Monday, 16 May 2016

Social Reconstructivism

Taking the initiative further to the slums of Village Tikri, DoaR started another Action Group in Sector 48.  Starting out with a group of around 30 children from the neighbouring slums, we observed that only 3 of those had been currently going to school. Many of these children had been going to schools in their home states but unfortunately, due to their parents relocating in search of better means of making a living; these kids have been reluctantly forced to give up on education.
The two day weekend session started on a fine note on Saturday with identification of the children and further subdivision into groups based on their current knowledge levels. Unsurprisingly, majority of the kids here were ones who were at the basic ABCD and numbers level. The kids showed an active interest in trying to learn and the little push was enough motivation for them to turn up in numbers on Sunday. The children were given sheets to draw and a number of them showed creative promise with some pretty vibrant and colourful drawings.
 However, Sunday’s class was marred a bit when a couple of the residents of Vipul World (location of the park near the slum in Sector 48, came in not to join in or commend the work, but rather to question us as to who had authorized us to take up such sessions in the park. DoaR had already contacted Vipul’s coordinators through previous landowners but the fellows at hand persisted. Finally with an effort to come to an agreement, it was mutually decided that we would be using a small park-sort of a clearing, adjacent to the beautifully maintained park, from now on.
Such altercations come before such non-profit organizations every now and then. A number of well off citizens, though good at heart, seldom tend to forget that these under privileged children are still but children who deserved to be treated without any discriminations, based on things like their social status or in some cases religion, which at their tender age, isn’t really under their control. When we tried to reiterate the fact that it was only a two hour thing, one of the visiting gentlemen said that we teach them inside the slums only, as the kids spend 22 hours in the dusty, unhygienic slums anyway. No matter however logical this answer seems, such a statement is in no way justified. These kids, even if sons and daughters of immigrant urban helpers and day-wagers belonging to the lowest strata of our so called ‘rich’ society deserve their right to education.
We were also warned that the residents, in the ‘welfare of the society, can get the whole premises fenced up. Isn’t the good of this lowest section of domestic help and their families included in this welfare?  The ones who taking care of our daily insignificant errands enable us to achieve much greater things in our lives. And moreover, the fact that we were allotted a place through their right next to the park takes the so-called issue of security right away. It can be comfortably said that, through the gradual privilege and comfort endowed, no matter due to one’s own hard work, sometimes makes a man completely ignorant to issues that he might support on a bigger scale.
We, in our own right have been trying to pursue a course of action that enables this significant section of the so called future of the country to achieve its true potential and not extinguish, rather unaware of the world they were blessed to be a part of. Negative approaches like these might hinder the process but it does nothing but further fuels the cause and strengthens the belief that no matter how open minded and intellectual our learned class of the citizens, the social divide still remains strong. There is sure a need for willing hands, looking beyond the doors of their homes, trying to achieve a greater collective good. No matter how much of a difference little steps make, we are proud to be a part of this philosophy.

Writer- Chitresh  Sehgal
Chitresh is an editor in a web based magazine.