I went to Pavement School 2 today (the one outside the ICICI branch on Link road, Goregaon) and came back very happy. It was so good to be welcomed by open smiles and bright eyes; it took only a few minutes to get friendly. I suspect I was having more fun than them in helping them where they got stuck and just watching them do the lessons. I am already on first name basis with at least 7 of them!Including Prince who asked me if I am the same Prachi who comes on TV and is now in movies :) (Ms Desai would be surprised at how popular she is!)
There were around 70 students today and everyone seemed to be paying attention to their subjects. The three teachers had divided the class into three by making them face in different directions and taking up three subjects. Given the number of students it was being managed very well with each student being given problems and lessons as per the age. We do really have a wide age band with the youngest Kashish looking about 3 and the eldest ones in 8th std.
Along with snacks the children were also given calcium supplements which is great! One girl had fever and the teacher told me that there's a Doc nearby who checks them and gives medicines free of charge.
I had my friend and her two daughters with me - she has been wanting to get involved so came along to meet the students today. Her younger daughter mixed with the kids and had a good time while her driver - Pandeyji gave a Hindi alphabet lesson to a young student who had written in all wrong in her notebook. She is planning to give the school a water container - like a cool keg or something so that we can place drinking water, right now a few of them carry their own bottles.
I also got to meet Mr. Nadar and he told me about the picnic he and Priyanka are planning. Priyanka, do tell when is it and may be even I can join the kids :) Also, I will try and talk to a friend who is holding summer camp craft classes at her home if she can do a craft session with the children here.
I do need to say this for the record - Priyanka, Kiran and everyone who made this happen, its just great and I'm so proud! We came back with the widest grins on our faces :)
Here are a few pictures I took with my phone cam.