In the bling of the big shopping malls, multiplexes and new townships mushrooming in different parts of Bangalore, we often overlook the darkness that lies in unmentioned corners. It is a world less celebrated and even less explored by a majority of the crowd.
A little school in a little Lane
In an ordinary lane, near the much happening Forum Mall in Koramangala, there is a little school with just 2 rooms that somehow manage to accommodate the students going there. The school which now looks more like a shack once had 6 functional classrooms. But now only two rooms are left, the rest have perished due to lack of maintenance and care. Only underprivileged kids from extremely poor and needy families come to this school so that they can spend some time away from the ground reality of their lives and get a sufficient mid-day meal. But ironically, this school where the kids come to learn something to stay away from the usual harshness of their situation, was no less shabby, dark and depressing than their private lives. The walls were discoloured and at different parts of the building the concrete had worn off. The benches were age old and in dire need of repair.
The school was no doubt in a mess, but surprisingly, the handful of kids who study there are bright and full of possibilities. They are good at math and even at English and overall has a firm sense of logic. Probably the harsh reality in which they live has made them more wise and pragmatic for their age. All they needed was some hope that good things can happen to anyone especially when they least expect it.
What Bonito Designs did
Some young professionals from a Bangalore-based interior design startup called Bonito Designs coincidentally discovered this little school in Koramangala. They were deeply moved by the friendly and intelligent kids studying in the school and wanted to help them in their own little way. They began planning how they can give these small children a bright space to look forward to every day — a space that will cheer them up and inspire them to come to school and learn something new.
They painted the walls with bright, vibrant colours and made new furniture like benches and bookshelves for the kids. They also bought new sets of plates and utensils so that the kids feel even happier and more enthusiastic about their lunch breaks. It was not much, but space is their forte and they couldn’t find a better reason to use their skills.
When the kids first entered their renovated classroom, they did not know what to say. They looked around with their bright, sparkling eyes and nervously ran their fingers across the furniture, unsure about how to react. They barely said a word, but the big toothy smiles and the eyes full of wonder expressed it all. Who says we only need to be vocal to articulate? Sometimes smiles and silences speak much louder than words.
Shout out to everyone there
It was a small thing but the priceless expressions of those kids made Bonito Designs realize what a big difference it has made. Of course, it didn’t improve their quality of lives radically. They are still members of families who struggle every minute to make their ends meet. They still live in an uncelebrated world of poverty and uncertainty. But the sight of a bright, warm classroom in their old faded school could at least surprise them. Even for a brief while, it was able to make them feel hopeful that maybe, life is unpredictable even in good ways and despite the usual hardship, can bring pleasant surprises once in a while.
The experience that Bonito Designs gathered from this school has inspired them to carry on with such projects so that many schools all across Bangalore can become a little more warm and welcoming for the underprivileged children studying there. They are looking for all the help they can gather from all resources available so that they can continue taking part in making many other needy children believe in the power of dreams and magic.
So let’s join hands with them and spread the message far and wide. Visit their contribution page if you would like to donate for this cause. They are even looking for volunteers to help them with the upcoming projects for such schools. Every help counts. We firmly believe that many responsible Indians who believe in helping and sharing will respond to their call and would add value to this initiative by spreading the word as much as possible.
Join hands and do your part for the city. Visit www.bonito.in/share to extend a helping hand for many such bright children so that they can keep a little faith in the existence of indomitable hope and a bit of magic.