Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle.
And the life of that candle would not be shortened.
It’s been months now since my first Community Connect visit to one of the two small village schools of Majara Kath and Pratap Singh Pura adopted by NU; but the deplorable conditions of the school and the dispirited education provided to the students there, still disconcerts me.
What came as a respite after seeing such reprehensible learning conditions provided to those few who did actually manage to come to school, was their never-failing, ever-increasing belief in the idea of gaining the most they could. Their sheer zeal to learn took me by surprise, impelling me to give them the best I could.
In the weekly visits to these schools, we had almost an hour long sessions with our mentees. Before my first session of Community Connect, I was deep in thought, wondering how best to utilise that one hour so that my mentee actually benefits from the session. After making sure my mentee was quite comfortable, I helped him with his maths, which he was relatively good at. Learning to communicate in English, which almost no student there is well versed with, is what Tejaram aimed at.
Tejaram, my first mentee, spoke to me of his hardships; him being the only male in the family and having to collect wood in the morning and collect water, being responsible for the marriage of his two sisters which required him to look for a job. He also expressed his major concern ofunavailability of electricity at night because of which he could not study after completion of the daily chores. But still, trying!
Some sessions were planned for the kids to come and visit the campus; look around the place and choose a sport each which they wish to learn. It helped them get a lot of exposure and probably a motivation for many to study hard and be able to join a similar establishment once they grow up.
Through my various interactions with my mentee’s, I realised that not only are the students there very bright minded and hard working, but they realise the importance of educating themselves and are working on it. Even if little, these sessions with the mentors have made a difference. It is certainly a good way to help and educate those in whose hands lies the future of our country.
P.S. There’s hope and we can make a difference.
Ishita Jindal, BTech 1st year