Friday, April 2, 2010

Who I am...

I came in this world and don’t know the reason of my birth. The family in which I was born gave me the name, identity and at the same time imposed some of their rules and values on me. They never ask me what I want and why I want? I was born and my sex determines how my family welcomes me. If by chance I were a boy, will be lucky for me and if not then whose fault is that and why should I bear the outcome of that hate and rejection.

I will be a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, or Christian depends on the home where I took birth. I have been taught what religion you respect and what you hate but not given the right to explore my own faith. I learn the social stigmas, prejudices and values from the environment of my home. And I must accept all these without any question and personal judgments.

Going to school is the necessary duty, which is imposed on me by my parents. If I rebel I will be forcefully make that to do. Crying with fear and anxiety and asking myself why my parents are leaving me with these strange peoples but who will listen me? Everybody says its best for my future. Can anybody care what I want right now and what matters for me? What do they mean by future and what I am going to be after so many years? Anyway as I land in the grip of that fierce hands, I must know follow his rules and commands i.e. my teacher. He expects me to learn quickly, do homework on time, pass classes one by one but I even don’t know why I landed here in school and why I follow their rules? Hello! Can anybody tell me what the hell is this school and why they are teaching me so strange figures which they call by some strange names like A B C D…And numbers 1 2 3 4….
I want to shout, play as I wish and as I like to and do whatever I want but who cares for me? Where is my freedom and why I follow their rules and why I can’t do what I wish to and why I do, as they want me to do? They have more experience then me and whatever they think and choose for me is better. I Guess that’s the reason but how they guarantee me that what they choose for me is better for me and the most best?
From my childhood they decide what I wear and what not, they decide what I eat and what not, they decide where I go and where not. Can anybody let me explore all these or even discuss all this with me before they decide anything for me?

My caretakers also decide my career and my future without knowing my potential and intelligence. Projecting their own unaccomplished dreams and goals on me and want me to live a life in which they decide all for me.
My parents love me, cares for me and bear my expenses. Is because of that they are imposing their rules on me. But I am asking where is my identity and where is my freedom. Do my parents wish to live a single day of their life according to my rules.
Tehseen Haroon

My Dream or Is It my Kids Dream….

Do we understand the meaning of dream and goal? Pause for a few seconds and think how can we define dream and goal separately and what’s the difference between both of them? Goal can be defined as the target or what we have to accomplish and it’s the process by which we can accomplish our dreams i.e. what gave us a mental peace and happiness while moving ahead by doing that work. There can be various dimensions related to individual’s goal and it can be short term or long term. And after completing our one goal we strive for another but our dreams remain to some extent constant.
So many definitions and so many explanations everyone can give according to his/her own needs and understanding. But if we now understand it in the context of our kids and did it holds the similar meaning as it holds for us. Did we hold our own dreams and goals when we was in our childhood and was that really ours what we are right now or is it really somebody else’s which was projected and forced on us. And are we doing the same by projecting ours on our kids and continuing the chain, which was inherited from one generation to another. Ask yourself who is going to break this chain and when and is it necessary really to break this chain of inheritances?
Let me first explain the current trends in our country, which is widely going around us. The first and most basic career goals and dreams are based on gender bases and which are to some extent molding now but vastly its still their and most of the people is still mingled in it. The dreams and goals of boy and girl are different in our society set by their parents irrespective of capabilities. There are certain stereotypes still lingering with the gender, which direct our thoughts of their dreams and goal about girl child and the boy. The dreams and goals of parents projected on their boy are somewhat more different and high then comparison to their girl child. I sometimes think the depth of this attitude of such parents who say we never bias the gender in our family but when they only have a girl child and then they suddenly unconsciously defend themselves by saying that their favorite girl child is like my boy! Ah…what a defense and how they defend themselves that they are not biased. This thought is in itself a bias. Isn’t it? The child is a girl first give her identity in your own mind otherwise how parents themselves can project their any unaccomplished dream on her. But we never accept this bias of stronghold and say that we are not at all biased.
After the gender we project our own unaccomplished dreams on our kids without knowing their capabilities and their potentials. We just want our kids to achieve what we can’t during our own struggle. Even some parents decide before the birth of their baby that our kid will be this and that…this is such a common trend in our culture and such a grave concern is this. Another way some parents project their own dreams by emotional way by saying and making their child realize that how much we stretch ourselves for your education, how we cut our needs and desires for your education and all like this. Is it necessary to make realize the child that we have done so much for you and now what you are going to do for us in return of all that. And is it the time when we are asking him indirectly to sacrifice his own dreams and goals because we help and accomplish your every need and desire to grow up. Is it the way we want our child to be or we help and give them the freedom what they want to be?
Yet another trend which most of our culture have is the comparison. I hate the word so much because it’s so much deep-rooted in our society. First most of the parents start comparison within family between brothers, sisters and then among kiths and kins and then between the neighboring societies. The most torture and the irritating feeling a kid have in life time is this kind of comparison and the comparisons about what and why? And by all this comparison we inculcate the feeling of competition in them and which might seem good but is it the same thing which Charles Darwin explains as the survival of the fittest and are we developing the same race who will always learn how to survive without understanding the emotions and the feeling of humanity, because of which quality we are separate from rest of the animal species. Competition is important for the survival but the way we are teaching our kids to compete is affecting their lives actually. Our meaning of competition is something really typical as we create a baseline for their competition as giving the example of an individual and making that as a baseline, which s/he has to cross. And we always teach them how to compete with rest of the people and never teach or inculcate the feeling of being the best of his or her qualities or potentials whatever he or she has. Even we never try to help our kids to make them realize what quality or potential they have and we every time impose ours on them.
In every child there is a kind of potential which he/she got inherited from his parents and the environment which he get from ecology and both of them help him to develop his aptitude. And this aptitude helps the individual to choose his goals by which he can accomplish his dreams. This is the Nature Nurture conflict, which is going from many centuries, and there are so many theories, which are trying to resolve this conflict. The potential and the inheritance, which develops an individual, are very tough to understand. But most of the theories are agreeing that both equally make an impact on the development of the child. The best of this can be explained by the theory of True Mans rubber band analogy. He tries to explain it as the individual is like a rubber band. The stretching property of the rubber is like the potential genes of an individual which he got inherited and the point of stretch up to which we can stretch the rubber band is the point up to which an individual can be stretched which depend on his inherited capabilities and the force which make it to stretch is the environmental influence on the rubber band. And beyond that point if the force increase the rubber band will cut down same is the case with humans. We have to realize the potential of our kids and how much stretchable they are, and the stress and tension we are giving them and how much they needed.
But most of us are unaware about our child’s aptitude and his intelligence and irrespective of them we start projecting our failures on them and continuously we stress and project our emotions to make them realize every time that we have hope and faith on them and they have to do that for the sake of their parents. Every time we make our kids realize that we now more then you and we have a vast experience of our life and whatever we choose for them will be always right and best option. We stress our emotions and feelings on them by giving our own examples that we didn’t have such a facilities that we are giving to you and these emotional tortures might go beyond and we always expect our kids follow our dreams which are actually our commands. And we certain times also felt that our kids rebel and that’s the period when they reach the level of adolescence and during that time most of the parents are worried about the career of their children and the way we have brought them up make us like so. We pamper them that they are not able to take individual decisions and they are not able to stand still alone in the crowd of this so called competitive world.
If we see the western society where the kids are given full freedom to realize their potentials and their parents help them also for that but comparison to that we never even think of that. We are living in a competitive society, which we ourselves evolve and we are teaching our kids how to survive. We have a strong need first to accept our own potentials and they way we have been grown and from that what we have inherited to our kids then we can move a head in deciding our child’s future. That’s because when a parent have their child assessed on aptitude and he might get the result and suggested to be a painter or something like this which never seem to be the best job or profession of choice. Are the parent of that child ready to accept the results and suggestions? Absolutely not at all they want to do. So are the big reasons we can find most of the people unhappy in their jobs and always confused after landed in some job? Why they are doing so they never now and why they are not satisfied with their work and not getting happiness and didn’t enjoy there work which they also never now. But certain people realize that this is not the work of their choice and it was just forced him to do because of their family pressure or need. Might be the individual live happily as a successful painter rather then the higher level professional! But, what about the society for which we have a concern more rather then our own child’s happiness. The status, which we have to maintain, and the dignity that we have built from our early life, what about that? We care more for that other then our child’s happy life. We all see it around us, as one thinks how can be my son a painter or a teacher irrespective of thinking his interest and potential. We can accept the bad engineer or doctor other then a successful low-grade officer or worker because that doesn’t match the parent’s dignity. Every parent needs to break this hierarchy, which we made about each profession and give our kids freedom and help them in what they really want to be.
Tehseen Haroon

