Last year, it was the rains that played spoilsport. On Saturday, it was the scorching sun that made teachers wonder whether the enthusiasm of the funfair would be lost. But, the participating children did not think so. Right from the time when pianist Stephen Devassy set his fingers on the keyboard to play music of various film and non-filmi numbers, the St. George School Grounds turned into a carnival. Balloons, gifts, games, dancing clowns… it was a fun day out with a message of inclusion and solidarity.
The Shakti Foundation in association with Airtel and CavinKare organised ‘Corporate Commitment', where employees from different companies set aside their regular schedules to spend time or conduct games for children with different disabilities. Able-bodied children also took part in the fair.
Executives from HSBC, Mylapore came in groups of three to four every two hours, to entertain children with game of ‘hoopla'. At the two stalls put up by RBS staff, the children were encouraged to draw and colour, and participate in a fun game. Students of Fine Arts College painted the faces of children walking in to their stall. The Photo Emporium received a steady flow of children and parents, each wanting to get a picture clicked next to a cut out of Sachin Tendulkar. Others such as staff of Club Mahindra crooned to pep up the mood. Twenty two schools took part in a march past, and a pledge was taken by corporates promising to work for an inclusive society.
Chief guest and Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu N. Ram said corporate commitment is the focus today and the whole point is to recognise what is and what needs to be. He said the fun fair is a commitment to solidarity, justice, humanity and inclusion. He appreciated the initiatives of Shakti Foundation, including its role in ensuring ramps in public buildings and getting separate parking lots for the physically challenged.
Rajiv Rajgopal, CEO, Airtel - Kerala and Tamil Nadu, assured Shakti Foundation of the company's continued support. Parents of mandolin U. Srinivas, who is the ambassador of the Shakti Foundation and Vasanth Raghuvir, Chairperson of the Foundation participated.