Report from Mothers International Volunteers at Kusumpur Pahari

Rohan Bhatia

Working at Ritinjali was a wonderful experience for me and each day I spent there taught me something new about life. The walk to the teaching centre itself through the slum was an eye opener to the conditions that these children face in their lives. Our first day there was a bit disconcerting as we struggled with the disparities in the age groups and the different knowledge levels of the children. However, we soon got into the groove and divided the children accordingly. I was interacting largely with the smaller kids and their interest and concentration was indeed laudable. I had great fun teaching them shapes, numbers and colours and the children exhibited a fondness for colouring and some of them showed great promise. We told them several stories and fables, almost all of them containing a moral in order to inculcate a holistic approach. With the bigger kids we focused mainly on maths and the eagerness with which they went about it was astonishing and we also had fun teaching them origami. Rishika and Ishita did a wonderful job choreographing an entire dance sequence with the children and they performed for everyone on our last day. The teachers at Ritinjali provided tonnes of support and encouragement and this wouldn’t have been possible without them. Ritinjali is a conduit for knowledge and the enthusiasm which I witnessed there has indeed humbled me and I would love to come back.

Nikhil Hajela

It was a very enriching experience working in association with Ritinjali to teach the kids of a urban village in Vasant Vihar. The kids were really bright and had the gift of a burning desire to learn, and to be able to contribute to their eagerness by teaching them new things was a very fulfilling experience. I'm sure that these kids will achieve greater things in life and the feeling of have being contributed even a little in improving someone's life is the most wonderful feeling. Many thanks to the teachers and Ritinjali for making it possible for us to be part of something so amazing! And I hope they continue this wonderful operation in the times to come.

Ishita Agarwal

We went to a NGO called Ritanjali where we taught underprivileged children from the age of 4 to the age of 13. It was a great experience teaching the children. The first day we found it a little difficult to connect with the children but second day onwards it went great. We narrated them stories which they really enjoyed. We also tried to enact some stories to make them more interesting and make them learn the morals. We taught them lot of things from counting, animals, colours, shapes etc to the youngest lot to Factorisation to the eldest children. We were really amazed that the children learned so fast. Also what was extremely satisfying was that the children had a thirst to learn new things and they understood well everything we taught them. One thing what the kids really looked forward to was the dance which we used to teach them every day. The biggest challenge we faced was that the children were of different age and each one had learnt till a different level. But we tried our best to teach one according to their level so that no one felt left out. Also the teachers there were extremely cordial we felt loved and welcomed there. We really hope these kids reach great heights and we would love to return to share our knowledge with them.

Rishika Roy

Ritinjali is a very meaningful NGO, and is doing a very noble work. It gives me a great sense of achievement to have worked with this organisation. I went there mainly as a dance teacher, but ended up teaching little kids as well, and my experience with the students was beautiful. The children are very bright, and if given the right training, can excel in extracurricular activities and academics. All the teachers in charge were also very warm and welcoming, and thus the whole journey with them was very comfortable. If time permits, I would love to come back.

Jyotirmay Bhattacharjee

My experience teaching children at Ritinjali has been very inspiring. I have learnt a lot from the children there. At first I thought teaching children would be a difficult task but seeing the enthusiasm and zeal of the children I soon plunged into it. The children in the 7-8 year age group were very keen on learning new things and were always ready for a story from the Panchatantra. They are very fast learners who love colouring and drawing, the best way to express one’s imagination. The older children are very smart and intelligent. On the first day we were a little unsure of what to teach them, but by the second day we knew exactly what we needed to do. The children were all on different levels so we separated them into two groups, one of the older children and one of the younger children and taught them separately. We taught the younger children the alphabets, counting, shapes, animals etc., while the older kids learnt factorisation etc. The younger ones were always ready for a round of colouring or drawing. All in all the experience was truly wonderful and I really feel I have contributed in helping these children learn and have helped them on a little way through their first step in education. They have also taught me to be always thirsty for more knowledge and never give up learning.

Samarth Shukla

Working at this NGO was an enriching experience. It was a learning experience not only for the children studying there but also for us. It was all not only serious teaching but also involved fun and games. It included poems, dancing and other activities, making it fun for everyone involved. It also gave us the opportunity to give something back to the society by helping in the education of the next generation.

Sanjeev Dasgupta

I have been associated with the Becoming I Foundation working on suggestive models to implement the RTE act however Ritinjali offered me the opportunity to actually get on the ground and interact with children. I had an enriching experience teaching the children a plethora of subjects from Panchtantra fables to origami. The children were very enthusiastic when it came to art and maths and their diverse interests truly amazed me. They display great skill and maturity for their age and I believe that the work that Ritinjali is doing will go a long way in extricating these children from the adversities they have to face. I worked individually with a couple of small children and the satisfaction of seeing them respond and learn was immense. I sincerely thank the teachers and Ritinjali for giving me this beautiful experience.

Here is a link to a video of the dance performance choreographed by the volunteers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYbvknndySY