Wanted volunteers - saturday morning -

Thursday, February 28, 2008

HAL Museum visit

23rd Feb 08, 11:40 to 16:20, Chalghatta school kids.

Second year in running for the 7th kids. The big difference was the volunteers. Last time, tons of people had turned up, but this time, it was just me! A reflection on my marketing skills ?? The teachers had other chores, and they left the 32 kids to me. 26 girls & 6 boyz. And soon, after their mid day meal, we marched along the wind tunnel road, passed a choclate to each, and we walked merrily, as we walked along the bridge across the gutter, I felt like a pied-piper. No wonder, as we descended the bridge, the HM stood there, waiting for us, saying she would also like to join. Ok! with her retirement in a week, guess she wanted to take no chances!!

We first checked out the galleries - itz all 'bout HAL history - threw some pointers here & there, kids asked quite a few questions, and took them out of the gallery quick before they got exhausted. Kids seemed more disciplined than last time. I could handle most of them as a group.

Next scene, at the cockpit, a simulator, the kids watched as the fighter tookoff, turned left-right based on the instructor's joy-stick, and soon crashed!! Some kids had to lifted onto my shoulders to view the happenings. Guess, itz major pain if you are short, and the tall ones crowd in front.

Next scene, was at the...observatory....where U get to see the run way......kids just lazed around happily as we waited for the flights.

And then, we went to audio-visual centre, where a movie on the Kuwait war was shown.....with the role of aircrafts being depicted......it was a well made documentary....and kids were glued.

Then the aircrafts came in to picture....had explained earlier 'bout how they fly....wings...rudder..propellor etc etc.....and some of them remembered it.....It was fun for them to see the real machines...touch them...look into the cock pit etc etc

The sight of flowers in the garden, mango trees, made them swarm towards it. Luckily, the security guard, an old man, gave one good look, and kept quite. With minimal damage I took the kids away, and got them to the fish pond......again helter-skelter......they just loved it.

After some biscuits, and choclates, we started back....guess...it was good to see the kids who grew up watching the planes take-off- & land so close to their homes...get a first hand feel of it.

Bus back, HM went home, and we walked back on wind-tunnel road. It wasn't a hot day, and soon all of us got treated with a vanilla ice-cream. Most kids handled choclate wrappers, ice-cream cups well.

Soon...it was the bridge across the gutter....as we walked over it...the kids started calling a girl in the gutter..'Roopa...Roopa...Roopa...'...I looked across and found two small girls rag-picking in the gutter. Thats a big gutter that cuts into the airport, guess goes under the runway, come out & feeds to the Bellandur lake. So, here were these two little girls, around 10 years, walking on the debris of the gutter. Both were wearing pretty clothes. The kinds I would like any little girl to wear to a wedding. And, they were busy looking into the amased debris, & pulling out useful stuff.

'Roopa...Roopa..' continued...the kids gushed....'Saar...shez from our school.....was in 5th std......and now has dropped out'.....................Roopa looked up, became conscious of the peering heads, and just kept to her rag-picking. I wanted to have a chat with her....calling her failed......so I decided to get close to the gutter....the kids followed enmass....and soon....after convincing her I just wanted to talk to her...she came over climbing the sides of the gutter.

A shy little girl, had the dried up black sewage mud plastered all over. Her brother was in the gutter at some distance. Conflicting replies came from her & the students. No father...mother is a sweeper, mother wants her to study..she is not interested....she is interested....but they need money at home etc etc. Decided to speak to her mother to get her to school from next year. The other girl with her, was younger, and as I called her to come over, she simply ran into the waters away from us. The kids gasped...'Uncle, see how shez running in the gutter'

We walked back to the school. The kids for a while, kept talking of their friend in the gutter......and soon as their homes and school came close....they ran...with big leaps....and joy on their faces.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

IDay at Bellur Nagasandra School

In this academic year, this was my first visit to the school. But the recognition and pleasure of the chlidren at seeing their dear "aunty" was instant.

The festivities began with the children walking the area carrying a Gandhiji photo and to the accompaniment of the drums beating.

The mood just got more festive when the children were back at school. They all danced to their hearts content to the beats of the solo drum.

Finally they settled down, wondering what all the fuss was about (especially the anganwadi kids - they were so lost that they looked cute... )

This was followed by ample poojas of Gandhiji and Nehru, a rendition of Vande Mataram (Akash still thinks its a torture to his kids, but my kids dont seem to think so ;-) ), the flag hoisting and finally the rendition of the national anthem.

Shekhar, one of the two teachers at the school for the last 13 years, has been transferred from school to the main BEO office in K.R. Puram. There was a tear-filled felicitation ceremony for Shekhar and it is sad to see him go..

The day ended with chocolates for the children, and that had the children overjoyed. But yesterday also got me thinking. Is this education going to improve the lives of these children in anyway? If not, what are we achieving from this whole drill of making them mug to pass exams? Are these children going to grow up to be daily-wage labourers with children studying in this very same school? Are their grand-children going to have a better standard of living, better food, better infrastructure?

60 years under the national flag, and we still have so many open questions. Is there anything we can do to answer any of them?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

6th std Math test

These tests were conducted by Nagrathna who has been predominantly handling the 6th std batch, and Chetna. Good info for us to follow up, as these kids move to 7th std soon.