In the midst of my academic pursuits at SPJIMR, the top B-school in Mumbai, India, I had an astonishing experience at an event called Hastantaran that illuminated my life. This event, which is a part of the Abhyudaya programme, spoke to my enthusiasm for community involvement and transformative learning. I will take you through my incredible experience with Hastantaran in this blog, where mentors and mentees link their fates while sharing knowledge and empathy.
The Essence of Abhyudaya and Hastantaran:
Experiential earning is a part of most of the MBA programme curricula in India. Abhyudaya, a transformative experiential learning programme at SPJIMR, sets the stage for Hastantaran. The initiative involves participants of the 2-year PGDM programme (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) mentoring school children from underprivileged backgrounds, affectionately referred to as “Sitaras” – meaning stars.
Stepping Up: As I assumed my position on the Abhyudaya Committee, I noticed that I had a special sense of closeness to Hastantaran. Being a part of something bigger than myself gave me the opportunity to arrange this event. It was both pleasant and uplifting to watch the Sitaras perform their dance routines for audience members. I noticed their enthusiasm and desire to shine when I interacted with them. I was filled with excitement myself and was eager to my Sitara on the day.
Behind the Scenes: Hastantaran’s planning was a team effort. I worked closely with our committee leaders and 14 devoted people to carefully plan the event. As the puzzle came together, excitement increased because we knew we were constructing an event that would leave a lasting impression on everyone participating.
A Day of Illumination: Hastantaran’s day finally arrived. 30th July 2023, a day full of anticipation and hope. A programme highlighting the various abilities of the Sitaras and PGDM students opened the occasion. As we danced together, the PGDM participants and Sitaras, we displayed a sense of unity and one purpose.
As the event moved from the programme to the classroom activities, it focused on creating strong connections. As the host and as a participant, I had the honour of leading the attendees through several ice-breaking exercises. These exercises, such as “Discover Your Duo,” “Watch Us Bond,” and “Creative Kinship,” prompted mentors and Sitaras to communicate, cooperate, and be transparent. Embarking on this journey as a mentor, I was matched with Sarvesh Mhatre, a remarkable 10th-grade Sitara. From our first interaction, I could sense his insatiable curiosity, dedication to his studies, and unwavering commitment to hard work.
Picture Perfect Bonds: As Hastantaran’s grand finale, the “Picture Perfect Bond” competition was presented. Together, we produced inventive and artistic images that perfectly encapsulated our common trip. More than just images, these pictures served as a symbol of the relationships formed, dreams shared, and barriers dismantled.
A Resounding Success: As the event ended, a feeling of satisfaction filled the room. By successfully bridging divides and creating connections between mentors and Sitaras, Hastantaran had surely left a lasting impression. The essential substance of this life-changing experience was the memories made, the lessons learned, and the connections made. My involvement with Hastantaran broadened my perspectives and reinforced my conviction that even seemingly insignificant activities may have a significant effect.