by Tan Hao Yu, Nicholas, Junior 1 Cempaka, Class of 2017
|The Team to Mumbai|
Photo Credit : Ms. Fahrulina
When interviewed on her experience during this trip, Chong Mee Hun, main organiser of the Cempaka IBDP educational charity trip to Mumbai, she replied, “It was a heartbreaking experience for all of us as we witnessed hundreds of slum dwellers fight for whatever little they could get from the boxes that were brought.”
Their trip, titled “Opening Doors Within” aimed to expose Cempaka’s students to society under reality’s harsh glare and give them an insight on the true situation of how the slum dwellers lived in Mumbai.
“We got a first hand look into the true extent of the abysmal state of poverty amongst slum dwellers and I was emotionally moved when I saw the destitute conditions of the slums,” said Adrian Ang Yu Wei, co-organiser of the trip.
The purpose of their mission was to give back to society by helping the poor in Mumbai. Organised by the Cempaka IBDP(International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme) students, a group of 23 students accompanied by 4 teacher chaperones went for the 5-day trip.
It was part of the IBDP’s Community, Action and Service (CAS) component of their course which requires students to engage in a minimum of 50 hours in community service work. In preparation for the trip, the IBDP students raised over RM 30,000 in total through selling food at their school canteen and personal donations. The items brought included clothing, toiletries, stationeries, toys, food and drinks.
Due to the large amount of supplies, most of the food and items were air-flown to Mumbai. After everyday’s activities, the Cempakans spent much time packing food and clothing into the wee hours of the morning for distribution to schools, temples and slums the next day.
Throughout the entire trip, the group were assisted by their tour guide and liaison in Mumbai, Mr Jatin Ramesh Doshi, who helped them establish contact with the organisations that they visited during their time there.
During this trip, the students visited under-privileged areas in Mumbai, participated in charity events and donated food and basic necessities to various organisations within India. The “Opening Doors Within” group also visited a mentally challenged school, a rural school, the Acorn Foundation Mumbai and participated in an initiative with the Toy Foundation Centre Mumbai.
While in Mumbai, the Cempakans also interviewed an ex-convict at the Gandhi Book Centre who spoke of how Gandhi’s teachings allowed him to change the course of his life.
Click here for the Star Newspaper online article on this trip, written by Mr. Krishnamoorthy, a journalist of Star Newspaper, assisted by Adrian Ang Yu Wei & Chong Mee Hun of Cempaka IBDP and Tan Hao Yu, Nicholas of Junior 1 Cempaka : http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2015/12/21/opening-students-eyes-to-poverty-they-visit-mumbais-slums-during-charity-trip-organised-by-private-s/