On August 4, 2009, India enacted the Right to Education Act under Article 21A. It gave children between the age of 6 and 14 the right to free and compulsory education. Some educators took this stepping stone as an opportunity to provide education to the underprivileged children. ScooNews reached out to a range of students of these schools, asking them that all-important question: How has your teacher influenced you?
Their heartfelt letters and artwork reflected their gratefulness to their educators and schools. Here is to the educators who have made a difference to so many lives!
Ray of hope
Door Step School
“My family moved to Pune from Karnataka almost 17 years ago. My father worked odd jobs at a construction site and my three siblings and I stayed home with my mother. As a child there was nothing much to do in the labour camp and I remember wandering about the entire day, with other children. Now when I look back, I realise it was so unsafe for us kids on the construction site to roam around unsupervised.
One day, we came to know that a school named Door Step School, had started its centre in our labour camp to teach all children reading and writing. Every day the teachers came knocking at our doors requesting parents to send their children to the centre. I was scared as I did not want to forego my freedom and sit in one place to learn reading and writing. I used to hide in some corner, far away from the prying eyes of the teachers. Still, the teachers continued visiting our homes encouraging students to learn.
I remember my first day at the centre vividly as if everything happened just yesterday. I was still reluctant to go. With tears in my eyes, I took my first step inside Door Step School, hand in hand with my teacher, unaware that I was walking through a door that I would be thankful to for my entire life. My teacher gave me my first slate and pencil, colour pencils, drawing and colouring books which I started filling page after page, day after day; not realising when Door Step School and books became an inseparable part of my life.
Nothing is permanent, and neither was this stint with happiness. Soon we had to move to our native village because of some family emergency. I couldn’t even say good bye to my teacher before leaving. Life without books and my teacher was very different and difficult. There was this sudden emptiness that had gripped me and I wanted to leave everything and run away to DSS. I remember, crying and pleading with my father to take me back to Pune. As if God heard my prayers, one day we got a call from my Door Step School teacher. Realising I was not attending school, she had enquired with our neighbours and came to know about our whereabouts. She had called to talk to my father to bring us back to Pune so my siblings and I could continue our education. It was a difficult task to convince my father about returning and that too for educating his children, but with my constant persuasion he gave in and for this I will be grateful all my life.
We returned to Pune and thus began my journey with the beautiful school and books in a new life. I got enrolled to the 1st grade in a nearby school. But I did not stop attending Door Step Centre and its activities. When I reached 7th grade, my school timings did not match DSS timings and so I had to discontinue going to the centre. But once again my prayers were answered and DSS started with their ‘Reference classes’ for older children who attended school and needed help with studies. We also started doing Science experiments which increased my interest in the subject. One of the many good things about DSS is, it tries to give exposure on varied topics to all children. One such activity was attending Quest (a Math and Science Laboratory to learn by doing more hands on experiments). This encouraged the young scientist in me even more and I started doing simple experiments at home as well.
I am extremely grateful to DSS for inculcating various qualities in me. My love for drawing came from the books and colours DSS teachers gave me. This encouraged me to participate in the Drawing exam at school level in which I stood first. DSS also inculcated in me a sense of confidence which was helpful when I participated and won various elocution competitions in school. Door Step School has taught me to have an aim in life. I might have still learnt to read and write without DSS but it was only because of DSS and its teachers that I have come to know about the importance of education in life.
I am very happy to share that I am the first one in our family to reach here. My siblings are also in school and attend the Door Step School Centre regularly. I am also undergoing a course in Retail Business Management by Lend-A-Hand – India. I would like to pursue a career in banking.
Door Step School has been my stepping stone towards success and I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the school and its teachers.”
Dancing the blues away
Grade 11 (I PUC COMMERCE)
Parikrma Humanity Foundation
I’M ON MY WAY TO GREATER HEIGHTS
AND ON MY JOURNEY I SEE PRETTY SIGHTS
THE JOY OF SO MANY FLIGHTS
WARMS UP EVEN THE COLDEST NIGHTS
THANK YOU MY TEACHERS FOR BEING MY GUIDING LIGHTS.
A word ladder made by students of grade XII of Parikrma Humanity Foundation.
YOU ARE YOU BECAUSE YOU EXHORT US TO BE YOUTHFUL!!!!!!
THANK YOU, TEACHERS OF PARIKRMA!
The dancing idol
PYDS Learning Academy
“We are humans and as humans we tend to develop all sorts of emotions in our day-to-day life. From anger, sadness, being moody to happiness, cheerfulness and feeling pleasant. But all that one requires is, a person with whom you can share your emotions whether he or she is elder or younger to you.
I met this happy-go-lucky person four years back. Her first demo in our class was a big task for her but something casual for us. She made us do a few classical dance steps on a raag and then we were sent back to our classes. Something was flawless about that lady. Her moves, the way her eyes blinked to every step and the perfection she brought even in the arrangement of her fingers made her stand out.
When I got back to my class, I didn’t even give a thought to her but something had imprinted her in my memory for the span of two days after which these eyes saw her again. Yes! She was selected as the dance teacher of our school. I was excited to see her everyday.
Being a keen dancer, I was attracted to this art. It gave me immense pleasure in matching my footsteps to the rhythm of the song wearing a pair of ghunghroos while playing with my eye-hand coordination.
Each day, I’d wait for the dance class to begin just to get a glance of the dance teacher. She taught me the real essence of dancing. Her jolly nature made me smile; her sessions weren’t mere classes but an escape from all sorrows. She taught us to dance with devotion.
Time slipped like sand leaving its hard molecules of emotions and memories behind. I got to participate in many solo and group dances. The way she taught us was meritorious. We laughed, smiled, practiced together and every moment made me feel closer to her.
As a teenager, one has to enjoy the roller coaster of emotions. This ride is worth experiencing but a good ride is only possible when there is a good mechanic to mechanise it. There were times when no one around me supported me, I felt lost but my teacher always supported me. She held my hand, tied ghunghroos around my feet and let me dance without worrying about the world.
‘We all can dance but not all of us are dancers’ - I began dancing when I was seven years old but I understood dancing ever since I entered PYOS. Today, when I dance and people ask me how do my expressions and steps have perfection, I smile and speak under my breath “I have my dancing idol.” Because when life buys tickets for the roller coaster ride, my teacher buys tickets for herself as well and enjoys the ride with me. I dance to express. My teacher has influenced and improved me as a human. As a human I develop all sorts of emotions but I can confidently say “I have a person with whom I can share my emotions - My Lady - My Dancing Idol.”
A hopeful abode
Juri Prabha Pator
Parijat Academy, Guwahati, Assam
“All the teachers at my school have greatly influenced my life. I learn new things from our teachers every day. They teach us good manners and guide us to follow a good path, motivate us to learn and grow, teach us joyfully, they love and care for us. Their hard work has made us become better and educated individuals. Earlier, we never saw a future. But our school and our teachers have helped us plan a future. They have been guiding and supporting us as our pathfinders. Their words have motivated us to rise above our conditions and come to school. They are impacting our lives as mentors other than our parents. Thank you teachers of Parijat Academy for everything that you have done.”
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