Written by Akhilesh from ColoredCow and Glific team.
It all started when Donald Lobo announced his visit to India after the COVID situation in India had started to settle in and finally meet Team ColoredCow in their Gurgaon office in person after having worked on an open-source project named Glific for a year and a half together remotely. At that time Tehri Social Impact Sprint was still an idea when at the dinner table Lobo proposed it to Prateek Narang, CEO, and Founder of ColoredCow who agreed with open arms to host the event in their office at Tehri.
With the official announcement of the sprint through the CHINTU GUDIYA FOUNDATION blog post, Tehri Social Impact Sprint started molding into a reality with the goal to work in a collaborative environment for week-long making progress on their respective projects with their team, learning from each other’s work, sharing problems, challenges and learning with each other and potential collaborations.
Collecting the dots…
Hosting Social Impact Sprint was a mammoth task as soon the ColoredCow Tehri office would be four-time its usual occupancy in a short period. Organizing an event is simple and complicated at the same time. It usually requires doing all the things that we do usually, but on a larger scale. Like our kitchen regularly serves meals for 15 people usually, with the event we had to serve for 45. We usually travel to Tehri in a car, with the event we needed two additional vans!
To bring all this together, we started about a month back. We used simple excels to plan and keep track of our priorities. Tasks were distributed to individuals based on their skills and interests and wherever needed others pitched in and made it all work with Tushar being the lead organizer and the facilitator for the event.
Accommodation and Hospitality
Accommodation in Eco huts and THDC guest house with a window view of the beautiful lake was taken care of by Tushar, Vivek, and Shamoon.
A thorough inspection of everything a week before, ensuring everyone reached their home safely and comfortably along with surprising Sebastian on his birthday with a cake, everything went so smoothly.
On Sunday, Nov 14, the day started with Tushar leaving at 6 am in the chilly morning of Tehri to welcome guests at Dehradun Airport, while the rest of the team started preparations for welcoming them in Tehri
With 35 people from 12 organizations(ColoredCow, Dost Education, Reap Benefit, Rainmatter Foundation, Aam Digital, Avanti Fellows, Dhwani RIS, Glific, Ooloi Labs, Shelter Associates, Soft Corner, and IDInsight ) gathered together from across the globe, Tehri Sprint began.
Delicious food in nice candlelight made the 4hr hill drive from Dehradun to Tehri totally worth it
Food has been the highlight of the sprint, with a menu full of food items from across India like Dosa, Poha, Halwa, Palak Paneer, Rajma Chawal, and regional delicacies per the week-long plan of the food items handpicked by Satendra and Kuldeep.
Though Food has been taken care of by Prakashji and Sunitaji at the Tehri office but as serving food 3 times a day along with evening and morning tea starting at 7 am was a humongous task, we felt that we will be needing all the help we can get.
So, Saurabh(Lead Chef at Gurgaon Office) joined the Tehri office and stayed in the office with Prakashji for a week.
With 3 great Chefs at Tehri office, Great food was a sure guarantee but every great food requires fresh ingredients which required frequent visits to grocery shops, often 3-4 times a day by Akhilesh and Mohd Shamoon on daily basis starting at 7:30 am
One fine evening there was an authentic South-Indian feast made by Gautam Rajesh.
Every food is incomplete without the story behind it, Thanks to PK and his amazing memory who shared the background, the ingredients used, and the recipe of each food.
Tech Talks and Deep dives
With organizations working together for a week, Tech talks and Deep dives were a great place to know more about the organizations, their work, and the impact they are creating on the social sector.
It was great knowing how everyone is helping in the social sector and helping NGOs transform the lives of their beneficiaries.
Before each event, a lot of efforts were made by Gaurav and Kuldeep to test the microphones, speakers, TVs for presentation and ensure voice and video quality of the meeting for the people who are joining virtually.
Appreciation and praise are something everyone seeks from others in their work, but oftentimes the art is appreciated and the story behind the art, the journey of the artist remains unsung.
Story Club is a weekly open-mic event initiated by ColoredCow which invites these unsung heroes to share their stories about the work they are doing and how it’s impacting the lives of so many people around the world.
In the Social Sprint, Story Club was hosted by Akhilesh where Gautam, Jyoti, and Hitesh shared their story about their journey in ColoredCow.
Followed by Sheneille, Lobo, Aman, Deepansh, Abhay, Sebastian.
The climb may be tough but the view from the top is always better…
So on Thursday, we planned a 6 km uphill trek from the ColoredCow Office to a beautiful cafe (Auli Chai) in the Town of New Tehri with Akhilesh and Shamoon leading the group.
Shamoon led the people by giving false hopes of reaching there in 5 minutes whenever someone asks- “how much further to go” so that people will not lose motivation.
There was Red Bull for people who couldn’t walk anymore so they could fly there.
One could say every day was a party there in a way but still, we planned one day for a barbeque night by the lake.
The preparations started at 6 pm, two hours ahead of the party schedule by Satendra, Vivek, Mohit, Gaurav, PK, Kuldeep, and the rest of the team at ColoredCow who set up the stage and instruments, getting the lights, starting the bonfire, and bringing the place to life by creating an atmosphere of music and sharing.
Food preparation was taken care of by Prakash and Saurab with Kuldeep assisting them in paneer tikkas.
PK, Vaibhav, and Prateek started the Karaoke night and everyone started jamming with them. People sang their favorite songs and melodies under starry night by the lake enjoying great food and drinks. The warmth of the atmosphere and people surely overwhelmed the chilly night…
The party had a drinks bar with a wide variety of alcoholic beverages and cool drinks. This bar was taken care of by Gautam Rajesh and Gautam Prakash. They helped everyone and even recommended drinks according to each person’s taste.
Great drinks, delicious food, and beautiful music are surely the basic ingredients of a truly memorable evening. We end the party at midnight and let everyone save energy for Friday, the last of the trip.
Promise to meet Again
On the last day, it was like a reminiscence of the entire week with the promise to meet again soon. Looking forward to the next announcement dates
Although it was a hectic week, there were smiling faces all around.