The pandemic brought a pit stop to many small businesses across the globe. In order to support these small businesses while contributing to the welfare of others, a few of my friends and I came up with the idea of organizing a flea market in Surat. This event was organized by 11 of my friends and I and was hosted on the 6th and 7th of March 2021. Over 2000+ visitors joined us on this occasion to enjoy the music, food, art, activities, and other amenities at the flea market. Apart from giving a platform to small businesses in surat, the main motto of this event was to donate the profits to Disable welfare trust of India which was found by Kanubhai Tailor to support the education of deaf and dumb students. In order to bring our ideas to reality and make this fundraiser event a success all of us invested our time, showcased hard work and dedication and used the power of creativity to make it a pleasant experience for one all.
- LO 1: Identify their own strengths and develop areas for personal growth.
One of the most important aspects of this event was to shine our artistic abilities and exhibit our artistic skills in order to make creative photo booths and invites for the events and other decorations to beautify the space. For me personally, creativity has always been my forte and so it was a much required skill I exhibited throughout the planning of the event. As for my weaknesses I realised I wasn’t very good with my people skills and hence it hindered me to create contacts and talk to the owners of the small businesses but with the constant approvals and motivation from my peers I was able to persuade these owners to come along and join us.
- LO 2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process.
Planning an event at such a large scale wasn’t really a piece of cake and it taught me a whole lot of different things and skills. Communicating to the various experts (the event manager, the stereo person, the decorating team, the advertising company, the business owners, the visitors, the bouncers and singers) was a major part of organising the event and while doing so and communicating with so many people I developed my people skills and learned how to collaborate much more effectively. It also taught me that team work is dream work. One challenge we faced as a team was lack of time management due to which we left everything for the last minute and it resulted in a rushed decor on the 1st day of the event but however with the help of the other crew members we managed to still make it a success. We also learned from this experience and on day 2 we started working much prior to the event. In addition to this we also struggled in terms of getting government permission to allow a large gathering during these times of Covid-19 but we followed the guidelines given by the authorities and tried to make the event as normal as it could have been.
- LO 3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience.
Although the event took place on the 6th and 7th of March 2021, the planning for the same began in the mid of December, which gave us an estimate of 2 months to prepare for such a large scale event during the global pandemic. We started by selecting a name for the event, finalizing the decor ideas and theme, booking the event managers and other crew members, looking for an advertising agency to help us market the event, talk to various small businesses in surat, making invitations, talking to Kanubhai Tailor the founder of Disable welfare trust of India and finally physically organizing the entire flea. To say the least it was a very time consuming yet rewarding experience.
- LO 4: Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences.
As mentioned above it was a longitudinal experience and so all of us showed commitment and perseverance throughout the process. Together we stayed focused on the task at hand, created interesting social media stories, marketed the event, made creatives for the decoration and communicated to a whole lot of people. As a whole we all put in a lot of efforts and time to make this dream of ours come to life.
- LO 5: Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.
Since it was such a large scale event, it was next to impossible to host it individually. It goes without saying it would have been very challenging to organize this entire event alone including, planning the event, talking to the venue owner, budgeting and looking over at the finances, marketing and creatively decorating the place. And so my friends and I along with other crew members (the event manager, the stereo person, the decorating team, the advertising company, the business owners, the visitors, the bouncers and singers) worked collaboratively to make this event successful and a pleasant experience for all the visitors. Teamwork allowed us to acknowledge different ideas, think open-mindedly and divide our roles and responsibilities and work effectively.
- LO6: Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance.
There are over thousands of children in India who are audibly impaired and hence are never educated. But in order to decrease this statistic a lot of organizations work for their betterment and education but lack fundings. One such organization is the Disable welfare trust of India founded by Kanubhai tailor. We decided to donate all of our profits to Kanubhai and his trust in order to shine a brighter future for all these kids. We were immensely pleased to use our privilege to support the global issue like quality education and make this world a better place.
- LO 7: Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
During these tiring times of COVID-19, one of the biggest ethical concerns was maintaining social distancing and always wearing a mask to avoid risk. Unfortunately, the week the event was supposed to occur the coronavirus cases in Surat shot up but we followed the COVID protocols and government guidelines to ensure maximum safety for us, our crew and the crowd. On both the days the place was fully packed at all times and so it was very important and ethical for us to close the entries for almost 30 mins to get it under control. We handled the crowd very smartly and everything was unproblematic and the event ran successfully and smoothly.
To wrap it all up, it was one of the best few months I’ve had. From planning to organizing till the execution process everything was simply delightful. I learned a lot from my team and it was gives me so much pleasure to be part of such a big event and also help the deaf and dumb students. Throughout this journey I showcased social skills and communication skills in order to communicate with all. In addition to this I also used my creative thinking skills to think of creative ways to beautify the place and make it colorful and experiential. Alongside this I was also an open minded person throughout and acknowledged all the ideas that came to me and accepted the challenges that came along with the planning of this event. I think most of all I was courageous and put in a lot of risk to make this event a success. To say the least it was one of the most memorable and fun-filled event.