I am on a journey since early 2012, a journey of teaching along the banks of Ganges. I spend early mornings with the prathmik vidyalayas along the ganges doing workshops with the primary kids. Setting them free from rote learning for that day.
No agenda, no report.
One objective :- teach kids, the way they should be taught.
Its very simple in Ganga belt. Teachers and principal are simpletons, and for them “guest is always welcome”. Not one school has ever been rude. They have all been welcoming and warm(so far at least). There is no squabble of NGOs that this is my prathmik vidyalaya, you cannot enter, go find a approval from so and so officer. Very accommodating and open to teach their kids. I have met some exceptional principals, especially the lady principal at Gauspur village. In some school the village pradhan is very closely involved, so much so that even the mid day meal is monitored by him.
In these schools i just land up and do what i do best – teach! Being on an no agenda trip to schools is not understood by a single soul. Without funding and for no organisation, explaining that has become very difficult.
No strings attached from where this journey is initiated.
Some perpetual questions that people have is, – this one day that i spend with the children how will that benefit me and how will it be used? There are no strings, is a difficult one to explain
Some regular questions asked are?
“kaun se vibhag se hain?”
“Sponsored Project hai kya?”
“Kisi NGO se hain kya?”
“Koi Research kya hai?”
Many a times they have forced me to think, should this endeavour be as free-wheeling as it is should i add a written structure to it, should i involve few organisations? Don’t want to loose the beauty of being into the wild – free and uninhibited to do what i think is best and should be done. So, no to all those shackles.
Have also met some old hag principals, who are stuck in their heads forever. I have been misunderstood for being an undercover for a certain office and invigilating schools etc… but mostly i have received love and given love. 99% times I haven’t been send back.
In the process i have realised how small i am. the teachers who fall in love with what i do, need help, need help in terms of these books, tools that i use to make their classrooms alive !!!! i have no funds ! i wonder if i could leave the teachers with a self help teacher kit to take this “thought” forward