Vidyadhiraja High school is a limited resource school that offers quality education to a large number of students, the lions share of which are the first generation learners. The students are provided with a multitude of creative opportunities that facilitate the children to become worthy global citizens. Last year our school participated in the International School Awards conducted by the British Council. The enthusiasm and devotion with which we worked to bring about the desired outcome helped in getting the ISA. It came to us as a golden opportunity when the British Council approached us this year with TEACH A MAN TO FISH project. To start up with the business we did a lot of research on the market possibilities and availability of resources , that would enable a child to embark on a business venture with limited resources. Finally we decided to take up Agarbatti making as our business venture. It not only benefits the studentsto develop entrepreneurship qualities but also empowers their non working mothers to use thus gained knowledge as an income generating source. Our ultimate goal is to impart thus gainedknowedge to the immediatecommunitythatstruggle to make both ends meet. Our INNOSCENT STICKSwill enlighten the school and the community with their divine aroma.
Success is NOT an overnight thing. Perseverance, vision, commitment and flexibility are commonalities we see in successful people today. All of them have sought wisdom and knowledge and share theirs with others to pay it forward.
Embarking on communication with others and maintaining healthy communication are the real challenges in making a successful business.Our second and third day of the ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK was dedicated to connect with the women of the immediate community and other schools. We arranged a training session for the women in our school premises on making napery.
Our purpose was fruitful because many showed interest in learning our new product. Besides we visited two of our neighbouring schools to spread the message of entrepreneurship programs and to train them on making incense sticks and napery.
It was a great experience for us that we realised real happiness lies in sharing our knowledge with others and space them in our journey towards the vision of establishing a global nation which is self-sufficient in its true sense.
The axiom is so true: my wisdom and experience only has value if I share it to benefit others!
Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry. As a part of the ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK EVENTS the INNOSCENT SALES TEAM set up an open exhibition-cum-sales event at various public junctions to spread the message of inculcating business skills in children to make them self-sufficient. The first day of the drive itself was a grand success that they could spread the message to a huge crowd and make a profit of Rs.2500 in three hours. Great work !!!!!
It sounded as a fairy tale when I first heard that we had to do business around two years back.” What business do we do??” I exclaimed to my class teacher. Astounded along with my friends, I came to know regarding the BUSINESS ENTERPRISE CHALLENGE. I was further told by my teacher that we had to make paper pens and we had to sell it. CHILDREN RUNNING BUSINESS- that too – PAPER PENS, ”Pens made out of paper?!Are we not crazy???”- these words were about to jump out of my mouth. But I thought that it was better to be silent and further hear the fairy tale. (!!!)
Going to the computer class near my classroom, I was amazed to see my teacher making paper pens. I thought it as an unwanted work at first but I consoled my mind telling that I would have to do it. From that day onwards I along with my friends spent half of the day making paper pens. My duty was to roll the refills with paper tightly. My fingers would pain a lot while rolling the paper pens… My fingers would get sticky too, while applying the gum. But when I got exposed to the work day by day, I started finding the work assigned very interesting. I found myself keen in making paper pens. I was happy that I got a wonderful chance to know the different aspects of business (as well as a chance to bunk classes and lectures that used to be boring at times!).
We missed many of the P.T lectures but I concluded “we can enjoy the P.T lectures at any time. But works like this may not come always.” We made a huge lot of paper pens , sold them and accrued capital for our real business incense sticks.
Initially, I didn’t find making incense sticks as enjoyable as making paper pens. I considered it as a substandard job. But then I realized I was absolutely wrong. Incense sticks are and will be an inevitable part of Indian rituals. From the Magi’s gift to infant Jesus till the verandah of each and every home, incense sticks are of due purpose.
I was not a part of the production work of incense sticks but I was a part of the promotion team. I along with my friends made posters for the incense sticks. We gave it a sweet name INNOCENT INCENSE STICKS. Really the name was suitable for our hand-made incense sticks.
