In this age where students decide their paths of career based not on their passion but on the speculation of the lucrative job offers they would get at the end of their course, Gagan Gupta a teenager who has just entered college shares his experience of teaching poor kids .This also gives us an opportunity to explore why is it needed for a youth of today to be a part of, ‘contributing to the society’
Since I was small, I have been hearing and reading a lot of bad, unfair stuff happening around the world such as recent gunning of innocent people in Norway. Sometimes, I let it enter it though one ear and bid it goodbye from another ear. Sometimes, I ponder over the Ultimate question “Why??” and eventually… let it go. Sometimes, my soul refuses to accept the unjust and I pound the table with my fist “Something has to be done!!!” But again confronted by the question, “What can I do??” or send a false justification to myself “I will do it when I grow up…” All the while, my heart shrinking and the real me disappointed in me.
Now that I have entered a college, an opportunity is being provided to me in the name of a NGO, “Prayaas”. Prayaas, as the word implies, is an effort by our student fraternity to bring some sunshine into the life of under-privileged kids whose Life is overcast by dark clouds of scarce resources, lack of opportunities, insufficient knowledge …
As a volunteer, I teach some kids elementary knowledge and It’s a wonderful feel. You would be astounded by the eagerness of the children to learn. They tug your shirt and ask you to check their note books, and not allow you to go unless you have given some homework. These children have also given some wonderful stage performances. Apart from everything, it’s a lot of fun doing this. You get to experience what it like is to be on the other side of the bench. You delve into the psychology of children. How they should be taught, how to keep the class in control?? It’s the CHANCE for the “change” we have often-talked-about-but-rarely-acted.
‘I don’t have time.’ Or ‘I don’t have energy.’ Yep, contributing 1 hour from 168 hours (a week) is really impossible for us. One word: RIDICULOUS and if our youth lacks energy, I am sorry for the future of our nation.
Also, many of us think what’s the point in teaching these kids ABCDs or addition-vagerha blah, blah?? Its not like they are going to become world leaders or get a job in a MNC. BUT believe it or not, its going to bring a change, even maybe substantial, maybe even to a small percentage of class. But yes, its going to be a change. We would, actually, be inching towards our dream of seeing India educated. Plus, you never know, after all, Mr. Kalam, the Missile Man of India, came from an underprivileged background… Rethink.
Moreover, even if we are convinced that no impact can be made through this gesture. The question arises of ‘our initiative’. Are we really willing to reach out to people need in our assistance? Are we going to allow, for once, the human barricaded inside us to come out and help another fellow human beings, especially children? Are we willing to give them a chance which they have always been denied? Our act or no-act will, certainly, decide and shape the Life of children.
Prayaas is not perfect, not something straight out of a movie. There are kids who pay no attention and try to disturb the class. There are children who throw paper planes, picks-up fights, rubs the board and don’t obey any single word. But amidst all this chaos, I am looking for HOPE and its what that is fuelling me right now… A HOPE, A CHANCE…
– Gagan Gupta