This blog was written by Sarath S P.
I woke up early in the morning at 5 on August 7 2011 (Sunday) cursing myself. Sunday is my favorite day of the week just for the only reason that i could sleep till 12 ‘o’ clock. But today i have nominated myself for an Outreach program which hindered with my most enjoyable part of the week. I snoozed the alarm twice and at last got out of bed at 5.45.I got ready in half an hour. By the time my friend Aby was waiting for me. We rushed to MMC where joined my teammate Anand.
Anand was the person who told me about the program and he had already gone to the school once. We met the WWs coordinator Kiran and collected the books from him. Then I, Aby and Anand started our journey to Topslip in a white Tata Indica Cab. I was a bit excited as well as afraid. I had no previous experience of teaching kids and i was not sure what I will do there, this made me worried.The way in which I spoke Tamil added to my worries. I was also excited because i am visiting a new place which I heard is very beautiful.
We reached Sethumadai at 9.30 where we met Mr. Sabhapathy WWS joint secretary who joined us in our further journey. He told me that he is a regular visitor of Topslip for the past 20 years. He also complained that he had not sighted a single tiger for all these time even if it is a tiger reserve. We reached the school at about 10.30 a.m. We met the new Range Officer. He informed us that most of the students are sick, have left for their homes and will come back only on Monday. We decided to spend time with the students who were present there. There were sixteen students in total and a classroom was opened for us. All the students assembled in the class. They were of different ages. Some studied in second standard some in third some in fifth etc. But they were all very happy to see us. Sabhapathy was a familiar figure for them. He was a regular visitor to this school and was doing many things to improve the conditions of that school. I was inspired by his efforts. He greeted the children and they greeted us back. Then we invited the new range officer to start distributing the books.
Range officer distributing the books
We handed over a book to each of them. They were all delighted in getting a new book which made me think of my childhood days. I had everything that i wanted new books, new pen ,new pencil and never i was so excited about those, but always asking for those that I don’t have. But here these children are now so happy that they are getting a new book .I appreciated in my mind the effort That CTS and WWS put together for this noble purpose .Their happy faces showed how eager they waited for each visit to see all these new faces and to learn something more. Some kids in the front row called me and asked "Anna unka peru enne?”. I told them my name and asked them whether they know the names of people who visited before. I was surprised when they started saying names of people who visited them last week. This showed how much they loved these visits.
Our team member Aby distributing books
After distributing the books Anand started taking some basic mathematics for them. I realized how good a teacher Anand was .He was able to get the minds of children very fast. Soon he started becoming their favorite teacher. With his extreme patience and care for the children he taught some basic mathematics. I was amazed by the way with which he was teaching them.Then we conducted a small quiz by dividing them into two groups. We asked them to name a cricket player where all of them told 'Sachin '. This lasted for one hour. slowly I began to realize that language was not a great problem in communicating with them. I spoke to them with whatever Tamil I know and they spoke to me like a person whom they know for ages
Study Time, Anand teaching the kids
Then they told we will play some games. We joined them .Our team member Anand soon become one among them. I saw him being like a kid when he played with them, laughing making expressions. We all returned to our childhood days in each and every minute that we spend with them. By then it was time for their lunch but none was willing to go. They told they will go around 3 ‘o’ clock or even after that, All they wanted was to stay with us and make them a part of our life for some time. We played some songs for us in my laptop and asked them to dance . Initially they were shy but soon they come up and did some beautiful steps when Anand Aby offered them a chocolate . They were imitating the steps of Dhanush and were dancing so well to the steps of ‘Aadukalam.’
Back to Childhood days
By now it was getting late for them as well as us. We asked them to go for lunch. Without full mind they went. By the time we did some discussions, took the remaining books to store room, and was about to close the room they came back. We told them that we ll come next week and said goodbyes to them. At about 4 we started our journey back. Sabhapathy bid Goodbye to us at Sethumadai. I told him that I will never forget this experience in my life and I was so pleased to meet him. On my way back from there I again started thinking about the kids. Yes we have so much but we still complain about what we don’t have. They have very little yet they are very happy with whatever they have.
I regretted for cursing the day in the morning. I decided I will go to the school again if I get a chance; this is something good that I can do for myself and my society.
We can do no great things, only small things with great love...