A flag hoisted by a proud yet very questionable IndianAfter assuring my intensions very clearly (that means sitting next to her and talking for a long time) I set to visit the school I have been associated for the last five years ran by my friend cum ex-colleague Sangeetha. She is talented, well educated software professional with fine ideals towards humanity. Under the guidance of her retired father Mr.Rajappa, Sangeetha and 5 other (software professional) friends started the charitable trust called “Sai Sankalp” in 2002.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. - Nelson Mandela"
The main project of this trust is “Sai Sankalp Nursery & Primary School “located at a village named Arasankazhani near Medavakkam, Chennai. The school provides FREE, yet quality English medium education to children from economically weaker section in the nearby villages. When she told me about the project years back, I was so inspired and became a part of it since then.
When purpose is right and heart is pure, growth is inevitable. That’s what happened to this school. It started with a single thatched room with handful of students, but now it has 7 spacious class rooms, 5 teachers and 150 students (most of them are first generation learners) and teaches up to 3rd standard.
The Campus, Mr Rajappa drives his car upteen miles everyday to fetch and drop the teachersI had a fair idea what to expect when I entered the campus which was all ready to celebrate the Republic day. Right then Mr. Rajappa, who is also the principle of the school shocked me by saying I am the chief guest of the function. It was very odd sitting on the stage in front of all those children, teachers and parents.
The March fast by 3rd standard students.He spoke about my volunteer works and my association with the school, which made me further more uncomfortable. I was totally flabbergasted when I was asked to hoist the flag! I had no other choice but to raise to the occasion. Later I distributed prizes and also gave an informal speech to the students. It was very heartening to see those kids, eagerly greeting and accepting the prizes with polite “thank you sir”.
All set to go after the chocolate distributionAlthough it felt good to be doing this, I had this huge guilty feeling about being the chief guest. The real Heroes were them, for running a free school is no cake walk. Every member of the trust is taken an area to work. Sangeetha is in charge of setting the syllabus, teachers and quality of education of the school. I also had the opportunity to meet the other members and spoke about the challenges involved. While some just complain and speak about growth of India these people work silently to strengthen its back bone – the education. I believe it’s high time for such action.
Sharing, the only way to grow together.Out of three pre owned computers in the lab, only one is functional now. The library is accepting second hand children books and don’t have enough of them. Construction of 4th and 5th standard is awaiting funds. And I feel it can use a load of publicity. I am part of their “sponsor a teacher” program. I send my contribution equivalent to that of a teacher’s salary, every month. Considering the enormity of the project this is very small. But if every drop thinks small of itself there wouldn’t be ocean. I returned home with a fulfillment. This is my country and these are my people and I am proud to support them.
p.s: If you like to be associated with the school please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Sangeetha at email@example.com