Mercedes- Benz International School – Pune Scribing for the students for their board exams: NIOS – Snehalaya This year, as of 2015, service as action (formerly known as community and service) was rather different for me. Living in Germany, most of my community and service came from volunteering at the Animal Shelter and joining Student council to make a difference. Germany is a developed country, and there is not so much room for community and service activities outside of school, everybody has enough money and volunteers. However, at MBIS, it is a much different story. India has over 1.3 billion people, most of which can be helped. There is more of a room to make a difference and go out to do community and service. At first, I was pretty set upon retaining back the Animal shelter programme as I really quite enjoyed working with animals. But, thanks to Ms. Mistry, a new opportunity opened up. When she told us that there are kids at Snehalaya that require assistance to write their test (by scribing), it opened up many doors. I was hesitant at first because this is the board level test, a massive responsibility, which I reckoned I just wasn’t ready for. A few days later, they were desperate for scribes and there was an opportunity to scribe, so I signed up, thinking that it would be a good way to stack up some hours of Service. What I didn’t know was how big of an impact it would have on my life. Before the tests, a trip was organized for us to go to Snehalaya to meet our new friends. At the time of the trip however, I was quite sick, I really thought the night before, that I wouldn’t be able to make it, so I wrote an email to Ms. Mistry for some guidance. With an immediate response, she requested me to come, no matter what. So, on the date, I woke up early, and left for Snehalaya. When I met Ms. Mistry in the bus, I could clearly see how glad she was that I came, looking at that, I felt a bit better since I was in a better mood. So, arriving at Snehalaya, I felt a little anxious, hoping for a great and understandable companion, then, I met Sachin, the person I was scribing for. In a matter of seconds, I already was shaken on the inside. Looking at the conditions of the students at Snehalaya, I was really quite glad to see their will and determination to learn and become a successful person. Of course, I had no pity for them because they did not require sympathy. I could immediately see how strong these students were on the inside. I was really happy to see this, but quite confused about what was going around me. I wouldn’t say it was sad, it just showed me a new unseen side of the world that I had never been introduced to. All I wanted to do is sit in a corner alone and think about this. I got to know Sachin, and what a wonderful person he was! We made great friends. And, on the day of the exams, we made a perfect team to ace all exams. I am sure he will pass, and I hope for the best. Now I try to make to Snehalaya on every possible date, to meet my new friend! Scribing for Sachin made me proud, I knew that when he became successful, which I’m sure he will, and Sachin can always look back and remember me. And I am certain it’s the same on my side. I was shocked at how much of an impact I made on Sachin’s life, this fact really made an impact on me as well.
This year, Service as Action has been transforming for me, now, instead of just getting rid of hours, I actually desire to work for the satisfaction and the joy, if it were only for the hours, I would have done some easy thing at school to just get done with it, but now I know it’s much more than that.