From the Field: School Enrollment, An Incredible Experience

By Vodafone’s World of Difference Participant Sumit Nangia

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Photo Credit Pranav (Creative Commons)

Months of February and March are an exciting time for VOICE 4 Girls!

All of the hard work done round the year boils down to these three months where all the nerve wrecking jobs for camp in month of May seem to come to a head.

One such critical work is the enrolling of the participating schools for the camp.

Schools are the last mile for delivering VOICE’s objective and their respective principal and teacher(s) play an active role.

Enrolling 100 plus schools is a challenging job in itself. Right from finding the right mix of schools to reaching the deserving and wanting girls is a task. Knowing that it will include visits to schools in semi-urban areas and slums where the owners may not be knowing any other language than Telugu, seemed to be quite a task.

But then it is rightly said that fortune favors the brave.

When the plans for visiting the schools were being drawn, VOICE came across two fellows – Irfan Baig and Arjun Menon, both of whom have now proved to be invaluable asset to VOICE. Their expertise with local dialect and the city layout has proven to be instrumental.

Over a period of a fortnight, our threesome visited nearly 70 plus schools spread across the gigantic city of Hyderabad, with a re-visit to a few of them. The visits were taxing at times, as it gets real scorching during this time of the year and most of the schools were far off with great distances to travel.

Luckily, we had our own counter mechanism in place, namely – our passion, resolve to meet the targets, to spread the word about VOICE and to provide the deserving & deprived girls a chance to express themselves, which gave us enough fire power, which at times surprised us as well, as we excelled our own set targets for many a days with great ease.

The meetings with the principals/correspondents were at times informative, rhetoric, challenging and a few times discouraging. The outcome always was not what we wanted and was demoralizing.

Pep talks, review of the targets, and cool coconut water were used to bring our spirits alive. There was a ‘connect’ among the field team of VOICE, which has been the major contributor towards the success of first leg of school recruitment drive in Hyderabad.

These past few weeks could not have been been possible without the expertise of Irfan and Arjun with Telugu.

There were visits wherein, the owners were comfortable in communicating in the local language Telugu only. The same was an uphill task for me as I speak Hindi and English. These guys took the lead and worked wonders at such instances by making the owners understand the camp in local dialect and were able to bring them onboard.

The presence of three individuals from completely different backgrounds but with the same mission and passion, made the small but all important journey of 2 weeks very exciting and hugely successful.

At the end the success achieved was sweet.

We achieved nearly 40% of the set target for camp 2012 in just 2 weeks!!

Hope to see more such marvels in time to come for VOICE.

Have you had an experience lately in which the success of your target was met by a special team member or perspective? 

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