We are so glad to present you the first ever episode of Parmarth OFFstage- the offstage story of Muskaan, our Cloth distribution event. 'Muskaan' will narrate it in her own words.


How are you all? I am Muskaan. Do you remember me? You have seen me many times, especially on my birthdays. Are you wondering, why am I saying birthdays and not birthday? Ohho, it's simply because my birthday is celebrated twice a year. I am just four year and eight month old now, but I have celebrated 9 of my birthdays😊. Do you still not getting me?Remember, last time you have seen me on more than 500 faces at the main gate of IET, when you were sharing your old but useful clothes to the poor and needy. Yesss!! I am that Muskaan, which you have seen on faces of those poor slum dwellers when they were receiving the beautiful clothes of yours.

Muskaan 9.0 : Latest cloth distribution event in which clothes were shared with more than 500 needy faces

What a pleasant day that was. There was happiness all around, people from nearby slums were gathering on college gate to receive their gifts from my golden hearted bhaiyaa and didi, who have donated their belongings just to celebrate my birthday and to see me on the needy faces. You people are real gems, who have donated their own clothes so that someone can utilise them. Not all of you were there at that time, but I can tell you, they were so happy when they received the clothes that you have donated with most noble intention. I was on their faces, but there was someone else, whom you can't see, and he was 'Blessing', in their hearts for all of you. That's the most beautiful way, I can imagine, of celebrating mine birthday.

I feel so blessed in me, that I do have lot of kind hearted bhaiyaa and didi, like you. That was not so long time ago, when I was born. I can still remember that day, most vividly. That was month of November, and that November was really a chilly month and more cold months were ahead. That was a fine Sunday evening and the date was 22 November 2015. Some months ago, I was not born yet, but, there was someone who has taken birth on 06 September 2015, yes, that was परमार्थ, your own social club, the social club of IET Lucknow. परमार्थ was spreading light of education in the dark slum, but the slum was cold too and the slum dwellers were helpless. But, the kind hearted torchbearers of IET, my first bhaiyaa and didi, decided to spread me in their dark and cold world. My first ever birth celebration was done in the 'Madiyaon Slum', a slum near IET campus. That was the day I first opened my eyes, and I remember the whole celebration, clearly. There were nearly 70 people from that slum on my first ever celebration, which later increased many folds in my later birthdays. The faces I still remember most vividly, some were young, some were old, some men, some women, some were rickshaw puller, some were landless labour, some were housemaids, some were beggars, but you know what was common in all of them, a glare of getting good useful cloth, and me, Muskaan, on their faces. They were ready to face the upcoming winters.

Muskaan 1.0 : the first ever muskaan event , 22 Nov 2015
Muskaan 1.0 : My first ever birth celebration, you can see me on the faces

My next birthday was celebrated on April 2016, 5 months after my birth, in the summers.So, can you tell me now, why my birthday is celebrated twice a year? Yes, you guessed it right, my birthday is celebrated twice, once in winters and once in summers, so that needy persons can get clothes according to the season.

Muskaan 2.0 : The summer edition of my birth

Now, many people, umm, more than 500 , gather every time on my birthday and rejoice me, when they receive the clothes. But, do you know, how the whole celebration is prepared? Let me tell you, as I accompany my bhaiyaa-didi, from the very starting of the preparations. The preparation starts with the announcement that they were going to celebrate my birthday in upcoming days, so that my other bhaiyaa and didi can collect their old useful clothes and belongings, from their home and neighborhood and can bring it to college so that it can reach to people in need. Then, some of my bhaiyaa and didi, whom people often refer as volunteers, collect all those clothes from each room of each hostel. It is not a easy job, they usually do it after the dinner time, so that everyone can be found in their room. All bhaiyaa-didi of the college welcome volunteers, whole heartedly and handover the clothes, for my birthday celebration. It take nearly a week, as there are many hostels and many rooms and many golden hearted bhaiyaa and didi. The volunteer bhaiyaa-didi also collect clothes from the faculty colony and nearby societies. It is more difficult, as their day got consumed only in informing faculties and society members that they are going to celebrate my birthday, so they need their old useful clothes. Next day, they again visit each doorstep and collect the clothes. So this whole collection process takes about two weeks. Collecting clothes is only the half work done. They transport all bundles to one of the hostel, as per convenience. They gather all collected clothes in a big room, which my hosteller bhaiyaa-didi call it as Common Hall. The piles of collected clothes seem like small mountains of clothes.

Cloth Collection : The piles of collected clothes in common hall

But bhaiyaa-didi are not done yet, they have to sort all the clothes. It take many hours or even couple of days to sort all the collected clothes. The clothes are sorted on basis of their type, that is, if they are to be worn by male or female, or by young or old, or by kid or adult, or by size of cloth, whether it is small, medium, large or extra large.

Sorting process: Common hall of D block
Sorting process in A block's Common Hall

After this whole sorting process, the mountain of clothes, have now been arranged separately along with their similar friends. The sorted clothes are then packed in bags and are labelled accordingly, so they can conveniently distribute them to the needy and everyone can get their exact pair.

The sorted clothes
Similar clothes are packed in bags

Till now, the preparations are almost done and now its time to celebrate my birthday. A day is decided by them and required permissions are taken from administration of college. A day before the event, the nearby slum dwellers are informed of my birthday and are invited to take their share.

On the day of my birthday, that my bhaiyaa-didi call by my name, that is Muskaan, Cloth distribution event is organised. It is organised usually in the evening, like everyone else birthday and also because slum dwellers are free in evening, they have to work in the morning, na. Bhaiyaa-didi transport all the bag of clothes from the hostel to the event, beforehand. They also decorate the event, with all type of clothes.

Transporting the bundles of thousands of clothes to the venue

It looks so beautiful, thousands of clothes are arranged on the event, in a systematic manner and my bhaiyaa-didi on one side of that arrangement, so that they can help slum dwellers in finding their pair.

My bhaiyaa didi to celebrate my birthday before the guests arrive

When the clock's tick tick strike right time, the guests start entering the event and are welcomed by my bhaiyaa-didi. They were directed to point where they can find their pair, they search best fit for them, and take it with them. Do you know, how they wish me birthday? They wish me by their face, when their was a wide Muskaan, when they find their perfect fit. They have blessings for all my bhaiyaa and didi, and obviously for me too. It's so pleasant, seeing them smiling, happy and cheerful. I can be seen also on my bhaiyaa and didi faces, as happiness of sharing and making someone else happy is more than anything in the world. I feel so proud, when I find myself on the faces there. If this pandemic is not there, then I must have been celebrating my 10th birthday with all of you. But due to the pandemic, my bhaiyaa-didi can't make it this time, but we will surely celebrate my next birthday with much more excitement and with much more happy faces.

Your Muskaan

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