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Artificial behavior

The way we have been brought up and the way we have been inherited genetic material from our parents determines the personality we develop. There are so many explanations of every kind of personality we have but all seems incomplete if they can’t interpret what an individual being can do in a particular situation. So many factors influence our behavior and some are influencing us consciously and some unconsciously. Our attitudes, stereotypes and the whole construction of our ego are continuously under the challenge in this modern world and that make us evolve a new kind of behavior, which I call as an “artificial behavior”.
So many times I gave a thought after observing our this kind of behavior which I call artificiality and that made me to think more and attracts my attention more towards it. Do we feel there is a gap in our thoughts and actions? If yes then what’s the reasons behind that? This gap can be understood simple under the light of attitude behavior gap. But now I think its beyond that what we felt before. Let me explain attitude behavior gap then we can understand what this gap is? I want my surroundings clean are my kind of attitude. And if it’s simply a true behavior of mine, it can be clearly observable in my daily actions but the question rises if its not the true belief or attitude of mine, shall it be visible in my behavior and when and where? Off course many times it can be observed but one situation on which I want to stress is our social environment i.e. when we come in contact with another human being. Sometime we can observe that if my cleanliness behavior is my true attitude I will have same behavior every time either in presence of any individual or absence of an individual i.e. when I will be alone. We all now in social parties how we react on a given situation and how we internally feel if we didn’t like the same situation. But because of social context we behave the way what we are not in reality and it just seems the ok situation for us with fake smile on our face. But is it our real behavior or is this what I call artificiality?
One of the common reasons for this behavior seems the social acceptance. But is it the way we are grooming every individual around us? This is the kind of social environment we all are making and then we are the one who blames this kind of behavior.
Recently I was chatting with one of the unknown guy on yahoo. He was from Afghanistan. We have a very nice interaction about the recent conditions of Afghanistan but as I realize from his conversation that he like the American strategy of war in his country which was contrasting with mine. I immediately deletes him from my profile even we was good friends from past one year. After some time I felt bad and thought about this whole episode and some questions evolves in my mind like…
Is it the best qualities we are searching always in individuals? If yes then aren’t we selfish?
We like only those, which resonates with our ideology and thinking, behave like us and many time try to superimpose our thoughts on them. Can we imagine a world where all human beings are of a like quality? What will be the difference then…? Where goes the individuality?
Did we ever try to understand the environment in which the individual has developed because the thoughts, ideas, attitude, stereotypes etc all are being learned from the environment. So, where we are searching the reason of being different? Is it the individual or the kind of environment in which he has evolved? Among both of them what we need to understand and which one first?
But the environment is the most important which we need to understand if we have to observe the true behavior and if we are creating the artificial environment we will definitely get the artificial behavior.
Tehseen Haroon

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Illusion or reality …

Who are we? A human or an animal …well question to be pondered isn’t it?
Some one will say nay…no need why will we …God made us different. But hang on guys …just wait for a second …just look back what you did in the morning ...woke up.. cursed others…negotiated your reality ..Because you have to stand on the expectation of others. And the actual expectation is yours…. that is “ I need to be best in the eyes of others; even though I have fallen in my own eyes. Who questions about your thought …no one …the fact lies everyone want to get the answer what they like. If you don’ are considered to be wrong, if you do you are right . Again the question, I ponder over is “who defines what is right and what is wrong. I may not say what you want to listen, but that also doesn’t mean ,that I am wrong . Well, the problem lies within the ignorance of the actual reality where the illusion is the reality dealt in life by most of us.
Why we need to be a philosopher to be the prominent face why not just an ardent follower of what we say ? But yes it is tough, it is hard, it requires courage , but all aligned with the definition of being the human ..Isn’t it? Humans have the power to think that differentiate them from animals …so why don’t we practice it than just to say it. Take step ahead …you never know when your journey will become your destination. The only intricacy should be it has to be your own defined destination not defined by others.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

What we are moving ahead for…

Development, the big word and movement from past few centuries. Courtiers chasing one another in this race but where is the actual Human development took place in this race. Is constructing modern architecture, developing roads, Air links, and fast communication and improving the whole structure of country a real development. Somewhere all these are directly linked with all round human development. But I feel that we are missing most basic human development and that is the psychic, emotional, and cultural developments.
If we are saying India is growing….I am not able to understand what we mean by growth?
The old India where the religion was the name of white colors which can’t be diffracted into different colors of superior and inferior. The culture and traditions was the jewel for which the Ancient Bharat was famous for. The smell and love for the native soil, which was taken as a matter of oath, the final decision of elders was the line engraved on the stone. The respect and status for the Guru…. which was the only source, respected and most agreed one in the whole community. It was the age when even when an animal dies a natural death the whole community mourns for the day or more.
The emotions and bonds, which was among the family or community is now, the examples heard from the folktales.
No respect for Human lives, bleeding killing each other like a wild beasts and the reasons seem so hard but simply the greed for power, wealth and status. The wild behavior, which Darwin explains, we have inherited from our Animal ancestors. Now we are moving back to the earlier age with new weapons and new technology.
Is it, that now the emotions feelings and our good traditions on extinction?
And is their strong need to think about this and have a deep concern for all what we are loosing?
Emotionally we are becoming handicapped. We have been sensitized of so much violence and because of which we cant distinguish now the difference in human blood and the color red. We are not now able to feel the emotions of others.
We are loosing our great Bharat culture and traditions, which is now dissolving over emotions and making us a robotic being.

Tehseen Haroon

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gossip…but through actions.

Gossip is idle talk or rumors, especially about the personal or private affairs of others. It forms one of the oldest and most common means of sharing (unproven) facts and views, but also has a reputation for the introduction of errors and other variations into the information transmitted. The Webster dictionary define it as…
1. Light informal conversation for social occasions.
2. A report (often malicious) about the behavior of other people; "the divorce caused much gossip".
3. A person given to gossiping and divulging personal information about others.
But if we see and think about it what we gain and what we lose from it? Most of the time this word create a negative notion within us. Is it really so?
The Human societies have evolved from such a processes, which we can’t deny. Either it’s the empires of ancient world or the modern races we use to do it but by any other strategic name or by some other acceptable way.
Coming down to the hierarchy, if the two individuals are talking or discussing about any third person, which also seems to a gossiping? Can we separate it from ourselves then and did we loose or gain anything from it?
Sometimes I feel that it’s the internal frustration which comes out in the form of gossip for the person we are gossiping and sometimes we feel very comfortable and it start becoming habit of us. But is it really the only way to take out our frustration in this manner? No there are so many ways to do that which Sigmund Freud called as defense mechanism.
We are frustrated about the govt. or any system we gossip?
We are frustrated with our friends, collogues, or to our relatives we gossip?
On our every frustration we gossip…. so why not to direct this negative energy out of us in a constructive way?
Sometimes we write poems, articles or start planning to take initiatives when we see poverty, sufferings or anything of such kind and that’s the way we can gossip through our actions but not by our words.

