Children are like blotting paper, wherever they go, they absorb what is around them. Having been associated with children from different walks of life for the past 4 – 5 years as a friend and a mentor at the Nilgiri Library; conducting storytelling sessions and craft classes, I have been able to tap into the imagination and talent of these little geniuses with ease. So it was undoubtedly with great interest that I welcomed the opportunity to work with under privileged children who were from in and around Ooty, through Siragugal.
Well, to be frank, at the onset, I was a little apprehensive about my inability to communicate in the local language, i.e., Tamil. But as I am a positive thinker, I gave myself this opportunity to learn the language from these kids itself and in return teach them communicative English. Overall this seemed to be a perfect arrangement.
I soon realised that these children were much wealthier than we were; as they are street smart, aware and alert about their surroundings, have views about many things and have loving natures with no inhibitions and with no strings attached unlike the other affluent people around.
I also came to understand from the other members of Siragugal that in order for the children to comprehend and start using English as their language of communication, their interest needed to be piqued through games and activities.
That is how it all started – a beautiful relationship of teaching and learning. It has been a very rewarding, entertaining and satisfactory journey so far. The small positive changes in the way they talk, the way they behave and the way they interact with others brought about by the understanding of the etiquette of this world makes us proud of the way we have been able to reach out to these children one step at a time.
For me, Siragugal has become a way of life which I look forward to everyday. I’m really grateful to my friends, Dr. Sheila and Sapna for introducing me to this wonderful platform and of course, to Kalyani aunty for welcoming me into her fold with open arms.
I just hope and wish that the children are as happy to be part of what I teach as I’m in learning from them.
Roopa is one of those wonderful people who will be there if she says she will be there. One doesn’t have to cross check. Although she joined us fairly recently, she has fitted in perfectly. But then anything executed by Roopa is always perfect. We are so proud and happy to have this committed member of Siragugal with us.