HAPPI - AN INITIATIVE TO SPREAD HAPPINESS
Happi is an initiative I started in 2019 to spread happiness among the lesser privileged of our society. Our main aim is to reach out to people with limited resources in remote areas. In the span of the past 2 years, Happi has organised several activities for lesser privileged children living in Sewpur and Maud Tea Estate, Assam. The activities organised include a summer camp, an art competition, an online talent hunt, an educational campaign and a fundraiser.
Assam is the hub of tea and a majority of the population here being tea garden labourers, is illiterate. The children of these labourers are being imparted free education in local schools. I thought of associating with these schools and organising fun activities for the children. I have always loved helping people and giving back to the community. ‘Happi’ has evolved from this thought. Seeing happy faces makes me happy.
SUMMER FUN 2019- SUMMER CAMP
Happi organised a summer camp- Summer Fun 2019, for the children of L.P. School in Sewpur Tea Estate. Although these children enjoy free education and midday meals under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, Happi wanted to give them the ‘extra’ in the form of a summer camp. We organised a total of 4 sessions from the 21st to the 29th of May, 2019. The children who participated in the camp were from classes 1 to 5. The activities included in the camp were art and craft, storytelling and learning.
On the first day of the camp, we had a storytelling session followed by a craft activity related to the story. The children thoroughly enjoyed and eagerly answered when we asked them questions in the middle. On the second day, we decided to teach them about pollution and its negative impact on the environment. On the third day, I could sense that the children were accustomed to us being around. They greeted us with so much enthusiasm that I could not help the smile that broke on my face afterward. In that moment, I realised how much we had actually impacted the lives of these children. The last session of the camp is the day that I will always treasure and keep close to my heart. The children put up a small cultural show for us which filled my heart with unfathomable joy. A few girls performed Bihu, which is a traditional Assamese folk dance. Some kids even sang for us. This little gesture meant the world to me. In the end, we were honoured with the Assamese Gamosa, which is an indispensable part of Assamese culture, and is a symbol of friendship, love, warmth and hospitality.
The camp would not have been possible without the guidance and assistance of my mother and grandfather. It was my mother who constantly urged me to set my plans in motion and I am thankful for that.
In the months of June and July 2020, I started working on raising funds for organising home activities for the children. I made customisable gift cards and tags, and Happi managed to raise an amount of Rs. 2500. The funds were then used for an art competition. We supplied the children of Sewpur and Maud Tea Estate with art supplies such as art sheets and crayons. We left the drawing part to their imagination. We received some amazing entries from them. I decided to gift the winners stationery hampers to encourage their artistic abilities further. I managed to meet the winners in person and congratulate them. I received a verbal commendation for m initiative, 'Happi' by a local representative of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan who was present at the prize distribution venue. It was a really heart-warming experience and I felt happy I could make a difference in their lives amidst such difficult times.
LEARN WITH HAPPI- EDUCATIONAL CAMAPAIGN
The pandemic has affected everyone’s lives in some way or the other. Education is a field that has really suffered because of the same. Schools shut down completely and we all saw the era of online classes. While most schools in urban areas managed to conduct online classes, the schools in rural areas faced a lot of difficulties. Not everyone can afford expensive gadgets for online learning. Not everyone has access to the internet or basic resources for that matter.
In lieu of this situation, Happi launched an educational campaign called ‘Learn with Happi’ for the lesser privileged in the society who do not have access to gadgets. This project aimed at providing visual learning tools to the Anganbari classes, which are held periodically in the villages. These classes are held in open garden like spaces and hence, the name ‘Angan’. The setup is simple. The children sit on mats or jute bags, and are provided with small slates to write on.
Happi provided L.P. School in Sewpur with charts of different categories such as fruits, vegetables, shapes etc. While Angan classes were going on, the charts were put up outside. When normal schooling resumed, the charts were shifted to the school classrooms for the benefit of the children. I recently visited the school and was extremely happy to see that the charts are being put to good use, and that the children had learnt new things from them. I even talked to some of them and asked them how these charts had helped them.
On 24th June 2022, Happi conducted 'Origami Fun', an enjoyable session for the children studying in classes 1-5 of L.P. School, Sewpur Tea Estate. The children were taught to make paper planes, boats and fans. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Happi also donated stationery kits containing pencils, erasers, sharpeners, rulers and sketch pens to each and every student to foster their imagination and creativity.