Tehseen Haroon

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Freedom to choose – my happiness

She hops from one room to another ,
at the corner of her village periphery ,
She smile, she giggles, she laughs, she rejoice,
the moment of her life where she is going to be married ,
a young girl of 20 years in the village of Rajasthan,
sharing her thought ,she turns red to talk about him,
the one who is now her new world,
she display her jewellery ,her clothes as an asset,
an asset jewelling her memory ,
she is sweet ,she is vibrant ,
for her globalization are her two nests,
the one where she learnt to fly .
the other where she is taking shelter,
once again the reality is encountered ,
happiness is subjective, very subjective,
she teaches with her vivacity,
to enjoy ,feel and love the subjectivity,
she foster her actual right ,
her right of freedom to choose her happiness.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Little souls.....

Often in the folklores I heard that the kids never cheat and lie. During my journey through psychology I go through many readings, which explains that by various projective techniques one can explore the persons mind. But in order to explore the children we doesn’t need so hard and big projective techniques but simple a kind interaction and he tells the truth whatever he observes without knowing that what it is and for what it is. Because they are not yet getting mingled in the social environment and they doesn’t have learned its tricks….
Observe the picture which one of the class second girl made today and when I ask her what’s this…. she explains with a smile
It’s my school. The jumbled kids is her class where kids are fighting with each other and next to it is another room where her teacher sits whole day…i.e. office

Tehseen Haroon

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quantity v/s Quality

Once upon a Russian PM visits India for a week on some diplomatic issues. He heard a lot of fame of Indian administration and know he want to check it out. He visits parliament and various other offices including some education departments. Take a guard of honor from Army, police and also visits various other departments. As he was departing, at airport he has to face the reporters and one among them asks him how you feel after spending a week in India and what you learn from here. He smiles and said I was atheist and Know I believe in God. The person who asks the question said again sir how is this possible in a week you have such a shift? The PM smiles and said after visiting the political chamber and other various departments I observe the real situations of this county and then I find out that such a country can only survive if there is some mighty power and that’s only God…laughs the HM of my school as he shares this jock in front of his staff as I ask him why there are two schools existing in a same premises?
There are two schools in same premises and both have problems, which if they get combined get solved. But who cares and what’s the policy of any authority is a big mystery to understand. As the HM shares there are around 4 schools in a single village, which is just 5 to 10 minutes, walking distance from each other. But why… As they seems the promises of politicians made during elections to get a vote explains the HM with big laugh.
Here I felt that is it quantity or quality that matters. How the resources have been utilized and what’s the policy behind them. As for example during the electric fitting in the school each school got the equal budget for that work to be done irrespective of number of rooms in the school. Two-room school get the equal amount as the eight or 10 room school and see the logic, every Headmaster has to spend the amount and one of my school got 4 tube lights in 2 room and another school of mine has the ratio of one tube light for 2 class rooms. And in another school the condition was worse, as they even don’t have the electricity connection so what was there need first?
We are loosing quality and this slow burning of our resources which every person of the country pays are getting wasted and nobody cares and we are saying we are moving towards development. I am asking to myself, if there are around 85 thousand schools in Rajasthan and if we take an average of 40 kids in each school then what’s the future of 3360000 kids?
Is that only enough to make a kid read and write his name and some few lines of his book? And they are the countries future…and we the people make jocks and mockery to such a nation, which gave the world zero (0), and now we stands on that place....

Tehseen Haroon

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ahmedbad GFs- a tad late, but better late than never!

Hello, namaste and sorry for being so horribly late. This is arpita writing on behalf of all the Ahmedabad PGFs. i thought the first thing we should do was to introduce ourselves, and since i'll go crazy if i run around asking for self-applauding writeups us- i'm putting us all at my mercy and writing abilities.

First there is Tanazz- my PLDP partner- fun, reliable, fiesty and and really great with anything that has anything to do with art,craft , origami, or shot put ( just learned this last week)- she's the one girl who will never say no if asked for a lift, a pen, a key, or food! She's the most unspoilt army kid i've met and she's amazing with children.

Then there is Divya- who i can say adds a lot of zing to the group. Eternally chirpy,perpetually busy, and generally grinning, she can also be seen eating bread jam while jumping up and down on the sofas ( hehe). Her juniours titled her "pocket sized powerhouse", and i'd agree for sure. She's also one for thinking deep about change, reflecting alone and getting hold of when there are deadlines to be met.

Next would be Shraddha- my amazing super sensible and super sensitive roommate who has more guts than anyone I've ever met. Shraddha is the youngest amongst us but in the short span of 20 years her achievements include protesting against her corrupt principal, creating sapce and love for an adopted child in her family, putting a relative behind bars for dowry, and making me laugh when i need it the most. She's done her bachelors degree in social work and she 's here to change herself before changing the world.

After that comes Aruna, who i think has mastered the zen like art of stayig happy always. Aruna has done her masters in social work and is very familiar with social terrain we amateurs navigate- often adding her own sharp insights and observations
and bringing clarity. she likes the colour sky blue and can often be heard humming chetna geets. ( oh, and she's always R for "moturam halwai")

Then would be Snigdha, who cooks amazing food and came here because she wanted to experience a life beyond the definitions created in her engineering college. Funny, smart and practical, she 's also one of the strongest people i know.

Nibedita, hails from Assam and DU/ DSW and is happily heard deconstructing the latter. She cooks, sings, cleans, dances,listens and gives very no-nonsense advice ( and is also the sushil kanya of the group). Spiritual and sensible, thats why i believe she's here- to be the change she wants to see in the world- which as she will point out doesn't always happen by reading tons of theory or wearing corporate suits.

Amit, the sole boy in the "Piramal Girls Gandhi Fellowship" often has to deal with taunts about how he came through the males minority quota. That apart, we're glad he did, because apart from being the Resource person for pest control and toasted bread, he is also the most child friendly and nature loving of us all- and is able to link Bodh theory with classroom concepts in simpler ways than anyone else. Amit's list of achievements include graduating from Nirma in Computer Engineering,creating works of art with anything from charcoal to tin foil, and being the least ruffled during LQ.

and I, Arpita, am a graduate in literature from DU- I 'm here because what i'm doing resonates with my search for meaning. I feel if we are to create a better world, it has to start from the classroom and gullible (!) kids. I love poetry, literature, dance,art , good conversations, chocolate, lame jokes and integrity.

more from us later ! :)

Kya de sake ga mere koi.....................

