For one week, from the April 17 to 30th of April, the noise levels had increased considerably in Floor Two of Infosys Sholinganallur. Every now and then, kids could be seen darting from one place to another, probably disturbing several employees there. I was one of those kids.
Earlier, students of Class 8 from various schools across the city came to this same campus to write a test based on math and logic. Close to three-hundred students took the test. Based on their scores, forty-five among them were chosen to attend a workshop on basic software development. All this was part of Infosys´ inspiring Catch Them Young (CTY for short) programme, which completed its 12th year in 2008.
This project is also undertaken in other cities like Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mangalore, Mysore, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram. Another exam was conducted at the end of the enriching two week programme. Two kids were selected to go on a further course to do other interesting projects.
On the bright sunny morning of April 17, we, the selected students and our parents assembled at the venue by nine O’ clock. We were given a briefing on what we would be taught in the following two weeks. Once that was done, we were taken to our classroom, and our parents were taken on a tour around the campus.
Infosys´ large sprawling campus itself was a treat far greater than we imagined. This along with the professional teaching and the warm friendly atmosphere there made our stay at Infosys more than just memorable – it made it unforgettable! We made it a point to enjoy every micro second of our stay at Infosys and were determined to explore every nook and corner of the campus, moving noisily at top speed. As Mr. Sivasubramaniam, Education and Research would comment later at the closing ceremony, ¨we brought life to Infosys, and wherever we went, happiness went with us. We were seen running from here to there… Maybe even jogging sometimes, but never walking or slouching.¨
Our sessions at Infosys were taught by volunteers who didn´t mind laying aside their precious time for us. These volunteers taught us extremely well, and treated us more like friends than students. They were most kind to us. We were provided with tea and snacks twice a day. And the lunch was brilliant too. It had a mixture of North and South Indian cuisine. We were allowed to buy food from the canteen too. Dominos Pizza was one of the favourites. Transport was taken care of by the management. We were picked up at the landmarks closest to our houses and taken to Infosys in five different vans. We were dropped at home after our day at Infosys concluded at 5 pm
Towards the end of our programme, we took a tough theory exam and an even tougher practical exam. The practical exam was based on Visual Basic and MS Access. Shreyas and Ramprashanth did the best and were selected to go for the second and more advanced course.
On the last day we had a closing ceremony where we students and the many volunteers were given certificates. We left for home the last time that evening, with heavy hearts. We had an enriching and educating time at Infosys. Not only did we learn a bunch of new stuff, we also made lots of new friends and had a tremendous amount of fun.