Subtle changes leading the way

“I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside”-
Whitney Houston

“I don’t want to go to a school that has no air-conditioners and where people don’t speak English”, daughter of one of my family acquaintances was incessantly reiterating in the front seat of the car while her parents discussed competent schools of Gorakhpur. Her sentences did amaze me a little, however, I did not find them echoing in my head till I was standing in front of Savitri Devi School. Located near a residential construction site, it is run in a rental building with no “air-conditioners”. It is the outcome of an initiative taken by a group of young people of my village who feel education is a key step in bringing social change.

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I was talking to one of my colleagues about NoteBook Drive (NBD) initiative of Indian Institute of Science, who mentioned about NBD groups going to rural parts of Banglore and meeting students and parents. The main objective of this practice is to bring academic and social awareness. My colleague mentioned that these sessions bring them a great sense of happiness as they find rural folks open to educating their children irrespective of their gender or any financial restraints. I believe, my experience while meeting the school children of my village infers the same feeling. I remember when I was at that age, the only perspective of people around me had; to bring-up girl child into a well-trained/cultured “बहुॅ” (daughter-in-law) ready to be given away to a protector and caretaker (पति-देव!!! the husband). Whereas a boy had to be brought-up “masculine” i.e. fight, earn and protect (Phew…too much pressure). But to my delight, during my interaction with these kids, I didn’t come across any such ludicrous beliefs being told to them. They are being raised as individuals, to take-up anything coming their way. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction to put these subtle changes paving their way through my village into words. Continue reading “Subtle changes leading the way”

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Hostel-Life

Preparing for the unforgettable phase of life with Dr. Surbhi Goyal

Lost in a reverie while going through old pictures of my undergraduate studies I realised a lurking fact that a big part of those memories belongs to “hostel-life” unlike the life in IISc where its “Lab-life”. Standing in arduous early morning long bathroom queues, 3 a.m. maggi cooking, crowding a friend’s room for watching horror movies, mid-night birthday celebrations and my personal favourite; full packed TV hall watching India vs “any team” and cheering the team in blue, filled with sweet-sour memories hostel-life is an unforgettable phase which every student goes through once in his/her life. Home is sweet but hostel is independence and amusement, a place to watch, observe, learn and evolve. Dr. Surbhi Goyal writes in her book Hostel-Life – A to Z of Life@Hostel, “When one enters hostel, one is just like the pearl coming out of the oyster. This is almost like a new birth because now one is independent  and must decide for himself/herself.” Continue reading “Hostel-Life”