Monthly Archives: September 2013

Life Changing Experience- Ashu’s Day 1 at Shlok

Happiness… Hope…Fun…Learning… some of my experiences when I stepped into the classroom with Meghna. It did not seem that she had met with the kids just twice earlier. The kids were excited and were openly discussing with Meghna. I could sense that the kids were motivated – they not just had the need to learn, but also the want…

While Meghna had to leave during the mid-day meal, I could spend more time with the kids. The headmaster entered our classroom and it was very nice of him to address the kids and talk to them about the importance of communicating in English. The fact that each kid was certain that they shall not become a wage labor when they grow up made me realize that the headmaster had a genuine interest in the welfare of the kids.

From the previous experience I’ve had while teaching kids, these kids were no different. Each one of them had the will to learn, to perform, the attitude of helping their classmate, and most importantly – they were all naughty and fun loving. Meghna had discussed with each kid earlier about their aspiration. Some wanted to be teachers, one wanted to become a software engineer and work at Manyata J , some wanted to be doctors, and most boys like I had planned during my childhood – wanted to be policemen.

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I remember having heard a speech by Mike Johnston, a Teach For America Alumnus. Quoting him, “There are just two things we should offer to children – Truth and Hope. Hope without truth is fantasy and truth without hope is failure. It’s only through the both of those that you are actually see what’s possible”

With the hope that together we can make a little difference in the world, (as quoted by Ashwin Natrajan), and the truth that education needs a lot of help from people willing to make a difference, I will be looking forward to working with the volunteers at Shlok and would love to see the little difference we all would make in the near future.

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SHLOK launches its North Bangalore chapter

After two and half months of trial and error I was able to finally step into a Government school, just 10 steps away from my house. I was so excited to start my first day interacting with the kids I met a week ago. All of this has been feasible thanks to SHLOK and its concept of empowering local communities in making a change.

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But let me tell you that this was not so easy to think and start. It took a couple of weeks and perseverance for me to reach that first moment of glory. Just my love towards kids and teaching as a passion motivated me to keep going. Do take a read about what some of our other volunteers have experienced as a part of SHLOK’s journey: http://shlokorg.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/awesome-saturdays/

And I must say, I am really glad I did it, however there were certain challenges / roadblocks around the way. But barring those I think the journey became swift as I could see the smiling faces of kids while they bid me bye bye on Saturday Aug 31,2013. Sigh! What an experience…

The Head Master Mr.Hari Prasad of Government School very near to Manyatha Tech park (a blessing in disguise) is a very wonderful person. He greeted me with positive energy and then introduced me to the class full of kids belonging to Class 4 & 5. He then requested me to take charge for whatever time / duration I wanted to be with those kids. WOW!!! I was amazed at the trust and responsibility- he entrusted on me.

And there goes what if’ questions series running in through my mind, What if, these kids do not respond to what I say, what if they just run away after they see their Head master leave the class, what if this and what if not. Well, I had to stop pondering and handle the class.

We primarily introduced and greeted each other, which was an ice-breaker. And then here I went asking them a few questions about how they would look at future, or rather what would they want to be when they grow up. I felt that they were extremely excited in answering my questions and responded in full vigor. Some wanted to be police officer, some doctors, and some teachers and then the list went on and on for all the 15 kids in that class.

Just to increase their curiosity I asked them about body parts, which I had to explain to them in sign language and to a few in the local language. They say when you teach you learn more and that is a fact and I would vouch for it.

Kids were looking for more FUN so I decided to play some games with them; we divided the group into two. I played a quiz master by asking those names of week, flowers, fruits, colors, alphabets. And kids responded and though it was a game they enjoyed it too, also there were rewards for the group who won. Infect everyone was given a candy, which made the moment more satisfying for the kids.

I am happy to make this move and I am pretty sure many more lovely moments await me while I become a constant visitor to this school… many more stories to come in future… remain tuned in to SHLOK’s happenings in North Bangalore as we take our initiative into uncharted territories and new government schools across Bangalore.

Thanks

Meghna