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Do not disturb: It’s vacation time

May 18, 2009 in Others by PankhudiAdmin

With the passage of time children are getting more comfortable with the phonetics and eventually in remembering the spellings, but this is just the starting and we (alongwith the kids) have a long journey ahead.
As children are having their summer vacations now, many of them will be leaving for their vacations for some time. And those who are staying at their places are clearly seem overpowered by the joy of having 2 months vacations from school. They are always in a mood to play and enjoy, which is pretty much obvious given the aura of vacations filling the lacunae which schools have left for these 2 months.
And with all this, there are not much unique or different happenings, which we are planning to shove off once the kids return to their homes. Till then plannings and arrangements of health check ups and upgradations of the curriculum etc.., which are still underway, will be finished and I am sure kids will benefit and enjoy these changes much more once they return from their grandma’s or nani’s places.

~Pankhudi Day Celebrations !

April 21, 2009 in Others by PankhudiAdmin

This Sunday was a bit different, thanks to Pankhudi itself, and all the kids are also a part of this thanks giving club. Reason, as we all know, being fourth “happy birthday” of Pankhudi.

By the time I arrived, Samanta and Vidha were already there and the kids were very excited, for two reasons: first, they got to know there would not be any studies this Sunday (which a few kids were still doubtful about and confirmed again about the same) and second, they were curious as to what was going to be replaced with studies.

So, with all the events planned beforehand, this Sunday started with lemon spoon relay, then three legged race which everyone enjoyed a lot; all the kids were very eager to take part and win each race. Due to space issues, the races were held in groups of 8-10 kids and so there were a few rounds of each race, which obviously was good for a few kids who sneaked into more than one rounds of the same race :) .

And in the end, Samantha’s sister and her friend came who taught few dance steps to the kids. All the kids, especially girls, were carefully listening to what both of them were telling them; their eyes were full of curiosity and their bodies were busy dedicatedly copying what dance steps their two ‘didi’s’ were taking, which was clearly showing how seriously they were trying to learn it and how seriously they were enjoying it. In fact a few of the parents too found it interesting and came to watch their sons and daughters dancing; and there were some shy ones, like ankit, who were more comfortable being a part of spectator gang, but no issues with that as this sunday was meant for everyone to enjoy and it was his way of enjoying it so no one forced him (and a few other shy ones also) into joining others and dance.

Finally we wrapped up by Vidha giving kids the chocolates which she brought with her. In fact, this final task is usually the most difficult task as kids make such a, kind of, chaos after getting to know that toffees or chocolates are being distributed (which me and my sister still do at home!!).

Changes

April 9, 2009 in Others by naval

Lot of changes happening in Pankhudi Delhi. New reps were appointed this Sunday. The office bearers for 2009-2010 are:

Chapter Rep: Vidha Jain

Finance Rep: Samantha Behl, Kuldeep Kumar

PR Rep: Vaibhav Khandelwal

Content Rep: Reema Govil, Sameer Gupta

The old reps did a pretty good job and I hope the new team can carry it on!

Other than that, we had a pretty long meeting about upcoming plans. Anvesha and Kunal will be working together to look into getting a building on rent near our camp, as well as starting up a chapter in Gurgaon. Anvesha will also arrange for us all to get training in the Pratham material. Samantha and I (Vidha) will work on putting together a summer internship program for students. We’ll also be looking into getting a curriculum for Maths and maybe even science very soon.

The class itself was quite fun too. Namita did a little test of all the kids. Most of them did very well, although everyone was very amused when one of the girls introduced herself as “I am Raveena, I am rickshaw”. She did try very hard though and everyone else more than made up.

Overall things seem to be going on the right path. With a little more push from everyone, I believe we should be a lot closer to our goals by the end of this year.

