This is how I feel each day when I go to Tamahar. Each day I understand life a little more..
It hasn’t been easy working here. Its an emotional roller coaster. Someday’s I feel – why teach these kids..to what end. And someday’s I come back with my head spinning with more ideas.
But the futility of mainstream education.. at least for the first 5-6 years is evident with each day as we work towards preparing them for the world and looking for that spark in their eyes..when they can match an alphabet to the picture or when they can point out to the correct answer for 5+2..
But then the pure joy and bliss comes when the kids actually function as a bunch of ‘normal’ kids..waiting for their turn to answer, or to throw the dice and count the objects, or to be the BIG lion trapped in the ‘dupatta that acts as a net’ so that a small mouse can come and cut away the net.
When one of them decides to take the lead in the morning after the prayers.. He/she goes..Stand at ease! Attention! Always twice before saying.. National anthem begins. And flawlessly in their pronunciations they sing the anthem with pride and enthusiasm.
And so many times I have seen people at movies munching on popcorn or get fidgety during the national anthem. These kids can probably teach them a thing or two about discipline and having fun while learning.
How then are they different from any other child?
Probably because our education system puts them in structured categories.
If ‘Tejaswini’ has difficulty in learning.. She is labelled as child with specific learning disabilities. I have difficulty in remembering dates..or doing simplest of Math calculations. I too then am a child with specific learning disability.
And am sure most of us are.
That’s all there is to know!!
Our mainstream educationists have simply not cracked teaching in a manner that each child can understand.. Unfortunately there is no single way. But the system also does not allow for adapting to various learning capabilities of a child. (‘Normal’ kids included)
I don’t know what to ask for, what blessings to give. For them love is enough.
But my heart goes out to the mothers and fathers..their families. The kids only need love..but sometimes the mothers need more. They also get tired. They loose focus. They wish for a different scenario.
And while its easy for me to ignore a child when required. I cannot expect same understanding from the parents day in and day out.
Tamahar plans to start a respite care centre.. Which will care for the kids while the parents can take time out.
Please send blessings for that dream to come through. Kids are taken care of. Parents need caring far more.