We arrived at this primary school in the middle of nowhere with a picturesque backdrop and a stream running by it. Unharmed nature at its best, I thought. I wondered where the students came from, as I didn't see a single human dwelling on our way up. Our lodgings had been arranged here. We turned our work mode on, divided the equipments among the teams and headed out to our assigned areas of action.
We had to drive for another half hour to get to the location. The first house that our team got into offered us lunch which we gladly accepted as we were totally reliant on their hospitality for the day's lunch. We hooked up their power , then had a bountiful lunch of rice, sambar and sabji. We thanked them, they thanked us and then we headed out to complete the remaining quota of houses.
Everything about that day was beautiful. Beautiful views, beautiful people, beautiful deeds. I was glad that I decided to come for this project.
We headed back to base as soon as we finished, had dinner and started up the campfire. At the campfire, the team leaders orated to everyone on the events of the day and discussed our agendas for the next day. Then we bantered on for sometime before sleep took over.
The next day we were taken to another location about an hour away from base. We continued with the usual routine from before and worked hard the entire glowing day. Towards the evening when we were done, a local offered us some palm wine. I had never tried it before, but I found out that it tasted really good. So I took a bottle for my friends back home.
In a concluding meeting at the base, I found out that we had lit a total of 121 homes in 21 villages. I was glad that I could contribute my bit towards this project which is something very noble and selfless.We boarded our returning bus the same night to reach bangalore in the next morning. Our journey had come to an end.
Driving off into the good night, a realization dawned. I do not come from a rich family. But I do have a roof over my head, food on my plate, clothes on my back, water in the tap, electricity in the house and a healthy loving family. I realized that I am richer than over 500 million Indians who lack the means to meet their basic needs.
The project took 3 days of mad manual work and 4 chilly sleepless nights. I was physically exhausted. But mentally, I was high from the experience. A good kind of high, that is. I came to understand the value of travelling and meeting new people. It is only through the process of taking risks and by following our intuitions that we get to know ourselves better. Our choices may not work out sometimes, but that's okay. We learn from our experiences and travel with our baggage along this hazy road called life.
To volunteer or to learn about future projects, please visit http://iamyuva.org