My First Day at UPAY Sikendarpur Center, Gurugram
It was my first day of visit to the Sikendarpur Center, a day just after I had landed back from Europe.
The approach to the Center and the place itself was nowhere near my imagination of a school. The approach road to the Center gave a rural look which was in sharp contrast with the urban set up of the adjoining sector road. The makeshift school was actually a premise of a small temple in the area.
When I first reached there I saw a bunch of children (about 40 of them) in age group 6-12 years sitting on a mat and busy with their stuff. I was slightly surprised to see the engagement of these kids, well some of them, with their work on a hot summer afternoon when the temperatures were soaring to 40 degree Celsius.
Now this was the turning point of my mindset- I thought I am here to guide and inspire the kids but here I was getting inspired by the will power of this youngsters.
As soon as I got there, I thought I will have a round of introduction before I start with my “teaching” but to my surprise I saw the kids flocking around me all wanting to have the attention and getting their works checked. They were keen to have next tasks.
With this to and fro with different kiddos I didn’t realise its already 90 mins I have been here. Its then I realised there were already two more adults (my co volunteers) in the “Class”. Reena mam , the teacher at Center, announced it is time for closure of the class. The kids were all excited with the announcement and were raring to go back home. Its then some “teacher like” commands from Reena mam came in handy. She commanded the kids to form queues for the closing prayer. It was a task to have the kids organised specially the ones like Raju who was full of energy. But it was Reena mam knowing the trick and having Raju as one of the head kids to lead the prayer ritual. I was impressed
with the maturity of few girls who exercised command on younger kids and brought a complete order in the class. The day was culminated with the National Anthem.
Here I was at the end of first day and was already looking forward to the next day to be here.
– Lavitra Garg