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Lavanya Bahuguna


Classroom on Wheels: When They Learned Answering ‘What’s Your Name?’

  • JWB Post
  •  November 2, 2015


We can’t tell you how happy our team is contributing our little something towards the betterment of city’s slum kids.

We take classes at the Jyoti Nagar Kacchi Basti where we already had about 40 children waiting for us from the previous class. It was so nice to have Teacher Saurabh Parmar and Volunteer Saloni Jain accompanying us! To manage this little bunch of naughtiness, we decided to divide them into two groups – one who are a little regular with schools and other who never got to visit one.

Lesson 1: How to respond to ‘What is your name?’

When we asked ‘How do you react when someone asks your name’, most of them smiled through the little gaps created by their fallen teeth. Saurabh explained patiently, “You need to tell your name when people come to you and ask about you. This is the first thing you should do to introduce yourself.” He then pointed towards a little girl with sun-tanned hair. “Do you like your name”, he asked. She looked away in shyness and nodded her head. She replied after few more seconds, “Gudiya”.

Saurabh told them to not shy away from telling their names, “When someone says ‘What is your name’, tell them ‘My name is Gudiya’. Okay?”

Soon after this, the kids stood up one after another telling their respective names aloud. That was one sweet moment for all of us! As they got comfortable with the phrase, we distributed animals’ masks to make this activity funnier! That also helped them remember animals’ names.

Lesson 2:

Saurabh later continued teaching them a little about addition and subtraction. We’re surprised to meet this boy called Pawan who was rather quick solving most of the questions. And we shouldn’t forget to mention the notorious Bittu who tried to copy his answers.

Lesson 3: A story with a morale.

Saloni went ahead to narrate them a story of a man who would always lie about a lion attacking his cattle. Every time people would turn up to help him, he laughed making their fun. One day when the lion actually attacked his flock and he cried for help, nobody came thinking he was again making a fool out of them. Saloni told the kids how important it is for them to not lie about anything to anyone else ‘you will never have people to help’.

Listening to which we saw few kids scratching their heads as if thinking about all the lies they had ever told their parents. Their ‘hooligan’ faces looked super adorable. We think they’ve got their lesson.

Lesson 4: How to wash your hands and why it is important.

Dr. Sudhir Sharma of JWB took along few blank sheets for this particular class. He wanted the kids to learn the basic hygiene act. He distributed the sheets among them asking to imprint their hands on the sheet using a pencil. Once done, he talked about how this very hand of theirs is used in both while playing, in toilets and during meals. Explaining about the invisible dangerous germs, he asked them to draw many objects they touch during a day inside their hand drawing. He explained: “When you play, germ stick to your hands. If you don’t wash them, you will eat them while having food. These germs give your stomach ache and make you vomit the food. Do you want that?”

With their mouth open and curiosity filled in eyes, the kids listened to him attentively.

As a solution, he distributed antiseptic soaps to each one of them and exhibited the right way to wash hands, saying, “Apply soap all around your palms and rub on both the sides. Never forget the nails; they hide maximum number of germs.” Seeing him, some kids joined and started washing their hands with the newly-acquired soaps.

Watching these little ones understand what we are trying to teach gives us a certain kind of satisfaction. To keep reminding them of these lessons, we’ve planned to visit this particular slum every alternate day of the week – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. If you want to support us, write at , or drop a message on our . You can also call us at 09649904511. Read all about our project ‘Classroom on Wheels’ here.

Note: Winter is almost here! To save the underprivileged people from the bitter cold, donate old winter-wear clothes to us. Thank you, Jaipur!

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