Monthly Archives: March 2012

Prayaas-The Eye Opener…

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Some people pass through your life and disappear into mere oblivion,you never think about them.Some you think about and wonder whatever happened to them.Yet,once in a while someone comes along and leaves an indelible mark on your heart,they are the ones who find a place in the sanctum sanctorum of your heart.Recently, I had the pleasant experience of meeting some people who have unassumingly found their place in my heart.

 “Prayaas-Let dreams not die”,that single phrase still rings in my mind.About two weeks ago there was the orientation and we were formally introduced to the orgainisation which is making an effort to preserve dreams of the poor,providing the underprivileged an incentive to rise above their squalid and marginalized existence.For those of us who have relative plenty,in comparison  to the unfortunate,little do we realise the things we take for granted,little do we reflect upon the plethora of opportunities and chances that we squander away.For the past two weeks this realisation has dawned upon me that we are in someways collectively responsible for the deprivation of the underprivileged,it is on their want that our plenitude thrives and it is their sacrifices which give us the lifestyle that we lead and aspire for.Thus,we tread upon their dreams and sometimes even quash them without even realising that dreams are priceless.

 My first day at Prayaas,got to say was a bit tensed never been in a class before where I had to play the role of the teacher,how will the children receive me?how will they interact?Will they accept me or shout me down?How will I control the class? these were the various thoughts which had clouded my mind and I entered the classroom muddled with all such inhibitions.But once I entered the room all the inhibitions were wiped away as they cried out in unison “Goodevening sir”,the warm welcome that I received was like a zephyr after a sultry day.With a sigh of relief I started my first class,the topic to be covered was counting I had to teach the kids to count numbers from 1 to 100 a pretty tough job.Nevertheless we were upto the challenge after twenty minutes in the hour long class I had achieved some degree of success,while realizing the complexities of the task before me.Their innocent faces, their hungry hollow eyes gleaming with a ray of hope, their tattered and unkempt clothing made me realise how fortunate I indeed was.Whenever I stroll around the class and check their notebooks their naive words like “Sir Good dijiye, sir very good”, “Sir mujhe kaam dijiye karne ke liye” always resonate in my mind how can one not help loving these souls.By the end of the first class I had partially accomplished my mission,I had taught the kids to count from 1 to 20.

So the bond was established the minute I entered into that modest classroom I knew I belonged there, though their cacophony can at times cross the decibel levels but still I knew there was no other place on earth where I would want to be.I don’t know what attracted me there,was it the children, the ambience or the beatings of my conscience,but one thing is for sure it felt right being there.From that day onwards I went to Prayaas atleast 4 days a week.I felt an inner sense of satisfaction, a kind of serenity teaching the kids.

 Then came one of the biggest days in the prayaas calendar the Republic day  celebration organised in the Kendriya Vidyalaya campus.It was a kind of a “megashow” with the congregation of 300 children and the presence of our teachers.The children danced and played,sang the national anthem,it was really heartening to see a smile on their faces and I felt somehow that I had contributed in my own small way in  establishing that smile.And soon Prayaas became a daily affair for me,I knew it was meant for me and so I put all my sincerest efforts in teaching these kids the basics of Maths and English.

Even today when I think about Prayaas my heart is filled with gratitude towards its founder Puneet Vijay sir for establishing this organisantion to bring about a radical change in society,his efforts are really laudable.I would also like to thank my seniors for their tireless efforts in creating an ambience of learning and fostering growth in this erstwhile institution,especially Gagan sir who has been the driving force behind my entry.Slowly and slowly,brick by brick we are meeting our goal because Prayaas is not only about education and providing wings to dreams but it is a prelude to changing the basic mindset of people when they say that poverty is not their problem and its none of their concern.They fail to realise that they are the cause themselves and hence realising this one should do their own small bit in changing their fate.Thus, at the end of the day we will be judged by all that we can give and do for others and not by what we get.Keeping these hallowed words in mind I would like to call upon more volunteers to this cause and believe that this cause is greater than ourselves.I have volunteered for this cause because I know there is nothing more stronger than the heart of a volunteer and in times of despair it gives me hope that we may lose this battle but we will win the war.

Rupak Chakraborty

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