Thursday 12 September 2013


Surya Pahal from G D Goenka World School, Gurgaon sharing his experience

I set off for on my Residential Project in the wee hours of the morning, enduring a 6-hour drive to Rajasthan. Getting away from the blaring horns of the city to the silence of the wilderness was just the beginning of it all. At the end of the tedious drive we reached the village school by midday, and, as curious as I was to go around and see the place, the drive forced me to hit the sack. The next day I took the first session with school kids and they were probably the most enthusiastic children I had ever seen. Also undeniably the most energetic and ready to learn, and although the classes may not have been state of the art, the kids definitely were! It felt so fulfilling to help and interact with these children who were so eager to learn. 

It was easy to get along with them: to start with, we showed the children a PowerPoint presentation on the origin and significance of the popular Hindu festival of colour, Holi, which the kids really enjoyed. Following this we distributed stationery to the children as prizes for a quiz on general knowledge, for which the kids seemed very well prepared. Then we helped the children make 'thank you; cards for the people who donated stationery to their school, and the kids proved to be quite creative. 

On the second day the focus was on team building and bonding so we played a few games outside in teams and soon enough the children had completely drained my energy. The five days of the IAYP residential project not only gave me a chance to meet a bunch of brilliant children but with that it helped me to understand and communicate with younger kids, as well as taught me how to survive outside the city.
I feel that the Award has influenced me in a profound manner and, in a broad sense, has allowed me to extend and engage my knowledge and intellect and pursue interests which have enriched my life. Service to the community taught me to enjoy and value other cultures and to not make assumptions about people simply because of their socio-economic disposition. Working together with a community that has a different culture and lifestyle to my own has opened my mind to different perspectives and helped me develop new skills.

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