Saturday, 13 October 2007

Community Development Programme (CDP)

Baba Gyani Triviani believes in the following:
"The brightness of a lamp does not diminish by lighting another "

One day, a teacher in our college comes to our class and we all suddenly become silent - we recognised the teacher, she was the one who had asked us many difficult questions in our viva voce in the previous semester, and we were wondering why she had come to our class. Then she started speaking, "There are a large number of schools that do not have the facilities to teach their students properly and make them understand, and most of these schools are government schools. Here, the students come from a poor background, and since the standard of education in these schools is also low, they end up suffering. So, our college is taking an initiative to teach students of such schools the basics and fundamentals of science, which may seem trivial to us now, but something that they are struggling to understand. So, we have started something known as 'Community Development Programme' where we teach these students whatever they want to know, and what they have to know."

We were all interested, most of us have always nurtured this desire to do something for the poor and needy, and this seemed to be a great opportunity and portal for us to put out our abilities. We immediately registered for it. And thus started our journey, a journey where the end result was neither money nor name or fame, but immense satisfaction. At the end, we were all so very happy looking at the smiles on their faces, that itself was more precious to us that vaults of money.

The challenging part of the programme was their inability to follow English, and our inability to speak Kannada so fluently and at the same time incorporate all technical words too! However some of our friends were very well versed in Kannada and thus, a list of all words and their equivalent translations was made and copies were distributed amongst us. We made presentations, models, and organised it very well. But the main backbone of the whole operation was that teacher who we used to think was very strict - She was so sweet and warm, and she managed everything so efficiently, that our respect for her increased hundred times. We hadn't known her before (except at the viva voce...)

The kids were very innocent, they were much brighter than what we had expected, and it was really nice to see their astonished faces when they saw chemicals changing colours, or lights glowing. Something elementary for us, something really amazing for them. One of my friends asked a boy, "What are the different types of salt?" And he innocently replied, "kallu uppu and pudi uppu (Rock salt and powdered salt used for cooking)" And then he was told about calcium carbonate, chloride, barium salts etc.....

So, next time you get a chance to do something like this, don't let go of it. It'll take a little time of your very busy life, but in the end, it'll be definitely worth it

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