by: Vinay Nagaraj
Awaaz was held on the nights of October 31st and November 1st this year, and I can say with certainty that it was tremendously successful on both occasions. The various performances and skits that were showcased made for a highly energetic atmosphere that engaged the active audience. What made me particularly happy though, was that Magic Bus along with its mission and impact had the opportunity to be recognized for its efforts during Awaaz. Videos on what a typical Magic Bus session entails and about the Magic Bus Women’s Football team were shown to a capacity crowd, and a member of Duke Diya presented some incredible statistics capturing the difference that Magic Bus makes. The audience was highly receptive to learning about Magic Bus, and clapped vigorously on both nights after the videos and speeches, supporting the choice to donate all the proceeds from Awaaz to an organization like Magic Bus. In fact, some students even voiced their support for Magic Bus after learning more about what it does and the change it is bringing about in countless children’s lives.
Alekhya Sure, the President of Internal Affairs of Duke Diya expressed that “Magic Bus has an incredibly unique approach to addressing youth needs in a developing country. Activity based engagement is a novel strategy to creating opportunities, encouraging healthy living, and ultimately empowering and mentoring Indian youth. On behalf of Duke Diya, I want to congratulate Magic Bus on its phenomenal work – we were incredibly privileged to raise money for this creative organization.”
A similar sentiment was shared by all the members of Diya, which carried out a careful selection process to choose the organization that was believed to be most deserving of the Awaaz proceeds in terms of both vision and impact in India. “I think using sports education to teach life skills is a wonderful idea. Starting at a young level to show kids that they all can be successful if they just put in the work is the best way to go about changing the nation’s youth” affirmed Sonal Gagrani, another member on the executive board of Duke Diya.
Truly, I am excited not only for all the exposure that Magic Bus has been able to get but also for the impact that the Awaaz proceeds could make with Magic Bus. All in all, a stunning $9000 was raised, which is an unprecedented amount for Awaaz on any year! In order to keep building on such spectacular results, I plan on continuing to raise awareness of Magic Bus and its fight against poverty to the Duke community and organizing collaborative events alongside Diya to fully establish the presence of Magic Bus at Duke.