“Lal Kado…Lal Kado…Ek aur lal kado milto, to ye set poora hoi jabo” – the little girl said, as she kept rummaging through the bangles spread before her to complete to the pattern laid out for the game. Watching her all the while, I was enjoying her performance so intently that I forgot to stop the timer. And when she finished, her happiness knew no bounds after winning a nail paint of her favorite color… and this is just one of the plenty joyous moments the Utsaha team of IIMI gets to experience.
Utsaha is a two day mela (festival) conducted by IIMI at Janapav Kuti – a village near Rau (Indore). Though the intent of the event is to conduct a disguised rural marketing research for FMCG companies, it is much more than data collection. It gives happiness – where we laugh with the kids as they hit the bull’s eye in a dart game.
It excites – when we roll a dice which will decide who among the six players will be the winner. It rejuvenates – when we play hoopla with the kids in open space. It brings a smile – when, in a game, a timid woman with a kid puts the bindi at the right place on the poster and wins. It gives energy – where we organize arm wrestling for men and find an ultimate champion who takes away the mega prize.
It leaves us amazed – as we see the magician performs his tricks, and we try to figure it out. It shows team spirit – when our entire team organizes rounds of musical chair for over 100 kids together… and it makes our day – when a villager comes and tells us that he loved playing all the games we had.
Yes, a lot of preparation goes into organizing the event. It starts months before Kartik Poornima (the day we organize the event) where we plan out the event budget details, design projects & games, prepare materials, buy gift and decorate the stalls. The villagers don’t pay to play the games: profit is not our objective. But the entire toil is worth the learnings we get through the feedbacks from the audience, along with the sense of being close to our very own rural folks. It is an IIMI’s way of giving back a bit to the society, allowing its students an exposure to their grassroots, and giving memories to cherish forever.
Kudos to Team Utsaha for the grand success of the event this year! I will miss this next year ! :)