The Inspiring story of Bangalore

Published: 25 Feb, 2015
It is a Tibetan proverb that says, ‘a child without education is like a bird without wings’. Where education is considered as a continuous process from the cradle to grave, there are hundreds and thousands of children waiting for their life to give them an opportunity to read and learn the basics of life. It is a very unfortunate scenario where children have to fight for their right to education. But as they say, every cloud has a silver lining.

The silver lining for a group of children in Bangalore shone brightly when ‘Ananya’ came into existence. Under the auspices and guidance of Dr. Shashi Rao, a group of people with the same purpose in mind, took upon themselves to set up a school for the slum and street children. This wasn’t just an ordinary temple of knowledge, but an unconventional way of teaching values and life skills to children who had no access to any means of education otherwise. Their endeavor however was posed with a number of challenges that were difficult to overcome, but their will power was unshakable. The disturbing sight of children from such challenged communities including children of laborers, vegetable vendors, domestic helps, have always been deplorable, heartrending and moving.

With no inclination towards education and concept of learning, the future of such children always appears gloomy. However, efforts like ‘Ananya’ add meaning to quotations and proverbs such as the one said by Sydney J. Harris, “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” With a plethora of obstacles including the school fees, admission criteria, and other age and curriculum constraints, the parents find themselves helpless in giving their children a proper education. Plus, with a huge family and line of younger siblings, children are made to baby-sit them at most times, at the cost of their education. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. Dr. Rao and his team at Ananya did not teach the students from the books. They began the change with small gatherings and meetings at public parks, where the children would interact with them and share their stories.

With the exchange of words and ideas, contextual teaching was imparted. Through this, the kids embarked upon their journey to learn different concepts such as the application of elementary mathematics in practical life. The communication skills of the kids developed and they began their practical learning process in no time. From the atmosphere, to sports, to art and craft, basic mathematics, writing and general knowledge, the children learnt everything in a simple and comprehensive way.

Motivational stories like Ananya pave the path of education for the under-privileged and inspire others to take a step and help those in need. UbuntuMail also strives to help those who have no access to exercise their basic right to education, and makes an attempt to improve their condition.