So the story began with reviewing and reflecting in the month of May.We realized that it’s time start working on neighbourhood relationship. We planned to reach out to them through our collective skills of the community.
Thsi year, last week of September was dedicated for that. Due to some or other commitments this again got sidelined and there was no attention to this event. When we announced on Monday, we were open for any dates. Two kids Spidee and Advik with Leela took it up as part of their neighbourhood walk and with determination they worked on the whole event. They began with writing notice to announce the event and to write notice they needed to understand the purpose behind this event.
Then began the search for venue, dates and time. After inquiring with few people from neighborhood they decided on one village but later came to know that many kids in that village were not available due to exams. They did not give up, they inquired in next village. This time to not take any chance they decided to physically visit the village and see the place and talk to people. They walked to nearby village, 2kms from campus, and met people. This gave them confidence with place and organizing.
Initially other kids were lost ‘ what stall to put up‘. Spidee marketed the event and connected with individuals and encouraged them to put learning stalls. He could convince 8–10 people within community to put up stall. Yashas joined this team as outdoor coordinator and chalked out our schedule and coordinated with Varsha as kitchen manager to arrange for meals in time. We needed breakfast at 7:30 to reach village early and get kids before they go out to play.Vidya (a parent) appeared as an angel, eager to cook for us till 11 on the night to provide breakfast at 7 in the morning.
All set to go. All collected their resources for stalls and began this unique journey of coming out their own inhibitions and taking steps to meet neighbourhood children.They all walked 3kms to reach the venue and after initial inhibition from both sides, we all were soon into various activities. We all carried different experience a began a new journey at Aarohi.
- Dhrupad who put magic stall shared ‘I was feeling quiteexcitedwhen I was opening the stall. Kids started coming and were curious. I felt good they like the stall. When they were fiddling I didn’t like it. I want to put more stalls.
- Shiva who put up butterfly catching stall shared ‘In the beginning I thought I can catch many butterflies, but here no butterflies. I got some blocks to play. Many kids came to stall. When I showed butterfly in the book they ran away. They said I will find butterflies in the farm. It was new. I was confused with language.
- Twesha says – I thought I will do lot of craft but I was tired and hungry. I didn’t like when they wanted to take my craft and I snatched from them. When I was energetic they did not come. When I was hungry and tired many came.
- Sneha Says – I am busy don’t disturb me.
- Skanda says – I never thought they like art so much. Nice creativity they had. Sometimes they asked for help, sometimes they did by self. I didn’t know they will come to art stall. I thought they will all go to other’s stall.
- Prtyaksh who decided to partner with Yashas to play football shared ‘I don’t know how to train them’.
- Varsha picked up 1000 piece puzzle and some other smaller puzzle to do with them. She herself did this for the first time. She shared ‘it was nice to open my stall. Initially no one came then many came. First I thought I don’t their language, but it easy to see how they tell and I tell them’.
- Advay was busy playing with different children of all ages.
- Krishna says I observed others conducting stalls.
- Arsalan. who put up book reading session shared ‘ I observed they were more into physical activities’.
- Yashas who put up footbsll session shared ‘ I thought they would like outdoor, but they more into puzzles. Painting, book reading. After I started playing by self, some kids joined’.
- Leela watched joy around.
- Ally shared ‘I never thought I will get the opportunity to do this work. They were all interested. All my drawing cards got over.
- Nandini Who put up paper craft stall shared ‘I never thought of doing this. Initially confused, after coming here no confusion, just got into the work.’
- Sahil initially confused what to teach, sharing ‘when I came, here I got many ideas. Clicking and observing how they were involved and happiness was of achieving’.
- Advik, sharing ‘initiallynonecame. Later many came. I had shortage of material’.
- Pratyaksh…initially none came, later we formed a tiny team and experienced a little rough football and I was dumbstruck’.
- Spidee, I am sort of used to it. Initially soft voice didn’t work, later rough tone worked.’.
- Sam shared, ‘when I opened my stall none came, later many came and I managed resources’.
- ImagineAarohi, a life education, where learning happens because children want to learn from their life – for their life.