Kya de sake ga mere, Bachpan ke din koi……..
Jab na tha Gum bas thi kushiyan he sari,
Jab Gumo mai thi, ye ankhe soyi soyi,
Jab Kushiyon pe hi bante thi, bate hamari,

Kya de sake ga mere, Bachpan ke din koi……..
Jab paise mai hi simti thi, khwahishe hamari,
Jab Dada ki kahaniya hi thi, tamanna hamari,
Jab paro pe hi hoti thi, manjil hamari,

Kya de sake ga mere, Bachpan ke din koi……..
Jab padne se ankhe hoti thi bhari,
Jab kitabo se hoti thi junge/ladayion hamari,
Jab ankho se hi bahti thi nadiyan sari,

Kya de sake ga mere, Bachpan ke din koi……..
Jab baheno ka karna phati kamiz per silaye,
Jab naye kapde pe hoti thi, ladayian hamari,
Jab andhere se lagta tha mujhko dar or chil-laker pukarna kahan ho mere bhai,

Jab patango ke doro mai thi, uljhan hamari,
Jab kancho-goliyon mai simti thi gunjee hamari,
Jab chejo ko todna thi fitrat hamari,

Kya de sake ga mere, Bachpan ke din koi……..
Jab papa ki ungiliyan thi manjil hamari,
Jab ammi ke anchal mai thi dunia hamari,

“The smallest children are the nearest to GOD, as the smallest planets are nearest to Sun”
(Salman )

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What we expect…

Burger, sandwich, milk with boost ask the mom

Running jumping, chasing kid to make him eat

For lunch what you want to eat dear

Hunger pangs her child, which she can’t bear

Everything she tries just to make her child eat….

Same country and same state with glimpse of modern life

Kids from villages are not so full of luck

Eating and sometimes even just single morsel

Borrowed by poor mother from the neighbors

To fill the empty belly of her dear little angels

Running, jumping semi nude and taking small steps for school

Holding plates and waiting with hope for a midday meal

Sparkling eyes reflect their joy and fun

How they enjoy the meal makes me dumb

This is there burger, pizza and the bun

Filling the emptiness which they carry all times with their fate

What we are expecting from them

Could might defy the Meslow’s hierarchy

Will anyone ask the Uncle Piaget?

How can we understand the Law of conservation?

When these little angles don’t have even a morsel to eat.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Today I found myself…

In the corner of class sitting quietly, trying to hide myself by just imagining, that if I won’t look towards teacher he won’t find me. Class seems strange as thinking where I have landed but silently and helplessly sitting in the grips of fear. Those roars of teacher and that fierce eyes still fresh in my mind and ah…. taking a deep breath, I am adult now and no more to bear that fear. Today, I found myself in one of the kid of my school. I can understand what he was feeling because the teacher’s resemblance and the attitude was same as was of mine. Now I was imagining, if these little kids will get the opportunity as we got during our college days of attending lecture or not? All was mine choice as what I enjoy completes my attendance criteria and the one, which bores me, completes my attendance in college canteen with my friends. What the teacher will do if we give such a freedom to these kids? But one question I am asking myself… If my teacher do not do all that with me by his stunt looks and roars will I be able to learn or not? Was that all necessary or not? Yet an unsolved mystery…
I ask so many teachers of my primary schools now…why a child attend school? Why s/he attends your lecture and why s/he listens you? Why s/he keeps quite and disciplined in class?And I think when a child starts doing that s/he is no more a kid…. S/he is called then a mature adult. Because we always make a comment in negative notion ‘don’t act childish’ then how we expect child to do the reverse…

Tehseen Haroon

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Aditya Natraj and one Gandhi Fellow on 'Problems of Primary Education in India'

Primary Education in India is the Country's Problem Child
Many primary school children in India don't have proper teachers to train them
Many primary school children in India don't have proper teachers to train them
Sixty-two years after India’s independence, many of India's children are still not getting schooling. Although a constitutional directive urges all states to provide free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14, India is still far from achieving it.

More than 80 percent of India's children start school in the first grade, but less than 50 percent continue up to grade eight -- which means that dropout rates are high. That's what the latest official statistics say. The government of India started a Sarva Shiksha or "Education for all" plan in 2001 and pledged that by 2005 it would get every Indian child into school.

Disparity between enrolment and attendance

While this has lead to more than 90 percent enrolment rates in some places, many non-governmental reports have found that many students are just registered while on average only 70 percent of them attend classes. Aditya Natraj, Programme Director of the Gujarat state operations of Pratham, India’s largest educational NGO, explains the disparity between enrolment and attendance:

"Some children are enrolled there because teachers are pressured to enrol a large number of children in order to keep their jobs. But actually those children are studying in a local private school or dropped out from the school but you still keep them on the rolls. The other reason can be that schools are designed as per the urban lifestyle so the rural schools do not have any break for the harvesting season when children go to work to bring in the harvest. The third reason is that unfortunately in several schools teacher attendance is itself very weak."

Sugandha, a so-called Gandhi fellow, is attached to an organisation which works with the government to improve education in rural India, and is based in a village in Rajasthan in Northern India. "Teachers are there in the school but they do not go to the classes to teach", she says. "They see it as a burden to teach the students."

Many students are attracted to school to get a free lunch offered there by the government. But even then, Sugandha says, the quality of education provided in the rural schools is a problem: "Many times, even a standard 7 student does not know how to read and write. They do not know ‘A, B, C, D’. They are not able to form sentences."

Lagging behind China

India's failure in primary education becomes more apparent when compared to its neighbour China which has long attained almost full literacy. Aditya Natraj explains why India is lagging behind:

"India spends three and a half percent of its GDP on education while China spends six percent on education and until we make that provisioning we are not going to catch up with China. So it's basically financial provisioning. Apart from that there are a lot of technical issues. In order to educate such a large number of children you need a lot of capacity development of a large number of teachers, improving the quality of schools."

Experts agree that a dramatic change is needed to improve the education system of India from grassroots level, including stricter checks on the functioning of schools and the quality of teaching. Otherwise, many bright minds will continue to lack a proper education in India, which is more and more relying on knowledge-based industries to compete on world markets.

Author: Debarati Mukherjee
Editor: Grahame Lucas

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Masti ki Pathshala

Gandhi Fellows 2009 batch attending BODH SHIKSHA SAMITI workshop in Jaipur.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

In Retrospect

The Gandhi fellows return back today after completing an intensive month living full time in the slums of Ahmedabad. In retrospection, the video relives the moment when they departed to embrace yet another chapter of their colorful lives as Gandhi Fellows.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Reflections On A Box Of Chalk

A box of chalk
has not in it poetics
but stalks of economics
and a family tree
of infinite in-distinction,
where it was born
in a placeless factory
And no one cares
how it fares
in its journeys and utilities
in the hand of teacher
in the mouth of child
in the impermeable dustbin
of waste and time;
It takes abstraction
into a room of sensibilities,
tells black from white
but the amnesiac duster
returns the written word
to grains of the infinite,
yet it serves by natural law
in eternal orphanhood
its creators’ providence;
Not one asks how it came,
but it comes,
Not one tells where it went
but it goes,
-the demi-god that created it
didn’t kiss and bless it
good luck and good bye-
the teacher won’t brandish it,
children like not to remember it
the men always will forget it
and nobody cares,
nobody cares,
nobody cares,
neither knowledge
neither all life’s
memory or mind
not even you
nor I

Abhyudai Dhawan

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Celebrating her identity ... 62 years of independence

Commemorating her individuality,
breathing the air of liberty,
living the life of dignity,
embracing different cultures, traditions in her ambit, since era,
she demonstrates the tradition of sincerity.
She has seen many ups and down in her periphery,
traveling many years in shadow of love and prosperity,
upbringing millions of soul as her family,
she has reached the horizon of diversity.
Wearing the tricolor she nurtures peace and humanity,
preaching the concept of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam
she revamps and strengthens globalization’s intricacies.
Let’s celebrate her identity as responsible citizens,
promising ourselves to uphold her glory and vivacity.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

New experience of my life...