Up-date(d) : 5 April 2009

April 9, 2009 in Others by PankhudiAdmin

There is not much to update for the day dated 5 April 2009 as almost all the volunteers were available this time at the venue so they have all the live information with them. Infact I did not know that there were so many smart and enthusiastic people working behind the scenes (this was the first time we were having such a meeting where all the volunteers were present, with the exception of very few who were out of station..or nation…!!), being in touch with other NGO’s and organizations, working out so eagerly the problems and issues Delhi Chapter is facing.

As far as children’s progress is concerned, they are showing good signs of understanding as they are getting a grip on the phonetics so that they are beginning to co-relate sounds with their spellings, which is gradually helping them in spelling out the whole words and they seem to be enjoying their achievement of spelling correctly by showing interest in learning more words.

Apart from that a few issues were also discussed, proper place to teach the kids being the most important one as the summers are knocking at the door and it will be very difficult for the kids as well as the volunteers to continue this teaching in the open at that time in the morning and a bit more early in the morning will be difficult for the volunteers as many people come from far off places (and secondly getting up early in the sunday morning is one of the most difficult task after the saturday night fever!!).

Quick Update

March 22, 2009 in Others by naval

Again overdue post but there hasn’t been a lot to report really over the past few weeks. The children’s progress is going well especially the older ones like I said. We’ve been evaluating them on the stuff they learn with Aasmeen over the week. We’re trying to make it more focused by giving her targets and making sure the children are moving at the speed recommended by the Pratham curriculum. We’ve also created a folder where we write down what we did with each kid every Sunday, and his/her progress. Volunteer strength is decent with a lot of the newer volunteers being very regular. Now all we need is a proper place to teach i.e. a sheltered classroom since the summer is fast approaching and it will get very hot outside.

Today we were meant to have a meeting about content and ways of evaluating each child. I wasn’t able to attend due to prior committments but will post an update here as soon as I get to know what the outcome was! 

Overdue Update

February 22, 2009 in Others by naval

I haven’t been here in a while, mainly coz I’ve been out of town so I haven’t been attending class for the past 2 weeks. However what is very cool is that even though me, Naval, Namita and a lot of our other regular volunteers weren’t here, work hasn’t stopped. A lot of our new volunteers have stepped up and kept things going, along with Aasmeen’s regular classes of course. I’m still amazed at the speed with which things have moved over the past couple of months and it is very motivating to see how well everyone is doing. Aasmeen’s dedication and sincerity is exemplary as is the enthusiasm shown by the kids.

Today was another very productive day. Namita came for class and we divided the kids into groups. We did a little re-test to see the level at which the kids and reached and I believe some of the younger kids showed enough progress to move to the higher lever. We’ve divided the kids into 4 groups, each led by one senior volunteer who will be responsible for their progress. All the other volunteers can join any group that they feel comfortable teaching to ensure no group is left without a volunteer even when the regulars are unable to make it. We’ve also decided to have one file dedicated to the entire group with individual pages for each child so we can track their progress over the next few months. As decided earlier, our role will now be to evaluate the progress each child is making rather than actually teaching ourselves.

Namita had a stern talk with some of the kids who weren’t regular at Aasmeen’s classes and hopefully they will start going from tomorrow. Another incident worth mentioning is that Kunal, one of our new volunteers tore up the kids’ playing cards last week which they were using to gamble. In exchange he bought them a brand new cricket bat and a ball this week which I think is very cool :)

Other than that we’re hoping once we don’t have to spend so much on teaching and things stabilize with our english curriculum, we’ll move on to Math and Hindi as well. We can also begin teaching other things like life sciences etc.

Let’s hope this trend towards progress keeps up! Kudos to everyone involved :)

 

 

 

8th Feb, 09

February 9, 2009 in Others by PankhudiAdmin

So, as was clear it was an expectation to find few people as many ppl were not free this sunday. With this expectation to find atleast “somebody”, I reached Okhla at around 10:20 or so, but found “nobody”, and since I had come from so long it would have been an injustice to my 1 hr travel in bus and to the children there if I went without teaching anything ( I got this idea in mind just because I had never been in such a situation…). And luckily a girl, shabnam, recognised me, though I did not teach her during my two week long work experience here, and then things went as usual with me teaching older kids ( 4th std.), felt like I had been promoted :) alongwith the younger ones. Then later another volunteer Ravi came and he handled the younger kids and things went quite smoothly, though children were not in a mood to study much and hence had to leave them 75 minutes or so.

