Sunday, June 27, 2010
Drops of Ankur
Introduction : In Don Bosco School,New Delhi,there is an Ankur Don Bosco initiative, where children from poor backgrounds, who cannot afford the luxury of a public school, are given free education. While in class 12, our class 12-B 2009-2010, as a part of Work-Ex, was given the opportunity to interact with them,to teach them,to learn from them and to,particularly, entertain them on children's day.
The initiative, is lovingly called, Ankur Don Bosco or simply Ankur School. The word "ANKUR", a part of the beautiful hindi language, means "seed,sprout" and represents the growth and change that is life itself.
The Sun was about to set,and we were bidding the children goodbye. Our class, 12 B, had been given the responsibility of organizing children's day for
Don Bosco Ankur's children.
Over the past few months, i had come to know,see and admire these children for the wonderful gifts they had. They were always cheerful, ready as ever to recite
their beautiful poems with visual detail. The little ones were never apprehensive of asking questions, and many of them were very bright. They cherished all that they
possessed, be it a half-shaven pencil or a set of crayons. Their eyes shone with excitement - learning for them was a joy.
Our day began when school ended, and though all we had till then were ideas, everyone set to the task allotted to them. Some ran after the microphones, while others
guarded the "treasure". After the children arrived, we began with a quizzing session that turned out to be quite popular. The smaller children were led to a different
location, where some of the volunteers played games with them. The enthusiasm that poured out from these children was awe-inspiring. We found ourselves marvel at
the multitudes of talent that lay untapped within them.
Later on, two teams were invented, and they were given the task of finding a hidden treasure on the basis of clues and hints. One could witness them run excitedly, in
search of a treasure that became an instrument of expressing the joy that permeates their hearts.
In a moment of sudden strangeness, i found myself willing to talk to these children whom i barely reckoned, to share my joys with them,to express the feeling of closeness
that i felt with them. It struck me - humanity knows no boundaries of caste,gender,creed - it knows only the language of love. And it was this love, in varied forms
that i had been receiving, that bound me in an invisible relationship with them.
Soon, it was time for us to send them home. Every child was given a neatly wrapped set of two pencils and an eraser, and it was then that i saw the little girl,dressed in
her best attire,seated peacefully on the floor, her head moving about impatiently,as if searching for something she seemed to miss.
I had seen her before, when i had come to participate in the Ankur Outreach programme, where we would teach these children English, Hindi and Math.
She seemed to notice my presence,and as i handed her the prize, her face lit up with a smile that one rarely sees. She took the gift, and shyly said," Thank you Bhaiyya,".
My heart poured with joy, not of having been able to give something, but of having received so much - the strange feeling of closeness that i felt, the wondrous moments
that i spent with these drops of Ankur that seemed as if to have fallen from the kingdom of God, like rain to nourish the Earth. The thirst for a higher meaning to life,
and the divine grace that manifests itself in our shallow lives - in the eyes of a mother, in the blessings of a teacher.