Cheers erupted throughout the walls of Hope Foundation’s Nursery and Primary School, Kalpakkam, when the excited children were quizzed about their favourite cricketer. Chanting Sachin in unison, they were watching the foreigners with a mix of shyness and curiosity. About 20 students from University of Miami’s School of Business Administration along with their peers from Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM), Chennai, were at the school as part of Karma Yoga on March 4. “Karma Yoga is a leadership experiential project. We have identified 20 villages around our institute and try to help them in little ways. Sometimes, we engage our exchange students in these activities,” giving a brief intro is Venkat Rangan, coordinator for this project at GLIM.
The cohort from Miami and Chennai spent time with the children and indulged them with colouring books, stationery, chocolates and other gifts. Jody E Klein from Miami University sums up her experience, “The children were practically beaming and it was overwhelming for us as well when we saw the smiles on their faces upon holding the gifts we got them. As adults, we take such items for granted. But these small things actually seem to fill a magical world for them. We couldn’t be more happier.”
As if showing their gratitude, the children pressed sketches of their drawings into the palms of the visitors who were seen carefully folding their ‘mementos’ in their bags. The group then proceeded to a nearby organic farm perched on a tractor.