“Accha laga ki bahar se bhi hamare liye log aaye hue hai. Itni care karte sab. Sab chuttiyo me bhi hume padha rahe”, (It feels nice that even out-stationed people have come for us. They care for us. Even in their holidays so many were teaching us), said the supposed troublemaker of seventh standard, Aditya.
For a moment it seemed it was too big a thing coming from this little kid’s mouth but that genuine smile melted everything else away. He appreciated not only the people who came from different places but all those dedicated seniors who were putting their utmost effort in making everything about the class interesting. When asked about his dreams, “Policeman banna hai. Papa Mummy ka naam roshan karna hai.”(I want to be a Policeman. I want to make my parents proud.) He told us that he would be able to do so if he understands instead of just reading. Not only this but he told us how it is applicable in subjects like Science and Maths where mugging up is never the answer. “Read, Understand and Learn” is the new ideology for him. And he swears never to forget that!
And then we had the shy Umika from standard 8th who would want to become an IPS Officer and model all at once. It seems at some point in future we can proudly say- “She was our student!” We asked her about how these classes have helped her. With a wild gesture, she says, “Maths to aisa hi tha”, (Maths was like that) but now since learning through activities has made it interesting; she understands it better. And perhaps, it is not “like that” any more. These classes had been particularly helpful in clearing some of the concepts which were initially confusing. The thing she liked most about these classes were the interactions that took place. The student volunteers enthusiastically participate in the activities along with the learners which made it exciting for both. It became relatively hard to forget after getting involved in it practically, which is very true for all. Anurag, her classmate too feels the same way, summing it all up in “Mast” (Amazing) with a toothed grin on his face.
This was just a pilot project. Amateur interns, unsure children and just four core members to supervise around 80 people. These 40-50 children with close to no inclination towards learning. What did we do except for making perhaps more than half of them develop a purpose? We made a difference, maybe not the sensational kind but we did. These kids who might have given up on a particular subject, we showed it not be that hard after all. For that, we got smiles and “thank you’s” and those were more than enough. This small motivation might just lead them to greater places. This was a platform to encourage the undirected souls to a better tomorrow. This wasn’t just a pilot project after all!