Jab first time yahan aayi, to ajeeb sa dar tha,par jab sabse mili to dar kam ho gaya.Naye naye logo se mili to kaafi acha laga aur starting mein samaj nahi aa raha tha ki kya karun kya nahi.Lekin dhire dhire sab samajh aa gaya, yahan par hume mauka mila apne aap ko samjhne or samjhane ka. Group mein kaise rehte hai, enjoy karte huye apna kaam karna, yahan dekha hai. Yahan,laga ki life mein hamare samne bahut challenge aate hai par unko kaise accept karke, life mein aage badte rehna hai yahan sikha. Jab suna ki working schedule 9am to 12pm tak hai to dar gayi ki kaise karungi. Fir to aadat si ho gayi, ek din to puri raat nind nahi aayi sirf sochti rahi lekin jaise hi training start huyi, to phir to sochne ka mauka hi nahi mila .Pata hi nahi chalta hai ki subah kab huyi or raat kab huyi .So..., i am enjoying every moment with my work, my sweet PLs and FRIENDS.

Pratibha Choudhary

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My first day as a GF…

While starting off from home to Jhujnjhunu, I had many apprehensions ..first time I was coming out of my comfort zone-my family , my home and also being the youngest and the most pampered in the family, it was really difficult being away..Also while on the way to my destination the terrain looked different which scared me at times ,as to what would be the place like.. when i reached here all my apprehension were gone and i fell for the place , i loved Jhunjhnu..coming Monday and it's gonna be the first day of my professional life..this thought itself made me nervous..anyways the session started and contrary to my expectation it was a really chilled out , home like environment, no sign of nervousness or anything was left there..We started with the introduction part with Jatin and Sonika.. and the whole process that followed and the manner in which it followed was not what any body would think of a professional life..Kaivalya has the most chilled out people i have ever met ..we sang bal geet and chetna geet with Sugandha and Shreya..the funnies and the coolest thing I have done after my prep days.It was lovely enacting those songs...later in the evening the visit to dargah was an amazing's just been two days and we have already formed such intimate bonds with every body.I have never been so comfortable in my life outside my home. I am really thrilled at the prospect of what all exciting things gonna emerge. let’s hope the coming two years will be like the first day and this period of my life will be the most memorable ........

Priyanka Yadav

Ajeeb dastaan ...

Ajeeb dastan hai ye kahan shuru kahan khatam,
ye manzilein hai kaun si naa yeh samajh sake they hum…
Pehla din aisa hi tha…

Nayi jagah, naye log, naya safar. Aaj ka din shuru hua thode darr, thodi nervousness aur bahut si excitement ke saath. Masti aur kaam saath kaise hota hai yeh aaj jaana hai. Alag alag log jab mil baat kar kaam karte hain to waqt kitni jaldi nikal jaata hai yeh pata hi nahi chalta. Nayi jagah mein logon se kaise milte hain, nayi jagah ki khoj karna, ye karne se mera aatam vishwas badha. Shaam ko hum dargah gaye, barish mein bheege aur khub masti ki.
Yahan ki sabse achi baat yeh hai ki agar aap kuch janna chahte ho(jagah ke bare mein, logon ke bare mein) to kaha jaata hai, “jao aur pucho” , apne pairon par khade hone ka sahi maiyna yahan aakar ek hi din mein pata chal gaya, bawjood iske jab kuch senior G.F chor kar dusre block jaa rahe they to aisa laga koi apna bichad raha ha.
Dil apne aap udaas ho gaya, shaam ki masti, G.F’S ka support…..all in all ghar ki yaad nahi aayi, actually ghar ko yaad karne ki fursat nahi mili.

Anisha Mathew

Work new religion

Life is a constant journey and I feel that, I have taken my first step
towards something worthwhile. The path will be full of hardship that’s
for sure…15 hours of schedule, well that’s something, I had never seen
before .So, in that fashion Gandhi Fellowship is exactly what I expected of it.
The visit to the government hospital was not earth shattering as such
but the uncle I got acquainted to was a dandy. A charming guy who even
had tea with me for a few moments of discussion, that’s something I
have never experienced in my years in Agra or Gandhinagar. Reflecting
on my own life, that’s something I have never done for the fear of not
having anything concrete to reflect upon. But here, after the collage
exercise of our life story, I developed the thought process and got to
realize that my life has not been that dull and there are a few
silver linings in the midst of an uneventful life. A little too phillo
for the first day I think, but that’s the way… I like it. Working for
so long and trying to collect and jot down my thoughts is really tough
but really it was something, I was looking forward to and expect my
life to be so full of things to do in the weeks and months to come.
“Work is my new religion and I am a devout follower.”


hara samandar...

Ek samay ki baat hai bandhu,
baat bade patey ki ,
desh sa jakda janjeeron mein, haalat badi buri thi, tab ek budhha lathi pakde gaon gaon batakhta tha,
kaha tha usne ki bharat gaon gaon mein basta tha, aaj main bharat aaya hun, haan aaj hi bharat aaya hun,
haan main gaon bhale hi nahi par dilli se door aaya hun,
yahan log kuch naye se hain, par baat wahi puraani hai,
Khudh ko badal ke,
kuch badalne ki ,yahan pe sabne thaani hai.
Inme shamil hokar ,
Mai bhi khud ko badalne aaya hun
hara samundar jo gaya ,aaj who paar karne aaaya hun
Main ab urne wala hun , aasman chune wala hun.

Manish Sharma

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Vacancy for Programme Associate for Gandhi Fellowship.

Gandhi Fellowship is looking for Programme Associates to do on campus marketing and recruitment for Gandhi Fellowship in Delhi, Bombay and other top campuses in the country.
We are looking for a young and energetic person with:
1) approximately 2-3 years of experience (ideally in marketing, recruitment or working with young people but other work experience considered)
2) who has preferably studied in Delhi/Bombay
3) who understands the pulse of youngsters from top Delhi and/or Bombay campuses
4) is passionate about causing social change and
5) involving the most talented youngsters in social change.

If you are interested in finding out more, please email Anna at for a job description.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Beautiful pebbles have hopes for me,
these dices have wisdom for me
when I see these teaching learning materials,
I find a way out for my kids,
the kids of untouched India .
Standing on the doors of the school ,they pass a pleasant smile,
Which enrolls happiness of mine and thine,
I look for a way through them ,with them for a broader horizon ,
which defines the actual sense of education,
I ponder to see them smiling, in such extreme situations,
where a single glass of water makes difference,
I love to be with them where they have become a part of my destination,
I enjoy to be with them where we redefine globalization…


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Is it heart or mind that matters…

What is important in the Human Body? Is that Heart or is that mind…or something Else!!! Today I met a boy, which make me to think so…His story is something very interesting. His mother died and father remarried and his downfall began. His stepmother told that he is mentally ill since birth but the community people said the different story …He is tied with chains for whole year. Whether, it is the heat of summer or the cold of winter, he spent his whole time beneath the tree tied with the chain. His meals, his world is that tree and his whole paradise is the surrounding. When I told him that I am from Kashmir he replied, “ my Kashmir is this tree and these fields”. At first when I asked the address of that boy none of the villager was willing to help me to find out that boy and everybody suggested me that the whole family is mad but anyhow I found the house and the reason for his imprisonment was that he beats every one when he is free, so we have tied him with chains. And they suggested me not to go near to him. But after taking few photos of him, I talked to him and asked him “can we be friend”, he replied, “why not…” At first I was scared of being attacked by him but suddenly I pray to God that please help me and then I approached him. He welcomed me and gave me the place to sit nearby him on khaat and then I had little normal conversation with him. One of the impacts of his life was seen clearly on his younger sister.
His mother treats him very harshly due to which his sister also suffers. She was in standard 3rd when she was also stuck by the disaster and in her case the mother also said the another story…according to him she had polio but I think there is some psychological disorder. The main chances are of Hysteria…fugue.
And also one of the important thing, which I observe is that whatever is the state of his mind, the basic instincts of human were there, and i.e. aggression. When I was talking to him suddenly his aunt entered in the lawn, he started using abusive language and he shouted on her and asked her to leave the house immediately and when I asked about this sudden reaction by him, he informed she is responsible for this whole thing. But one thing, which attracts me the most, is that if he is abnormal then how he recognizes his aunt and how he blames her and how he knows that these few abusive words spoken can heart her feelings and sentiments?
What is the real cause of this can only be guessed, but the real pain was felt by the boy and her sister…and might be by her family also!!!


