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Childrens Day Special

We all search or thrive for happiness but did we search anytime for the joy of life. This happens just sometime and that is only when you see or witness selflessness.  This, I got to experience at this school at Kittanahalli Anganwadi in Magadi District. Kittanahalli is 10 km from Magadi and Magadi is around 25 km from Bangalore.
This was one such day at this amazing school and awesome children from standard 1st to 7th. We all have been to school of different infrastructure and status but if incase you get an opportunity; do embrace yourself if you can visit Anganwadi school run by Govt.
I opted for this event as I really wanted to go and do something that is not for myself.
This event was collaborative team effort from both Students of Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and BTC members. Nazreen (IISc) & Gaurav ( BTC) were the organizer.

Me and Praveen reached IISc at Yestwantpur at around 7:30 am, which was BTC meeting point. Being in IISc campus was highlight of the day. I could see few already Known BTCian Gaurav , Ritu , Geeta, Anil.

The school chosen were from Jalahali, Magadi and Chikbanvara. And each area were divided equally among 3 groups comprising of IISc and BTC. Each group had 3 subgroups as in M1 ,M2 and M3. M1 was Magadi with three school each located around 4-5 km or less from each other.
We memorized our place infact noted in our mobile. The group at Kittanhali had 7 member – BTC member Praveen, Prince, Nayan, me and  and two were IISc member.
There was stationary and other material like chart papers, pencil, colors arranged for school kids by IISc.

We reached the school at around 10 am almost late by an hour and after speaking to the school management we were allowed to do conduct the activity but with a request to wrap by 11:20 am. Saturday is half day. Hardly one hour in hand we distributed the stationary and allotted two of us 2 standards  combine into one room. I and Praveen got 3-4 standard. I have been with kids but this was my testing time as I had arrived late and the kid’s needs to be put to ease when start something and we had no time. The teachers at the school helped to combine the class as we distributed the stationary and activity material. The activity me and Praveen choose was Greeting cards and Best of Waste. Well the best of waste was not done at all as we didn’t have waste materials. So with chart papers and color materials, we both entered the classroom. They greeted us and that chorus of “good morning Sir /Miss” gave me shivers. There were 33 girls and boys altogether from standard 3 and 4th. I had presumed that this will be 2-3 student interaction and activity coordination but I was on test and even Praveen. After their greeting I and Praveen was looking at each other blank as in how to start. We exchanged lost looks and smiled at each other and then said let’s start. We both had no option. We quickly decided to have three children in a group and provide them chart papers to make greeting cards. So we started to speak and there came another blank look from the children and few confusingly nodding heads and others wondering what are we saying. We were speaking the national non mother tongue language to India – English.  I always was proud to say it doesn’t matter how many different state language we have and we don’t understand all but we have English to rescue us. I stood like a wooden antique piece for 2 min. we both tried with hands and face expression. Praveen was also trying his best and that time the school teacher walked in and gave same instruction in Kannada to form group of 3 each and also explained as in what these children has to do with chart papers and left. I could see same dropped faces with smiles. It was like you blow bubbles out of soap water. That was relieving. They just rushed down on floor and sat in 3 round group in just 5 minutes. This room is just 600 sq feet and there are 5 long benches and whatever was walkable space was all adjusted to sit down. I was observing how they managed the 3 ring formation and sat one behind another. The floor was all dust and no tiles. Heart melts down but I guess that’s how they learn from the bare minimum. Few days before, my niece who is four year old and is in affluent school didn’t get down the school bus as there was mud poodle. She demanded to be carried.
We both quickly cut and folded the chart papers and shared it along with pencil, sketch pens and crayons. I thought they will start as explained to them by their teacher. We had kept the chart papers and yet they all were looking at us. I knew I had to make them do. I started to draw something on each paper and made them believe it’s the best drawing they have seenJ. Once they got idea as in what to do, they all poured their skills in. And then there was chaos and excitement that only ended by 11:20.  I thought that there would be lot of tearing and pulling and crying on chart papers as three people were involved to do on one greeting. But no I only found them using their space on the chart .I could see the excellent team work.  At the disperse assembly I learnt their claps and they had around 4 kinds of clap. Pls do watch the videos, you would be amazed. And of course there was a group picture in the school premises to capture these memories.
As this school, activity got over early we managed to sneak in to the other school and here I could see more skilled children and talent. Their participation was amazing. One of the highlight was the Skit. We had two amazing skit - on cleanliness and there was usual teacher and student interaction. We all in the room could not stop laughing. That untiring spontaneity that we see in these kids is more contagious. They just pulled me out of daily routine and left me with many things to learn.
I thank IISc and BTC to arrange this event. And to add it all, to let me again sit on the wooden bench ( without the pink slip) . After years I saw black board, the chalk smell, the huge window that took me to my classroom where often I would look out to see my convent school church bell.

And thanks Praveen to take me as his pillion and the whole amazing people (BTC and IISc) who added lots of smiles and laughter to everyone.

Written By      : Sunitha Nair
Organized By  : Gaurav Kammath
Date of event : 15th Nov 2014
Place              : Bangalore
Pictures          : BTC FB Page
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