After this sunday’s incident I felt a SERIOUS NEED OF BETTER COMMUNICATION among the volunteers. So, please, all the readers do give it a thought about how to make our sundays’ and saturdays’ classes more organised. One that I can think of presently is that we can use SMSes to inform a person about our availability, prob a day or two before the weekends, so that some replacements can be worked out and things can be more planned that way. What say ?

Nurturing an ineffable relationship

February 7, 2009 in Others by PankhudiAdmin

Well this again is still 6 days late…but as compared to many is far too early though. Hmmm last sunday brought with it a new realization that with working here I am now starting to develop a new kind of relationship with the kids.
So kahani kuch is terha shuru hoti hai .. on reaching there I sat on the mat on which we teach the kids getting introduced with 3 new faces (som, sumit and ..??? , oh I really apologize from the third girl.. am too weak in remembering names ) that sunday then suddenly neha and sultan (I suppose, now u’ll have to pardon me here too) came and sat in front of me and started to ask what to do that day. That was “the” moment. I suddenly felt like I was actually in a complete new kind of relationship…finding it quite difficult to put in words but something like when your younger bros and sisters are coming to you to study …. but still different from it too…
Then I realised one more thing, I did not have any idea as to what was that I was going to teach them, completely blank this time. Then checked what they did the previous week and continued from where they stopped.
But mai bhi chikna ghada hu…havnt still decided what to teach them tomorrow, think will have to use the same – continue from where they left – approach…
C ya all tomorrow, though most of won’t be coming tomorrow as it seems from the mail on the group, but just for formality or whatever….

Experience of an inexperienced

January 30, 2009 in Others by PankhudiAdmin

This silly piece of writing should have come 6 days ago but the delay is credited to the work load I am having at my office (Sometimes I think life is full of excuses, at the school we blame our studies, exams etc. etc. and now work load :) ). Now enough of bantering, trite and hackneyed talk (wow!! my vocab is really improving).

Now as is clear from the topic (is it? I doubt) that I am a completely novice at teaching young kids. Infact even handling them is what brings out all the dread in me. But still there is something in me telling me to do something good for the society and so I was here with Vidha ma’am at Okhla.

As this was my first time at Pankhudi (or any NGO for that matter), I had butterflies flying here and there inside my stomach (though they had little space inside my very little belly, infact saying it zero sized won’t be an exaggeration !!!) about how I would do the most difficult task in the world (for me obviously) of handling young kids on the first hand and then teaching them on the other (remaining)hand.

Now, on reaching there I was explained about the worksheet Vidha prepared and then began my tussle, which was more difficult by the fact I later came to know that none of the regular volunteers would come (work load is really an endemic issue). It was one against 6-7 others (Neha, Mustafa, Halim, Sultan, Kapil), am very sorry for my poor memory. So as usual, they were cheating during the test, sometimes obeying me, sometimes neglecting me completely and finally ended our 1.5 hr battle.

So, it was not as horrible experience as I was skeptical about initially. But in the end I left the place with the feeling of giving something back to the society – to the strata of the society actually in need of something :) .

Photos

January 30, 2009 in Others by PankhudiAdmin

Oops, these were meant to go into the last post but I forgot to attach them. Just a couple of pictures of the kids that Naval took from his trusty phone camera last month :)

The 3 at the bottom are from a Christmas fair that Naval and Rashmi went to. It was organized by Shaloo Ma’am and her volunteers. Seems like it was a lot of fun!

rashmi.jpgfair2.jpgfair.jpg