Anushka Sarkar -77

AUG. 11, 2020

Curtain Hug

It was the summer holidays of the last year in high school. By the instructions of our school board, social service work became mandatory for all the students who intend to clear out the certification and credits needed to pass successfully. Most of us never saw the whole point of engaging in such activity by shunning it off, saying they have much more important matters to cater to than doing fieldwork which would consume a lot of their valuable time. It somehow was different for me from the very beginning.
Our groundwork started in almost a week. A few of my friends and I began to visit untapped slums of Kolkata every weekend to run a food drive and teach the underprivileged children of the area. We spent several days talking to each one of them to know them better, interacting about their daily household chores, personal relationships, and often the struggles they face every day. The empathetic bonding between us grew, and we found ourselves going to them more than our usual service time. The cheers and sheer joy of distributing fruits, snacks, even celebrating birthdays by cutting specially hand-baked cakes and pastries for them seemed so wholesome for us. We made sure to follow up with the children with English, Mathematics, and even imploring so many of their hidden talents by conducting occasional drawing, dancing, singing, and sports competitions.
It was no more about certification for us, but so much beyond that, which made us content with our inner consciousness. My journey with social service started right then, and I continue to strive any way I can to serve back to my society by running donation campaigns and volunteering with organizations every year. It is a responsibility that must be realized at an individual level as well as collectively at an institutional level. There is no end to any service, and with it comes peace of mind by ensuring a harmonious community for everyone