Wednesday, 23 April 2014

MILES OF SMILES

When we started planning our first trip to Mewat with ten students of our class, none of us really thought it would turn out to be an experience we would never forget. Now it has been a year since we started organizing our trips to Mewat. We remember Government Middle School, Mehrola as an old red building, amidst long stretches of farms located on the outskirts of urban Gurgaon.

From the very first day when we were told about the proposed programme by our Award Leader Ms. Darshna Dahiya, preparations were in full swing with lots of enthusiasm among the participating students. After a long brainstorming session, where some of us contributed ideas regarding topics that should be discussed in the class, we decided upon a few topics along with the topics given by SRF Foundation (part of the CSR wing of Sri Ram Fibres Limited) that were considered necessary for students of the school. 

Be it a cold February morning or a hot June afternoon, all of us braved the weather solely because of the sheer excitement and interest we had to teach those young students. Topics covered in our classes were:

  • Environment awareness
  • Ozone layer depletion
  • Proper sanitation
  • Cleanliness in homes

As expected, to start with, the children were a little uncomfortable and uneasy with our organized classes as only a handful of them actually responded during the time of teaching. But chocolates, jokes and a little time did the trick and we managed to involve them in our discussions which turned one-sided classes into interactive sessions with lots of participation and ideas coming in from the students' side. After a few sessions of interactive learning, the classes were not only about us narrating stories to them but also the students reciprocating with interesting facts and stories pertaining to the prevalent issues. At the end of every session, we organized a drawing & painting competition where every student participated enthusiastically; this helped them give vent to their creative ideas by drawing sketches related to the issues under discussion.

It is really interesting to see that same boys and girls who hesitated in introducing themselves a few months ago, today can stand confidently in front of the class and answer various questions we throw at them. We could actually witness the change in their body language; the students transformed from being diffident strangers in the first couple of sessions, to being animated participants during the concluding part of our Service Programme.

I am sure that none of us, nor the students of the government school, would want these sessions to end. Apart from the great exposure, these trips helped us grow as a person and develop our skills as a teacher and as a facilitator of education. Today, each one of us cherishes what we did at Government Middle School, Mehrola and also continue to think of ways in which we can help others in the near future. Needless to say, all of us who were lucky enough to be part of this IAYP Service programme feel extremely satisfied with our attempt to teach the students about different environmental and health issues. 

---This is an experience shared by Kumar Ritwik, Bronze Awardee from DPS International, Gurgaon.

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