LIFE - COLORES INFINITUM (2)
Rahul, Amit, Priyanka and Sumit (names changed) - they leave their make-shift houses for the guest house of the Doon University every evening. They carry their schoolbags with them. They find the place under the street light on the corner of the guest house playground a comfortable place to sit and study. They find their tutors there, welcoming and smiling. Young academic staff of the university, some of them voluntarily began this. They undertook the responsibility to help these children in their school education.
Rahul and Amit are 10; Priyanka is 9 while Sumit is 11. There are others to company these four. Probably they would turn up in a while. They are children of the labourers and masons who have been given temporary houses to stay inside the Doon University premises as infrastructure development work is a long-term assignment for this newly established university, an ambitious project of the Uttarakhand government.
These questions were part of conversation with these four kids. It was so pleasant to talk to them, to be part of their aspirations, to learn from their confidence, to smile on their smile.
Why do you come here to study – is it because of ample light here? (Just to begin the conversation)
No. Even our houses have electricity connection. We love to come here as elders take our classes. They help us solve our homework.
That is good. Which classes are you in?
I, Rahul and Sumit are in 4th standard and Priyanka is in 3rd standard. (Amit says)
Which school you are enrolled in?
They tell the name a government primary school near to the university campus. They also say they hate the mid-day meal that is served there.
But, here people are playing badminton and other games. Doesn’t it distract you?
No. We are here for studies first as the teaching quality in school is vey poor. Once we complete the study and if we are lucky (if it is not too late), we, too, can try our hands on it. (Smiling)
It seems you all love your studies as evident by your commitment. What do you want to be in life?
Rahul, Amit and Priyanka say doctor while Sumit says IAS officer. (This innocent hope has to be preserved.)
Rahul, Amit, Priyanka and Sumit know very well that they cannot afford quality education and so try to grab every such opportunity which helps them in their studies. In such a tender age, when kids need to be spoilt for choices, they understand they do no have options. Their teachers do not teach in schools. They cannot afford private tuition.
They understand the economic condition of their parents and know they have to give them comfortable life ahead. They realize the commitment of their parents when they say they do not go for work like some other children of their age. They feel happy to tell their parents what they studied after they wind up their class under the street light.
And above all they realize they can move to scale up their lives only through proper education. When they talk of their future, they sum up and magnify the courage of every moment that they are building on to have their day and say in life. They might come from the ‘have-nots’ but they tell us the truth of life that most of the ‘haves’ never realize – hope, dream and be honest to give your all to dominate the life.
दिल है छोटा सा, छोटी सी आशा
मस्ती भरे मन की, भोली सी आशा
चाँद तारों को छूने की आशा
आसमानों में उड़ने की आशा
Standing ovation kids J J
LIFE - COLORES INFINITUM: A column on my blog to share real time stories of real characters – stories that colour life – give it a meaning – give it a thought – without making any visible attempt – without seeking any reason – without seeking any change – they are here to tell the tale – after all, WE ALL ARE STORIES WAITING TO BE TOLD – and we may be our very own special audience. J