Magic School Bus

Reach matches the needs of people working towards causes (we call them ‘Agents’) to the resources that people (called ‘Allies’) have at their disposal, so as to facilitate convenient and meaningful interactions and help those making a difference make a bigger one.

The following article is an example of one such interaction.

In mid February, 2016, Kriti Thakur, a Fellow from Teach For India in Pune, was invited to bring students from her school to watch a professional basketball game. The children had never been on a field trip before, let alone get a glimpse of how glamorous and exciting the world of sports can be. She was elated!

But there was a problem — the school she works at does not have its own buses or vans, and the children’s families do not have the means to send their kids to this event.

She got in touch with Reach, and while we didn’t know how to arrange a safe and reliable means for her kids to get across town, we knew someone who did. We reached out to Sharan Sirur, administrator for a popular pre-primary school called Sapling Nursery, to see if he could help out.

The game was 5 days away, and not during regular school hours, so maybe one of his school buses and a driver were available?

He agreed immediately!

It was decided that a sum of ₹ 1000 would be paid by the school to compensate for the driver’s time and the bus’ fuel consumption. This was far cheaper than the cost to rent a bus for the same capacity and time (>₹ 7000), so it was an extremely agreeable arrangement.

What followed was extraordinary. The children had never been in a school bus before, so the experience was something they were immediately delighted by.

The time spent at the stadium was also exciting, 40 children all gathered together inside an air-conditioned stadium, watching professional athletes run up and down a basketball court, leaping into the air and throwing the ball effortlessly across distances, the likes of which they hadn’t witnessed before. What remained, however, was the thrill of having gone on a trip together, as a school — something they recounted numerous times in the days that followed.

We’ve facilitated a number of bus arrangements since, and it’s been a pleasure and a privilege to have been a part of this demonstration of resource-sharing for a common cause. This has inspired us to seek other resource providers; because like transport, there are many infrastructural and logistical needs faced by various Social Purpose Organisations (SPOs), and it would be immensely valuable if the right people can come together to make these good things possible.

If you are someone (or might know someone) who’d like to be a part of such initiatives, please get in touch!

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