Elin Karolina Westerberg from Stockholm School of Economics explains how the Notebook Drive, Infosys' biggest volunteer program left lasting impressions on her. She interned with the Marketing team in 2014-2015.
When trying to wrap my head around complex problems and new subjects, I often find myself scribbling down notes to collect and visualize my thoughts. Trust me, considering the fact that one month ago I would have probably told you that cloud computing was something to do with white and fluffy things in the sky, I've been doing this quite a lot lately. Being a part of the InStep Internship Program has not only provided me with more profound insights to the world of technology; it has also made me realize how companies like Infosys can help the society in which they operate.
The other weekend, I had the opportunity to join the Note Book Drive. It is one of the biggest volunteer program in Infosys conducted by the Samarpan team (CSR track of Bangalore DC). Through this initiative, they covered 25,000+ children in more than 300 Govt. schools across Karnataka, donating 1.5 lac notebooks with the involvement of 500+ volunteers. The Note Book Drive in its 14 year has undergone a progressive change not only in terms of numbers but also content. The Note Book Drive is no longer just about distribution of books but is a hope, an inspiration to tens of thousands of kids with whom volunteers interact passionately.
So, I found myself in the cargo space of one of those mini trucks, driving through the lush coconut plantations, rocky hills and bright houses of rural Nelamangala. As much as I enjoyed the absolute beauty of my surroundings, it was the actual purpose of the trip that truly made an impression on me. That is, distributing notebooks to hundreds of under-privileged students in the area. Language barriers aside, I was taken aback by the strong personalities of the children we met and their levels of curiosity. At every location, we ran a poll by asking what they want to be when they grow up. Most of these kids do not dream about following in their parent's footsteps; they dream about becoming teachers, doctors and even engineers.
I then found myself thinking about what impact the Note Book Drive had on the children we met. With my handwriting, I can fit around 15 words per line in a notebook, at times 30 lines and 200 pages, which should sum up to 90,000 words. That allows for quite a lot of scribbling. What I am getting at here is not to point out my calculation skills; it's the power of being able to put pen to paper. If the children, just like me, need to take down notes to tackle complex problems and new subjects, I hope the opportunity of putting down 90,000 words on paper will help them build a better future for themselves and realize their dreams about becoming teachers, doctors and even engineers.