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Monday, 1 May 2017

Internship at Sondara Gurukul

Prachi Makde (NIRMAN 7) is an engineer from Nagpur. To explore her interest in education field, she did an internship at Sondara Gurukul, Domri, Beed. How was her experience, summed up in her own words…
You know you are filling out a former questionnaire asking name, age, sex, and you are like ‘fine, fine, fine’ and suddenly it asks something like ‘tell us about yourself’ and you are like “oh my God! Who am I?” and you sit there questioning everything you know about yourself. When I was in my final year of college I faced the same existential crisis. I was suddenly confronted with the world full of focused adults going in very specific direction and I tried finding my place among them. ‘Who really I am’, ‘what kind of life I want to live’, ‘what do I believe in?’ This realization dawned upon me.
            With this my Nirman journey was started. There I realized there are two different types of people – the one who believe that ‘nothing matter, I can get a job I want, earn money, I don’t see anything affects anything, who cares?!’ The other is the one who believe everything matters, that whatever I can affect in my own small way, I will. I think this is the single most question you can ask yourself at my age, ‘whether nothing matters or everything matter’
            As I was already volunteering with an organization working for education for children at shelter homes, I decided to enhance my experience in this field. During my action learning plan I decided to do a 1 month internship at a school. With that I got a chance to work at Sondara Gurukul, a residential school at Domri, Beed.
                        The moment I entered the school, there were many unknown and smiling little faces, giving me a warm welcome. I felt as if I know them from years. Everyone was very kind and polite. Gurukul was a big, one family sharing the bond of love. The complete atmosphere was pleasant and filled with good, big hearted people. Soon I became a part of that family.

            I took up the task to improve the communication skills of children. Every kid there was very unique in their own special way. Every kid was very curious and there used to be shower of questions on me every day. The school was not having English speaking atmosphere, so the real challenge for me was to motivate the kids to speak in English. But in very few days kids started taking initiative and speaking up.
            We used to play various games, form stories from a single line, and have debates, elocutions and various other activities. I used to love when kids curiously used to ask me to translate a random sentence in English. I felt motivated when they all used to put a lot of efforts to learn things. I used to teach them cursive writing also. Once we had a debate with 8th grades on the topic mobile phone- boon or bane and for that the complete class was divided into two groups. Within two minutes, there was a huge chaos around. Everyone was trying to convince their point and that too in English. It got very difficult for me to control the whole class but at the end we all had a loud laughter.  
            I remember a kid coming to me and saying that, ‘I want to thank you because before this I never thought I could speak in English.’ For me that was success. I really felt very good. It has made me believe that things do change. They take time, they take belief, and they take us doing whatever possible we can- but they do change.
            I got to work alongside a bunch of talented and hardworking staff of Gurukul. They used to inspire me to be a better self, to persist even when faced challenges and to truly care as a family. I was given a task to convince all the female staff to wear salwar suit. I somehow convinced them all to wear a suit. They all were looking fabulous in that new attire. There are two dogs at gurukul and they both bark on strangers. That day the dogs didn’t recognize all the beautiful ladies and was continuously barking on them. We shared many such light moments together. It was just fun being with them all.
            Time flies and with that 1 month was over. I became more responsible and independent. It has made me understand that the greatest leadership cannot be taught in a college, lectures or in a book but in the most challenging classroom. I felt a strong sense of ownership to do more. I used to wake up every day excited to get back to work and spend time with children. A child’s life feels limitless because they are not confined by the fears of failure or humiliation. I learned from them to embrace life and all it has with open arm. I learned there to stay happy and be satisfied.

Prachi Makde, NIRMAN 7

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