Newsletter Issue 24: Yr 20-21
5 Feb 2021
I know but believe me when I say this was the most interesting week of our recent past. Read on and you will know why…:)
The hot agenda since the last time has been playing video games at the centre. Facilitators pulled a brave face but had butterflies in their stomachs. What if they overrule? We started the meeting by describing our needs for this change in the LC rules. After everyone expressed, it was concluded that out of the 14 kids, 12 were against playing video games at the centre. Few expressed that they get enough time to play at home. Few admitted that they don’t have self control and it should be completely banned. Some kids were unsure about what to say. But most of them wanted to watch youtube videos of players playing the games. However the issue still remains unresolved and will continue next week.
कर के सीखॊ
This time’s session was to make hanging and table lamps. Few kids continued from wherever they had stopped last week. Many started afresh. The team had come with concentrated acetone and we had collected glass bottles. Rest I am sure kids told you all that happened. It was a very peculiar experiment of chemistry. The glass bottles were broken, painted and lighted!! We hope they adorn a corner of your house.
7 am as promised, kids all arrived at the ground (even though 15 mins late and some even later!!). The team of 5 coaches were at the ground by 6.45 am and had demarcated and reserved a space for us. Early in the morning one might wonder what’s the need for this. But the ground looked like a carnival. Women, kids and elderly of all age groups, playing all kinds of games. For a moment I felt like I arrived at the mela quite late. Once kids arrived we started with a warm up and the kids were split in groups of three according to their age. They were shown how to defend, hit and ball. We hope you saw the pictures we sent on the WA group.
It was moved to Thursday to support the hungry stomachs after coaching. Everyone was told to bring supplies to make sandwiches. The planning was spot on, nothing was inadequate or excessive. The boys still continued to play cricket after coming back and girls gathered together to wash, cut and organise the sandwiches. This act even though subconsciously has disappointed us. Though fully willingly the girls picked up the task of sandwich making and the boys have unknowingly went by their business of playing. This shows the deep seated gender stratifications of our homes and our society. We can consider all of us very aware, unbiased and open minded, but do our actions speak our minds? Are we equal contributors and equal in partnerships? It is a good opportunity to reflect and introspect.
Back roll, back flip, head stand, handstand, cartwheel, jump roll, tiger leap, shark and turtle. Wonder what these things are? They are the names of a few stunts our kids are learning at the gymnastics session. By the way the invitation for parents to join these sessions in the morning is still open….:)
Meeting at the मंत्रालय
This was the crowning glory of our week's activities. One of our board members, Premjibhai introduced us to a friend of his, who has now taken upon himself to get our centre some kind of government recognition. He has been working to set up a meeting for the past several months. So yesterday we met with the Additional Chief Secretary of Education, Govt. of Maharashtra, who is a senior IAS officer. She was very curious about alternative education and was very glad to meet us. She heard our queries/requests with a lot of sincerity which we think is an attribute of her personality rather than the issue that was discussed. We also met another senior IAS officer who was equally humble and generous. We were surprised to know he had already done the homework and discussed some ideas for policy changes under the Ministry of Education.
We don't know where this will lead us. But one thing is for sure, my stereotypical notion of sarkari babus has now completely changed after this meeting.
Leaving you with a thought for pondering. If we want our kids to grow in an equal and inclusive society, fighting or preaching may not help. We have to mean it and live it.
Let us know what you think…
Until next week!