children Society

Six school students raise funds for the underprivileged during lockdown

With their tech-savviness, abilities in performance arts and a natural knack for organising events, six high-schoolers in Chennai have been raising funds for the underprivileged during the lockdown.

Samyuktha Raja, Vaibhavashri J.K., Aditi B. Narayan, Arindum Roy, Himakshi Jammar and Nidhi Srinivasan share one of these two things — they either hail from the same school/ tuition centre or belong to the same gated community — or both.

They are core members of a social initiative that organises fund-raiser events to benefit the underprivileged. Their first event, held during the first week of September, was a two-day online open mic where teenagers could showcase their talent in singing, dancing and beatboxing.

Though ticket sales and registrations for this online event, they raised ₹ 20,000 which they gave away to two NGOs working for the underprivileged — Thozhamai (Semmenchery) and New Hope and New Life (Perumbakkam).

Their next project was about getting their friends and family to write letters thanking frontline workers. Over 30 letters were sent to Dr. Mehta’s Hospital at Chetpet in Chennai.

How they collaborated to make both the events a success makes for an interesting study.

First, they created a website — theindiandream.net.

“It took me two to three weeks to design the website using Wix, which was an important step as we had to build credibility about our work and also drum up support from friends and elders,” says Nidhi Srinivasan, a class XII student of PSBB-Millennium.

Also read: A place where children always find the spotlight

Nidhi, a singer and songwriter, got her network of young artistes to sign up for the event.

“I have previously worked for fundraising events conducted by Period Chennai and Blue Cross, so I was confident that we could pull it off if there was a good team to back us,” says Nidhi.

The lockdown made getting friends on board easier than it would have been otherwise. Each of them connected with like-minded friends and today more than 30 students are part of the WhatsApp group where the think-tank discusses and plans events.

For the fundraisers, they grouped themselves into different specialist teams, one meant for social media, another for content creation, another for promotions and so on.

“I was heading events and my role involved getting students to sign up for the online mic. It was a tough task as the participants had to pay to register for the event. I got three participants from Olympia Panache, the community I live in. Altogether, the open mic had 20 participants,” says Samyuktha Raja, a Class XII student of Velammal Vidyashram. “Besides, I got many elders to buy tickets to view the event.”

Bringing in audience was only marginally less difficult that signing participants on.

“Most of us approached our apartment associations to promote the event,” says Samyuktha.

With workload from school now steadily increasing, the group has slowed down, but plans to keep the initiative going whenever time permits.

The events next in line are article-writing and photography.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 3:57:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/six-school-students-raise-funds-for-underprivileged-during-lockdown/article33094199.ece

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