Friday, March 6, 2009

Inner power.. will power...

When we talk about will power, its tough to define it. Is this something, which comes from within or something which needs motivation from outside? Motivation can be understood again in various perspective, am I looking for the motivation from some extrinsic factor or looking for it somewhere within. A force, which keeps me going on without the need of external interference, in the form of support and appreciation.
Well, the point to be pondered here is, that if my will power and motivation to sustain it , is subject to others behavior and support, am I free ? Am I free when the key of my motivation is in others pocket?

A big question but easily answerable , for me at least, NO! when the key of my will power sustainability is in someone’s other pocket , that’s the biggest slavery in the world. So feel free, breath free, live with freedom , not only extrinsic but intrinsic as well.


Govt. Job means …!!

We heard and read that before independence people of this nation dreamt to serve the country by doing Govt. job. For them the Govt. job meant social service and they did that with true spirit. The reflection of the same could be seen in the education set up. Gurus were worshipped and there status in the society was highest in the hierarchy. And now sometimes, it appears to be the tale of lost folklore.
In present scenario Govt. job means secured life. In post independence the dream remains same but the goal has changed. People want to be a Govt. employ but not to serve the nation……….infact their pockets. Even the price tag of the groom touches the sky, if he is a Govt. employ. The reason being, the security of his life being a government employee rather than his concern towards his duty. They feel and know, that whatever we do around the month, or wherever we roam around, our salary is due and definite. And if one ask them any single question about their role and duty, the bombardment of questions and blame game start. Nobody explore themselves what he or she is doing, and the irony remain they don’t even realize they themselves create the government and the system.

Tehseen Haroon

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We are living in a competitive era…………………………………….

We are living in a competitive era with everlasting struggle and competition with each other. We never try to hear the bird chirping in the morning, to see the hills after rain, to see those rocks shining in the sun, the leaves sparkling, to see the clouds go by and to rejoice on a clear morning with full heart and a clear mind.
But, we lose this feeling when we grow up with competition, worries, anxieties, quarrels, hatred, fear and the everlasting struggle to earn a livelihood. From childhood we spend our days in battle with each other disliking and liking and derives pleasure from it. We never try to understand the beauty of the world, a feeling for beauty because we soon get caught up in the pseudo mechanism of life, as we go to the college, get married, have children, husbands, wives, responsibilities, earn a livelihood, finally we grow old and die! That is what happened to us. Because, we do not understand the meaning of education or never try to figure it out. Basically, education means “no end”. It is not where we read books, poems, facts, and formula, pass an examination and finish with education. But, during the whole life the moment we get born till the moment we die, the process of education and learning of life continues.
But, we can never learn if we are in conflicts, with our self, with our neighbors, with society… But if we learn about the mechanism of putting together images of life, we will see the extra ordinary mechanism of life or beauty...

Salman U Khan,
(Written in Chalanabas village in Rajasthan, winter 08)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

conversation with coffee...

My coffee table muse,
Hot black coffee
Stirring, whirling, flowing.
Eyes meet across
Streams of hot vapour
Emanating…Vapid wandering through
Thought laden clouds
Drifting fleeting
Words appear,
Choices, Voices..opinions unfold,
Life stories told…
Loves, Laughter,
Heartbreaks – Tears?...
Shared dreams….?
Broken… asunder…
By choices, Voices, Noises…
Stir, stare,
Ponder, wonder…
I wonder…if you have a phone number….?


Mother Nature...

Valleys talk to you,
Gazing from the height into the valley,
Pulls you with love,
One word comes to one’s mind,
What an experience,
What an amazing glamour of nature,
Eyes catch the scene, as a camera,
Heart deposits it as a shutter,
Soul engraves it as an edict,
Mood swings with the breeze,
Walking on the hills, reaching heights,
Gives you beautiful sights,
It’s the journey to the destination, full of life experiences,
Where embracing you, are standing the mountain ranges.


* Here it’s the experience during the learning journey to Dhramshala.

BODH ...redefining the education system

The experience at Bodh has been the experience of the life time. It’s an organization , which works for the slums kids at Jaipur. This is the organization which reaches to those kids for their self - development, and gives the true meaning to India of being a welfare state. The Bodh experience of the 11 of us Gandhi fellows, was an experience to the new world of education system, where equality could be seen among the students. The kind
of work the school is doing there is filling the gap between the community the slum and the faculty, where they bring education to their rooms.
The three days spent in the organization Bodh , at Jaipur and visiting its Bodhshala, Amagarh, was very crucial , in understanding the wider horizon of education system. This organization is the one which puts the ideal into practice. The idealist system of education is practically followed here, where the interaction with the organization workers, the teachers, and the founder Mr. Yogendraji had an added on input in the learning. It works for the poorest .

It works for the poorest of the poor , it reaches where the government do not reach. The Bodh strengthen and defines the essence of welfare state.
interaction with Madhuji working as the facilitator of Kishori Sabha in the slum, was an enlightened experience, for me where how the organization takes the education to the rooms of the slum, delving into the staunch patriarchal set up.
Being there for more than an hour what I could feel and have practically seen was how on the name of security the girls are made insecure for the whole of this birth of theirs. They are not allowed to move outside their home because they are unsafe………….I wonder what is their safety?

How insecure they are made just because they are women.
“to just walk few steps out of their house and reach the most nearby school, which is only 5 steps away (sometimes the reality speak) ……..
One needs to walk miles and miles …and sometime the journey never gets completed.
Here, Bodh plays the intrinsic role whereby , Madhuji as a facilitator takes the classroom, the education into their rooms. The classes taken for these slum women in such constructive ways to see are real life experience.

To see the success of the Bodh in making community responsible was another practical experience of how the slum people can be made responsible to shoulder their duties towards the kids’ education.
The one of the most striking point of this place was that it has been successful in making every one realize their responsibility, everyone shoulder their responsibilities whether it’s the community , parents, teachers , kids or society. “ Nothing is impossible , one’s you think it can be made possible.”
The Bodh is the place where it seems for the kids to be ………….
“ My class, my space, my world”. It empowers the kids mentally , overshadowing their actual condition to an extent


Chipkali... main aur mere bacche:):):):):)

wo mere gandhi fellowship ke shuruati dino ka sabse amazing experience tha...ek field visit ke liye mai udaipur wati ke ek school me tha. Pata nahi kaha se Stephney ne mujhe bol diya ke ek class tum le lo aur ek mai lene ja rhai hu.Tab mai jyada dara nahi tha,class thi 1st and 2nd.:):)
sO mai class me chala gaya,kuch pata nahi tha ke class me ja k kya karu? Unse naam poochne k baad unki english ki book le li..socha k pyaar se padhaunga aur sab parhlenge ,simple!!!..mai unki kitaab se photos dikha k unse naam poochne laga...pata nahi mai us din khud ko kitna bada teacher samajh liya tha ,galti kar di pooch kar k kisi ne chipkali dekhi hai...?Bass ek bacche nenazar ghum k class me dekh li....fir kya wo utha aur apni chappal feink k diwal par chipkali marne laga ...shayad ye leadership thi...baaki saare bachhe bhi shuru ho gaye...mai bichara kya to unhe bitha saka na hi padha ....bacche apni msti me the unhe maar padne ka daarr jo nhi tha....:):):):):)


Unke sapne...