Thus, thinking greatly about our work, I was hit with good news that our school was going to start its own blog! I was overjoyed that my school had placed its legs in the next level. The teacher asked us to submit articles and other written works so that it could be displayed in the blog. I wrote a poem on incense sticks. After some days, when I visited the blog, I was thrilled to see that our poems and articles received the best platform amidst others. Our success didn’t end here. We won the first prize for our blog!
In a short while, we made up Rs. 20,000 profit by selling our incense sticks! Soon we bought an incense making machine so that we could make incense sticks at a faster pace and with the idea that we would teach the community how to make incense sticks. The main objective was to train women from the immediate community to make incense sticks and would become self-reliant, thereby they would lend a helping hand in the management of their families.
Finally the d-day came when our hard work got its recognition that we were the winners of the People’s prize.
We were so happy that our happiness knew no bounds. I now can clearly say at this moment that my school is the only school which imparts knowledge in the form of learning as well as in the form of opportunities especially to each and every individual child. MY SCHOOL MAY BE SMALL IF SEEN ON THE BASIS OF BRICKS AND WALLS; BUT IT’S VAST LIKE THE MIGHTY SEA AND THE INFINITE SKY IN GIVING OPPORTUNITIES TO EACH AND EVERYONE EQUALLY. Small opportunities are the beginning of great ENTERPRISES as told by Demosthenes, the small opportunities provided by the school facilitate us in building up big ENTERPRISES in our life.
Further to add golden tinge to our success our Principal got a chance to visit Paraguay and spread the beautiful aroma of our incense and our paper pens.
Even now when I see the People’s prize kept untouched in the shelf near my Principal’s desk, I can visualize how unitedly we worked for making paper pens and incense sticks, how proudly we sold it and how happy I feel reliving the past by writing this article .If anyone ever ask me in what way has this business enterprise benefitted you, and then I will tell that it has offered me the sense to look life with a new outlook and has gifted me with multiple skills…
Now through the windows of my classroom, when I see my juniors making incense sticks and napery , somewhere in my mind I have a lost feeling no not lost !!!! To put it in a finer sense I feel some sort of “TROUBLED PLEASURE……”, because I am no longer a part of our enterprise….
It is enchanting to be back at the enterprise challenge. The heightened glory of our school winning ‘ THE PEOPLE PRIZE’ at the 2012 school enterprise challenge hasn’t yet seeped in completely.
The prize money and the subsequent visit to Paraguay was an eye –opener. I got to see how the agricultural studies and hospitality in the host school functioned on the principles of learn and earn together. In our school we provide a platform for community service by training parents in making incense sticks so that they can educate their children without being a burden on the household account. We have implemented the concept of spare a little time to serve the community and get our child educated. More and more parents are joining hands with us to make this effort a reform.
Rejuvenated now, after a gap of one year, we are back in action. Though a hectic churning of ideas for the developing the enterprise provided amazing answers, a brilliant idea of NAPERY was selected and thus came forth from all quarters the advantages and disadvantages of having napery as an enterprise. What stood out distinctly is the Indianness of the enterprise.
The napery is a versatile product. It is a decorative covering for the tables, trays, equipments at home aned is usable by all sections of the society. The Indian art of gifting can be accentuated using napery on the tray. It is a common practice to offer the lord with incense, coconut, lamp with oil, sweets and flowers. All these acquire a greater tint when placed on the napery in a tray. Incidentally perfumed incense sticks is another of our enterprise product. Nothing is more pleasurable however than lifting the napery on a food tray to reveal the delicacies placed underneath it during festivities at home.
It is thus our venture to introduce napery using wool to the market scene.
I had my share of doubt whether children of std VIII could handle the wool and the frame , required for making the napery,with their nimble fingers and once again was amazed to find a splurge of creativity and elegance in their work.
I am sure that concept of napery will rock here in India and in the world, meanwhile developing entrepreneurial skills in our students.