Excitement filled the air inside an open auditorium in Shri Vaishnav Vidyapeeth Vishwavidyalaya (SVVV), Indore, as children from the slums eagerly ran around the chairs in a game of musical chairs. Members of RAC SVVV, RID 3040, swiftly scooped up the little ones who couldn’t keep pace, ensuring they too could participate in the lively game.
This heartwarming scene unfolded as part of the Nanhi Muskaan initiative, an endeavour by RAC SVVV “to provide them with an opportunity to escape the confines of their daily struggles and experience joy. Some of these kids haven’t played these games ever before. Their innocent smiles just made our day,” says Khushi Srivastava, president of the club.
Witnessing their ability to find happiness in the simplest of moments, despite their lack of privileges, taught us a valuable lesson.
This initiative was part of the club’s flagship project, Spreading Smiles, which focuses on making a positive impact on the lives of underprivileged children. To raise funds for Nanhi Muskaan, the club organised a unique event called Bachpan (childhood), inviting university students to participate in traditional Indian games like hopscotch, gilli danda and dumb charades. Khushi explains that “we wanted more college students to participate in the games. So we kept the entry fee at a nominal rate of ₹20.”
The club has been actively involved in improving the living conditions of slum children in Indore by providing essential supplies such as food, clothes and toys. However, this time, their intention was “not just to offer charity but also to make the children feel valued and important. We wanted them to know that they matter to us and provide them with new experiences,” says Khushi.
During the event, the slum children were introduced to sketching and drawing, allowing them to explore their artistic talent. They were also invited to participate in various fun games. The day continued with some “rocking dance performances by the children, showcasing their talent and captivating our hearts.”
One of the most memorable moments of the event was when the children’s handprints were taken “as a symbol of precious memories. We painted their hands and imprinted them on a white poster cloth, which will be part of the club’s treasure trove,” smiles the club president.
To give the children an experience they had never had before, a live musical performance was organised exclusively for them. “They swayed and danced without any inhibition and we couldn’t stop ourselves from joining them,” The event culminated with a cake-cutting ceremony, followed by the distribution of gifts from the members of RAC SVVV.
Recalling the smiles on the children’s faces, Khushi says “witnessing their ability to find happiness in the simplest of moments, despite their lack of privileges, taught us a valuable lesson. Those interactions felt like a warm embrace from an extended family. These memories will forever hold a special place in our hearts.”