A small group of 20 Goldman Sachs employees had the pleasure of taking a day off from their busy schedule and spending the day with the visually impaired kids from the Mitra Jyothi center at HSR on an excursion to Nandi hills.
The day began with the group reaching the Mitra Jyothi center at 8:00 AM where we met the Ms. Sathiya, the director of the center. She briefed us about the history, vision, mission and the various initiatives that the center had taken since its inception. We were told about the profile of the students in the center and the various facilities and opportunities provided to them. After this, we were taken for a visit of the center where we had an opportunity to see the recording centers, the braille press and the skill center among other things.
Soon, we it was time to us to meet the 40 kids who would be going with us to Nandi Hills. The GS group, the 40 students and the 5 staff members accompanying us quickly divided ourselves into 4 groups to travel in the buses arranged. The idea for the 2 hour long journey to Nandi Hills was to interact with the kids, hear their stories and have fun which we did aplenty. The journey passed in a jiffy playing games, singing, dancing, chatting and having the snacks provided for all of us.
Once at Nandi Hills, after some quick refreshments, we divided ourselves into teams of three and started the climb up to the gate into the scenic beauty of Nandi Hills. Our first destination was the temple and the huge artificial pond at the center of it. The GS group continuously spoke to the students explaining every little detail and guided them through the climb. After a quick round of selfies, we climbed further up to a large rest spot which had little huts and sheds for tourists to halt and enjoy the view. The group gathered for some rest and soon there was singing, poems and jokes started to flow and everyone had a gala time. Next we continued the trek up to the main spot of Nandi Hills where atop a large hill; there were shops to have refreshments from and spots to see a view of the city.
Lunch was arranged by GS and the students were asked to sit down; food, juice and water were served to them. The staff and the GS group were constantly around helping the students with the unpacking and eating. Post lunch, we boarded the buses and started the journey back to the center.
Overall, it was an eye-opening experience for the GS group as we had an opportunity to delve into the lives of the less fortunate and appreciate their indomitable spirit. The group returned thankful and happy to have contributed to the smiles of the students of Mitra Jyothi in their own little way.