Monday, 29 October 2012

The road so far..


The road so far..

I am an ordinary 23 year old with extraordinary ambitions
Well, I am not that actually. I am an ordinary 24 years old (just about to reach there!) with ordinary dreams, or so I believe. I had thought of penning this down on the 1st of November as that’s when I turn exactly a month old at Edulever but as an afterthought, I decided to do it right away. I never really had a flair for writing/blogging. This is going to be my first-ever blog entry! Having forayed into the world of ‘Content Writing’, I am all set to embrace this world! As a student, ‘Humanities’ was the obvious choice for me without a shadow of doubt since ‘Mathematics’ and ‘Science’ were the two subjects I dreaded and loathed the most! It’s a different story that the more I ran from them, the more they ran after me, be it in the form of statistics, quantitative research or even some bit of calculations in Economics! That was also the time when ‘Humanities’ started to regain its lost pride and respect as people started treating it more ‘humanely’ rather than just a stream reserved for the underachievers or the black sheep in the family! So, sending your kids to study ‘Humanities’ was no longer considered infradig.
11th came in as a breath of fresh air! I was now in my comfort zone insulated from any pressures of studying subjects I never liked! I could muster up all the pride and confidence to say I topped my class (yes, it was a class of 15 students!). Like any other kid my age, I was confused about what to opt for in graduation. I knew what I did not want but I did not know what I want! Sociology it was. Having never studied sociology in school, it was an entirely different subject for me. It was the most preferred choice in my group so I went for it. 3 years down the line, I was a fresh graduate. This time, I was self-sure. I wanted to study societies, people, attitudes, behaviours but most of all, I wanted to ‘do something for the society’. I liked to be pro-active. So if I see a rickshaw wallah being beaten up, I would instantly jump to his rescue. I would get irked and immerse myself in deep thoughts as I could not fathom how men could be comfortably seated on a seat reserved for ladies or how people could not willfully, without any provocation offer a seat to an elderly. I saw myself as a savior in such situations and a torchbearer of justice, marching my way to glory in protests and rebelling whenever the need arose even if that meant just jumping on the bandwagon! I had to channelize my energies and passion in the right direction. Social work led me towards it.
Pursuing a Masters in Social Work also gave me the privilege of getting to understand and answer intriguing and deep questions. Please sample some. ‘Oh beta, aap social work kar rahe hain? hum bhi toh karte hain. hafte mein ek baar jaate hain aur garib bachchon ko padhake aate hain’, ‘Achha social work karne ke liye degree ki zaroorat hai kya?’. It would be worthwhile also to mention our politician turned (pseudo) social worker!
Post graduation was a mixed bag of fun and learning- a total roller coaster ride. I attribute all my learning to my fieldwork experiences that gave me a taste of what it takes to be a ‘social worker’. I landed myself a job with Pratham where I worked for a year. I developed curriculum for Government Primary School children and went around participating and conducting trainings. The ground realities shook me hard when I visited government primary schools, so many of them in shambles. I was here to witness today what I had only read about in magazines and newspapers till yesterday - the plight of these schools and the fate of children studying in these schools. Small kids languishing in classrooms, sweeping toilets when they should be studying, preparing chai for ‘Sirji and Madamji’ while the teachers bask in the glory of the winter sun. The disgruntled teachers also deserve a mention here. I did not want to tar everyone with the same brush but every second school that I visited painted a grim picture of ignorance and apathy. My individual experiences, I knew, were just the tip of the iceberg. I felt helpless as I stood there and watched the beaming faces, twinkling eyes of the kids, each one of them a powerhouse of talent and energies, waiting to be harnessed. So blissfully ignorant they were of their realities!
What can I do to improve their situation? This was the question that kept spinning in my mind.
I was an empowered 21st century individual, yet so disempowered from within. Writing rhymes and stories for the children and even more, observing a class in action singing along the same rhymes so very cheerfully and delightedly and listening to the same stories so intently made me appreciate my work. But I longed for more. I had to expand my horizon. I had to try.
I wanted more contentment and less monotony. I was seeking change and there I saw it, in Edulever. I was determined to work in the education sector and as I was looking out for options for more than 2 months, I browsed the internet for information on organizations working in the field of education. Nowhere did I seem to come across Edulever. Then one fine morning, while I had logged into my profile on Facebook, I just stumbled upon the profile of a junior from Delhi School of Social Work. That’s where Edulever featured. The name said it all. I looked up Edulever’s website and wondered ‘how could I miss this one?!’
‘We make classrooms happier’. This was my instant connection with Edulever.
Without an iota of exaggeration, I can say that I am slowly but surely inching towards my goal of helping create happy learning environments. It is the emphasis on quality and passionate commitment that has profoundly influenced me. I am indeed privileged to be a part of this wonderful team.
I will find my feet very soon, I can say!