Kehte they padaenge,
itihaas naya Banayenge
in bachon ka ujjwal
bhavishya hum sajayenge.
Inko aankhon mein jo chote chote sapno ka bada sa pahaad hai
us tak inhe pahuncha ke dikhayenge
lekin aaj who bacho ke sapne kahan hai,
Ye unhe nahi pata, shayad unki yadon mein band hokar reh gaye.
magar kya ye wade sirf sarkaar ne kiye they,
woh teachers jinko Maa Baap bhagwan mante hain,
aur apne bachon ko saump dete hain.
aakhir who bhagwan kya kar rahe hai?
unke paas iska jawaab hai kya?
Unhe pata hai kya unke bachon ki kis cheez ki zaroorat hai,
unke mote dande ke alawa?
Khair chodo ab hamari baari hai aayi, ab hume sabko milke kuch karna hai bhai,
HM ho ya Teacher sabko is baat se Rubaru karayenge,
Ki yeh hamaare pyaare bache bahut door tak jayenge.
sirf kitabe hi nahi , unse bahut zyada hai seekhne ko,
ye hum samjhenge aur aage badte jayenge.


Friday, November 14, 2008

A new morality...

She looks at him playing with pieces of paper

She watches his hands as they pick up the pen

She is a wistful spectator of carefree actions

Defined as the sole privilege of men.

Going about her daily work

Surrounded by life, yet quite alone

Taking solace in all things familiar, yet

Heart aching for pleasures unknown.

She passes by the old school building

Like everyday, quietly sets down her urn

Straining her eyes, hidden by the door

The boys are unwilling, but she’s desperate to learn.

She yearns for education, to go where no one has tread before

But she’s of age now, and must be married off instead.

Gazing into the heavens, reaching out for the stars

Her dreams all shattered, her life is a farce.

A voice is heard, she speaks out at last

Unheard, unheeded, frail, withdrawn

The solitary voice falters in the silence

Defeated, she falls, and her heart is torn.

They laugh bitterly at her fruitless endeavor

Tears fill her eyes, she’s imprisoned forever.

Is there a new morality?

One day, some day but not just yet.

There’s need for old shackles to be cast away

Traditions to be re-built, new rules to be set.

Have we moved forward, has India progressed?

The gap between men and women compressed?

Are the counsels of history thus to be unheeded

And change to occur, except where needed?

It’s time to wake up, to gain what we lack

For each pace forward, there’s been a step back.

It’s time to gaze into the horizon

It’s time to welcome, face-first, the dawn

And be swept along as change unfolds

And face with courage what future holds.


My learning...

I remember my first class of psychology in B.A 1ST year in which my teacher repeatedly explained ‘what is learning’? At that time my acceptable definition of learning was something like this…
“Any relative permanent change in behavior that occurs as a result of practice or experience.”
I remember the first lecture on the topic Learning, in which our professor gave us a new definition of learning which was given by Gordon Allport.
But, here I find something different and something very confusing. I recapitulate the story of one of our school in which 2 kids were fighting with each other and during fight one of the kid pushed another kid’s head on wall and the reaction of this was a bang of cry. Meantime the teacher entered the class, and queried about the incident. The reaction of the teacher was unbelievable to see. He banged another kids head on wall and asked “do you now feel the pain”? This was the way of justice by the teacher .I was shocked to see the way teacher dealt with the situation . Many questions came to mind, the questions which were unanswered.
At that time, I wanted to ask the teacher what sort of learning you are giving to these kids? Are you teaching them how to take revenge? Or you are teaching them blood for blood concept? Is this the learning ? What sort of learning took place there? What’s the way of learning? And whom we blame when these kids do a crime in future?
But, now here after spending my two months in primary class with school kids, my whole definition of Learning has been redefined and I feel learning can be defined in many ways in different contexts. Today with my practical experience, I can explain learning , as “ a continuous struggle of organism with environment in order to achieve equilibrium for survival in which the genetics act as a barrier.”
I have a hope that in this journey , in future I will be much more closer to the exact definition of learning based on my experience.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ankush: The sincere 'Sarpanch' of the lot!

Abhyudai: Unintentionally funny, preserving his own picture of the cosmos!

Stephney: The Laughter Enthusiast

Gitanjali: When not lightening up the atmosphere with her theatrics,ask her if she's ever seen a silent film?

Sugandha: The Steady Steam Engine

Preyansi: 'Mother Superior' of unwavering spirit

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vaibhav: The mature, levelheaded 'Handyman'

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sometimes Seen...Sometimes Felt...Impact

The journey of the last four months, here has been the journey full of new destinations. Playing the role of a facilitator in the government upper primary school of Uttrasar village in the interiors of Jhunjhunu, was a platform whereby somewhere there was a new world of horizon in front of me. Acting as a facilitator here, for the 4th and 3rd std kids, for eight weeks, I explored many avenues of impact at the grass root level in subtle way. The impact gives a meaning, whereby the insight of the fact, that yes the impact is something, which if sometime not felt can sometimes be seen and sometimes not seen can be felt. While acting as a facilitator in the classes, I did not know when it took me closer to the village people thought. Visiting the community, meeting the members at their places, gave me an insight that the beginning of an impact starts from the road, where your journey starts. Meeting with them in their house and then being a part of them, for the time being gave an impetus, of how slowly the impact starts whereby your step toward them start the process of impact . I remember my first few days of the school where I was there standing with the agenda of the need of quality learning through the alternative based learning, with my understanding, I also saw the day when the mathematics teacher of the school, was standing giving his thought on the need of quality learning, with positive roles played by the alternative based learning. At least this thought , has the beggining , an initiation towards completion of the journey.


Youth, A Power

O! Youth, their remains a lot within you. A lot to be created, a lot to be explored,and a lot to be defined for our self .
The power to realize the strength is within us, and the courage to explore it is lying with us, in our thought process. When this power within, is realized and made use of in any venture, what is significantly inherent, to come out of it is the change, a change which starts from the individual and then create a ripple which affect the whole outside world.. The creation of that ripple, no doubt is a long process, in the sense that it sometimes takes a lot of time to foster that spirit within. But, the inherent quality to see through, is what makes the difference. The spirit of taking initiatives ,is what matters more than the result of one’s initiative. The inner strength is the input to visualize the outside world. The world expects from us to act in a particular manner. Its we, who can prove to them to expect from us in the manner which reflects what we want from us.

Self Creation

"Essentially there is one but one single true reason for living, it is to know oneself .We are here to learn-to learn what we are, why we are here and what we have to do.And if we don’t know that, our life is altogether empty for ourselves and for others." The Mother

What a beautiful thought isn’t it? But, only now after being a Gandhi Fellow, I can realize the beauty of this phrase. We often talk about bringing change, change in the education system of our country, change in our friends, change in our parents, change in our Country’s politics, except a change in ourselves. This is only because, we think that we know the other person really well and can improve him and tell him that whatever he is doing ,is it right or wrong ?Well, without even realizing that ‘do we know ourselves’…the answer which one gets is…hmm…haaaan
I look like this,
I like this,
I hate this,
these are my hobbies and things like that.
But is this enough to know about oneself?
Earlier even I was like that, even after coming here, I often used to say that I know myself well, but now as days are passing I m realizing that I need to know many things about me.How will I react in certain situation, internally what type of person I am? Now, I have realized that there is a huge difference between knowing oneself externally and internally.
No doubt it’s beautiful to observe yourself, you get to know so many new things about yourself which you rarely believe. Similar thing is happening with me after coming here, actually I think I am exploring myself ,even then writing few lines on my self is looking difficult, because till now I knew only external Gitanjali and now I am trying to know the internal Gitanjali. I know it will take time, as it is a time consuming process, but I am enjoying…and now I can say that I have so much to do in my life…..i need to know my perfections, my imperfections and of course my limitations, I am waiting for the day when I’ll say:

"I am but a seeker after Truth. I claim to have found a way to it. I claim to be making a ceaseless effort to find it. But I admit that I have not yet found it. To find Truth completely is to realize oneself and one's destiny, i.e., to become perfect. I am painfully conscious of my imperfections, and therein lies all the strength I posses, because it is a rare thing for a man to know his own limitations”.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Gandhi Fellowship and Me

Kabhi itefaaq se, kabhi apne aap se, zindagi mein hum kuch aise faisle le lete hain jo hamari zindagi badal dete hain.

