What Others Are Reading

Sep 20, 2013


            Today I accompanied one of my fellow mates to a school that he assists with, since I was a little bored to go to one of the schools I am assigned to (We work with government schools in backward areas, about which I will hopefully post very soon in detail, so don’t fret about the details!). It is a typical Indian sarkari(government) school, set in the urban side of the district, but with a twist.
            The students who barely manage to attend classes are kids of rag-pickers, beggars and homeless community of that area. Having spoken to quite a few teachers, officials, community – members, and so on, about the children, I got to hear a load of character traits about the little learners of this backward community.
The kids colouring away, while I watch on (I'm in green)
            They steal! They curse! They are violent! and what not. I walked into the class to see curious little faces (I assume curious, for all I know they couldn’t care less about my foreign entry). I sat in a corner as I observed the little kids be just that – little kids. A lot of glances and a few hesitant smiles later I was sitting with them on the floor talking about colours and trees and cows and basically everything their minds ran towards.
            I gave each one a fresh piece of paper, opened up my new box of colours and gave them the permission to pick any crayon they wished. They had a lot of creative juices flowing on to the piece of paper for about an hour, when finally it was time for lunch. They left, giving me their creations to eat the food that comes from the government food distribution centres (Most of the kids here get just that meal in the entire day!). Guess how many crayons out of the fifteen I had, were left in my case?
            All of them! Not a single kid stole a crayon, tore up the paper or misbehaved with me. All of them were kids, just like any other kid I’ve met in all the schools I’ve been too. I just trusted them and welcomed them with an open and prejudice – free mind. I only wonder why this is so hard to do for so many of us adults!

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