We create our own working – we are Amable!!!

Sharing our journey at O-campus of “sense of belongingness”.

First month was to just know our needs and soon the pink house became a place of dumped things. The house did not have any shelves, cupboard or any racks. The house has two small bedrooms (smaller than spring) and one hall as big as jungle.

As a group, we took break from sessions and spend the WHOLE WEEK in sorting our place and make it ready for use. For us understanding our responsibility and managing out own space was as important as taking sessions of each module. We bought four open racks, around 50 bags and one closed cupboard to keep our clothes.

We put 200 hooks in the house,

Everything was sorted and kept in bags and hanged. kids jokingly call this house “hanging house”. Every time we talk about shifting the O-campus, kids remind “we have to take our hooks”. EACH thing in the house found it place. Even junk was sorted (boxes, boards, ropes……..and EACH bag was labelled.

The criteria for our kitchen was “even a stranger should be able to come and cook and not ask for any help: where is this?”.

All resources were labelled and the criteria was that everyone should be able to find the resources (including Samarth who is 2yrs old). Any time any resource is added, this is shared with all the kids and then respective leaders keep them in place – this way ALL the kids are aware of the resources and whereabouts. All the works related to session are done by all of us including sorting, cleaning and disposing the trash after the sessions. No one issues books to us in the library – If we need any book we just simply write in the note book and ensure that we bring it back. No one sorts our library books – we read, we keep it back and we take care of the place. Manji akka does weekly dusting for us on Fridays. If we need any material for the session, we make it ourselves, we use various material – this is part of our learning. When our cycles need repair, we call uncle and work with him – no one takes our cycles to repair shop and get it done for us. If we need shampoo/oil/ cream/ paste for my personal use, I just write in the list, whosoever is going to the market buys for us. We get money from the home and pay back. We manage our own accounts.

If any resources are over we write in a book and are taken care by Aditi and Namrata to source/ buy/ bring. Food leaders not only make menu, but also check the grocery too and no dependency on Manji akka to serve us or arrange grocery for us.

We have fixed timings for meals and we all eat together and clean after the meals. Manji akka does not clean our dining area or supply us any cutlery. Every Friday Manji Akka just washes our clothes. We fold our clothes, keep them in our places and iron ourselves. In our toilet we do not have any running tap – we follow a simple rule “after we use the toilet, ensure water is filled up for the next user”. No one cleans our toilets – we clean it ourselves, if it is dirty after use, we just clean it and leave toilet clean for others – If anyone forgets, others remind and demand clean toliet -:). We boil our own water in the chulha and the wood is collected by us – no dependency on anyone to source wood for us.

When we go to O-campus, we do all our chores ourselves including fetching water for our trees. People at site are not to serve us in any which way. We manage our own tools, material and needs.

What does all this means to us? And why I am sharing this all with you?


This brings a HUGE sense of belongingness, community participation and ownership by kids and adults around.

Back home, this experience makes me humble. My dependency on caretaker is reduced and makes me AMABLE ! I am no more stressed when my helper does not show up for days. I know, we as a family is capable of doing our own chores with joy! This is something which I lost in the process of “busy” life style. I lost touch with my own chores and my kids unknowingly became slave of this system. As a family, we all spend time together at home cooking, cleaning, sorting, playing and planning together.

Every small twig is collected by villagers, sorted and kept with “sahajata” – I am touched with the simplicity and respect for the material in village homes around me.