They raised 35k for a school by selling mint on the go

Participants at youth leadership programme Dancing with Tigers raise funds for municipal school Babu Jagjivandas School in Yerawada

Participants of Dancing with Tigers sold pudina sherbet (mint drink) to raise funds for a municipal school in Yerawada

After training at a Life School Programme about four years ago, Pune-based Aditya Jhunjhunwala regrets of not joining the inspirational event earlier where he shared his experiences and learnings with others and vice versa. Taking a leaf out from his life-changing experience, the MIT engineer and IIM Ahmedabad alumnus set up Dancing with Tigers, a workshop for young people between the age group of 16 and 22 years. The programme will give participants an opportunity to face fears, find their voice, understand how to nurture relationships and, most importantly, to begin the journey of attaching purpose to their lives.

Going beyond brief and responsibility, one of the batches of this workshop raised funds for a municipal school situated in Yerawada by selling pudina sherbet (mint drink) in their residential camp itself.

Dancing with Tigers is all about young people gaining experience in leadership, pushing towards team work, understanding their own strengths and getting motivated to face challenges. “From preparing Excel worksheets to sourcing the products and even standing at the selling stall, the batch of 20 students managed all by themselves. They pushed themselves out of their comfort zone and knocked on every door to raise adequate sum,” said Jhunjhunwala. They did all this to raise funds for Babu Jagjivandas School, a school for underprivileged.

Babu Jagjivandas School is one of the 57 English medium government schools in Pune that provides free education under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.

Young software professional and Teach For India fellow Soumya Jain and his group of 13 teachers had taken up the initiative. The Dancing with Tigers team chose this school because it is closely connected to the youth.

In Pune, there are 330 PMC Grade schools and only 25 of them provide education till standard X.

With the rest of the municipal schools teaching up to only seventh grade, the dropout rate is too high. The entire batch that visited the public school were inspired by the students’ energy and dedication. The atmosphere in the school was infectious.

The way the classrooms were laid out, each room dedicated to a subject, while the children move around only pushed the students to work harder for raising the fund. “We were informed that arranging for the books was not a big problem as was providing for expensive sports equipment and that is what these funds will be used for. It will be a great way to challenge the students outdoors too,”
 Jhunjhunwala said.

The youngsters raised about Rs 35,000 by selling the refreshing mint drink called MoGo (Mint on the Go!). Each bottle that served about 20 to 22 glasses was sold for Rs 250. Their cost of making each bottle was Rs 70 and so the profit on each bottle was Rs180.

Every batch of Dancing with Tigers raises funds at different levels. Participants of previous batches have sold lemonade and fruit salads at joggers’ parks around the city and have even conducted a self-confidence workshop for underprivileged kids. After his course at IIM Ahmedabad, Jhunjhunwala worked for a while at a regular corporate job with IBM and gave that up to start business with his mother Ruby who is an artist.

They set up a ceramic products business called ADIPA, which is presently run by his mother and wife. “The objective of mentoring programme Dancing with Tigers is to empower the youth with self-belief,” he said.

Originally published on The Golden Sparrow