…maine bhi Gandhi Fellow ban ne ka ek aisa faisla liya tha, jo shayad bahut soch samajh ke lekin tab bhi itefaaq se le liya gaya tha....

Gitanjali ke man mein bahut se khayal they yahan aane se pehle, kuch badalne ka- kuch kar dikhane ka, aisa nahi hai ki ab voh khyal man mein nahi aate lekin ab wohi khyal bahut badal gaye hain, shayad dheere dheere pata chal raha hai ki jo hum sochte hain wohi sachayi nahi hoti. Aur jo sachayi hoti hai voh shayad humne kabhi sochi bhi nahi hoti…

Yahan main jab se aayi hun har ek din hare k insaan kuch naya sikhata hai, kabhi baaki Gandhi fellows, kabhi project leaders, kabhi voh chote chote bache jinhe hum kehne ko padane jaate hain, to kabhi main kudh bhi. Har din kuch naya hota hai, kabhi bahut acha lagta hai man kehta ki sahi faisla liya lekin kabhi kuch aisa ho jaata hai ki yeh sochne par majboor ho jaati hun ki kya main isliye aayi thi yahan, aakhir ye ho kya raha hai, magar phir zindagi ka ek pehlu samajh ke accept kar leti hun, aur agle din realize hota hai kya soch rahi thi buddhu, aur phir samajh mein aata hai ki yahi hai “life, full of surprises”…

Yahi hun main, Gitanjali as a Gandhi fellow…..

A Fellowship of the Gandhi Kind

Moving beyond Google Earth that initially fueled my imagination about what rustic Jhunjhunu would be like, life here as a Gandhi Fellow has been full of surprises. From conveniently settling into the small town to regular incursions into villages and its schools, this has been way more profound in its impression and impact than the neon rubbish of the cities.

My time here has had me learn self-discipline; unlearn urban behavioral tendencies; and how to strive within means to achieve an end, the end here being quality improvement in village government schools, but never in the process forgetting the self and its capacities for influx and de-flux...

...Gandhi, before turning into a saga, debate and portrait on currency notes, was a man, a man of action and reflection, and that is exactly what one inculcates here.

Breathing here is lung-fulls of fresh air, sights are full of sky and fields, the water is full of taste and the atmosphere is a shade of change.


We Should Be The Change We Wish To See

As a child I often accompanied my father to his shop & business and spent hours watching his work. When I was older, I sometimes set up displays, waited on customers, and even balanced the books. This experience instilled in me the desire to own and manage my own world someday, yet I understood that the reality of world is more complex. This complexity requires more education and really needed experience and with that in mind I started my journey.

I have never looked back because I believed on work and dreams. After that as Gandhi fellow, I am trying to understand my self with context of external world because with this platform I got to know that how we can mould our self according to our own needs. I believe that future depends in our own hands, depends on how it is moulded!

I am a man of faith. My reliance is solely on God. One step is enough for me. The next step He will make clear to me when the time for it comes...

Salman U. Khan

Me as a Gandhi Fellow

Visualizing myself in a small town in the interior of Rajasthan, where women believe in pardah, where the proportion of men on the roads is higher, where people still commute on camel back…and sooooo much more setting up the locale…. felt distant and like a far away fantasy until I actually landed up here in Jhunjhunun! A place that ‘sounds’ soo musical is indeed a world of its own...with its own tunes…lyrics…and beats!

That’s what I call movement, movement from beer to chhach, from Pizza Hut to Bajre ki roti, from tall concrete buildings to open fields, from big cars to bullock carts, from A.C. rooms to walking in the sun, from pardah as a form of oppression to pardah an empowering feeling. Moving from a adopting a hip ‘gaon look’ as a fashion statement back in college to actually adapting myself to the ‘gaon look’…has been a process of true learning and indeed a complete immersion.

All of this, only to test myself, my ideas my perspectives in life and learn, unlearn and learn all over again!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Working For People...

Here in this fellowship, being at this place working for people (children i.e. our future), I feel proud to call myself Gandhi fellow.I have learnt many things by now and opening myself to learn more and more and more... I have changed in these days , so much so that now I have started reflecting, reading and writing which i dint used to do earlier. I am a part of a change which we (all the Gandhi fellows) think will come after 2 years and will continue there on... with the fact that daily we are changing, evolving in thought process to cause that change.


Monday, October 6, 2008

A New World...

Never ever did I think that I would be away from the television for so long, wouldn't get a single cinema hall to go to for entertainment, but here in Jhunjhunu, despite all this as a Gandhi Fellow spending most of the time on field, i remain engrossed. One of my learning here is that it is not just a social work, but I need to plan well if I want to see change...


Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Voice Within... of a Gandhi Fellow

This is the journey of mine from the limelight of the globalised India to real Bharat.Being a Gandhi Fellow , is an effort towards taking steps ahead which is more important than being a mere spectator. I experiment therefore I am , and the effort is the hope .to explore myself and then from there taking steps toward bringing the change.
First of all, if I want to see a change , it should be first to feel the change myself, a change within for change outside... is the voice within , as a result of experiences gained here at the grass root level.
"Dare to dream is what is there, dream to dare" is the voice of mine for myself ,as a youth , realizing the strength and making use of it will definitely revolutionize the definition of change, and with this perspective traveling from India to Bharat , I am standing here with my firm belief , courage which lies within , explore it and act …act …act. With the real facts , unveil the truth , with empathy , nor sympathy or apathy. Being a Gandhi fellow , I am on the path of unfolding myself, and then trying to see any kind of impact on others and thereby bringing the change. Here , my journey is my destination...with learnings whose basic input is self unfoldement. In these two years , as a Gandhi Fellow , my learning process will be strenthened day by day with real practical life experience. This experience put many questions, and two years will be the journey toward destination, of unfolding myself . I experiment ,therefore ,I am...


Me as a Gandhi Fellow

Being a Gandhi Fellow! A dive into an ocean of eternal possibilities and numerous struggles …the aim being only one - CHANGE!

But what is this change all about? Change has several faces; gradualist, revolutionary, incremental and what not. But what is my connection to it? Why do I need to care about any change in any form? And why is this the platform that I chose?

Change is about dynamism but how one perceives that dynamism differs from person to person. For me my dynamism lies in steady and gradualist unfoldment of my self. But how does this unfoldment take place? My self’s unfoldment is a constant process; an eternal urge in me to learn, to reflect on my learnings and actions and further acting in the umbrella of that reflection.

The big difference is that now I have a way out for those dilemmas that is I have a way to act, the freedom to indulge in making the most of my capabilities and do not end up only intellectualizing problems around.

No doubt there are disillusionments and frustration that tend to overpower my optimism from time to time. But I feel that is the intricate part of this fellowship and my unfoldment in next two years.

I know that in the next two years, I would evolve with every new experience I get, preparing me for the years to come.