Gandhi Fellows 2009 batch attending BODH SHIKSHA SAMITI workshop in Jaipur.
A unique initiative for education in India pioneered by the nation's youth. Unfold - Impact - Enjoy
The coming together of eleven people: all from different backgrounds, all with different utopias, all with different methods in their peculiar madness, all with different passions and biases, but needled into the same thread by the singularity of belief and cause – sustainable change – within the self and in the targeted environment, that of government schools.
Leaving behind friends, televisions, movie halls, malls, cloistered academic lives and everything else urban, apart from the contrast it constantly provides, us folk came around to Jhunjhunu like a breeze here to stay. After excursions into the town and swallowing all of the little it had to offer one felt at home in these new environs. From making friends with the juice and cigarette guy to having made acquaintances of the waiters at the town’s only two restaurants, life here in its limited space has managed to offer endless bounty in terms of peeling new experiences.
It is, however, the incursions into the villages that will not ever be gratified. From earning the wrath of the bus conductor for making anachronistic noise to arguing ceaselessly about the pros and cons of purdah (oppression of the woman to protection from sun), from gazing cows and camels to restless flowers in tranquil landscapes, from smoking cigarettes behind the elaborate pillars of abandoned wells (dhaani) to conversing with heavily jeweled women, and so much more that there will be justice only if it is seen with one’s own eyes and felt by the heart.
After a long day (which would include getting ready, gobbling a quick bite while slowing down for relishing slurps of tea, riding the motorbike at average speed into the assigned village for an assigned task which can range from interaction with the sarpanch to teaching students math, that too in Hindi laced with broken Rajasthani!, coming back home/office, reflecting over the day’s incidents and experiences, sharing it with peers, bitching about the cook’s turmeric dosed food) one finally retires to the room or the roof where the moon and her harem of stars nurse…