING for the whole PANTALOONS-TEAM on behalf of whole LEAD-TEAM, Which was given to Akshay by our children’s.

Finished.... Gave water, everyone ate vada-pav. Greeted well to the pantaloons group & we left.

Everyone enjoyed. We can even see the smiling faces. We gave ├ęclairs to kids to widen the smile even more.

We & Pantaloons team even have taken the video/Pics of the whole event.

We have handed over the FLYER to akshay to put it inside the mall for everyone to see & share.

Put them in the van & left. “Bi sir”, “Bi sir” all-around. Felt good & complete. We left too afterwards.

It was all-in-all a very good experience for everyone including the PANTALOONS-Team.

In afternoon, akshay-HR called up & said he has arranged gifts for the remaining students (Anjali & one more) & we have to collect it till the end of the day. Felt relieved for Anjali & the other one.

Spoke to shilpa to collect the gift from PANTALOONS as she stays in vashi. She collected.

AKSHAY again called us in the EVENING: to say the unexpected.....

1)PANTALOONS is interested in conducting YOGA-SESSION for 15 days for all the students of LEAD at the LEAD centre-classroom in the evening time, by the YOGA experts. All for free. Any time it can be done based on our comfort.

2)They are working to crack the deal for giving FREE-MOVIE-TICKETS & also FREE-SKIT-TICKETS to 15 students & 2 volunteers, periodically.


This will definitely help in getting more students from the same communities & will also help in sustaining the existing one, atleast they will be excited to remain in LEAD for something due to these activities/benefits.

We can also create pressure in kids like, if any student has more than 20 present in a month will be given the movie/skit-tickets. Sort of......, to sustain them for some reason.

Even parents will understand & start believing LEAD & also will try to find out the benefits.

As the gifts & food given to kids in the PANTALOONS event might have really moulded & diverted the minds of parents towards LEAD to some extent, which will ultimately boost the student’s morale due to the support & concern of their parents.

Really, something is happening with our efforts. We are trying to initiate more concepts like this.


  1. A event which was very well coordinated!!!

  2. yes indeed..thanks to gaurav and team and sorry guys for such a long speech...