Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Chitradurga : Rural Reach Program

“Teacher’s pet is that you?”. If someone had asked me this question, I would never have said yes. But if someone asked me, “Teacher, is it you?” I would have said yes. I have always liked teaching from my childhood, from helping friends to teaching my brother and other cousins.

So, when I got this opportunity to attend a CSR (corporate Social Responsibility) activity, from my office, I pounced on it. We were to go to Chitradurga (CD) and create awareness among the students, how to use computers, what to do with and how it can help in any career decision they make.

This post might get too long, since I want to pour in every little detail from that experience.

The program: students from around 20+ schools will be gathered in Murgha Matt in Chitradurga. Around 25 volunteers from our company would go there, to provide the awareness about the most basic thing in our life these days – COMPUTERS.

The Trip: We start from our office at 4.30 pm. I don’t know any of the other guys and gals, and initially everybody was in their seat, trying to catch a power nap. Slowly, introductions happened and I got to speak to some of them. There was heavy rain and the wipers in our van had some problem, due to which there was a delay. So with a break and delay due to rain, we reached CD at 9.30 PM. We were provided with food and accommodation at the Matt. The food was very yummy, and it helped that we were hungry. The matt itself was very spacious and calm. After a little chit-chat, we were told to assemble at 7.30 AM next morning, and all of us retired to our rooms.

I couldn’t sleep well that night, since I was a little nervous and very excited. But finally around 1.30AM, I think fell asleep. Around 5.30 AM, I could hear birds chirping, and I could no longer stay on bed. I went out, and it was a chilly morning. I spent a few minutes there, and finally came back to bed. By 7.30, we were ready and were at the meeting place in few minutes. After a few instructions, we were told about the day’s program. Then started the photo session. We clicked quite a few group pics. Around 8.30 AM, we went to have breakfast. We ate Uppit, Kesari bhat and tomato rice. It was very tasty. We then went back to our rooms to get our laptop bags.

Around 9.30 we walked towards the big hall where the program was to start. As we were closer and we could see the students, there were butterflies in my stomach. We saw lot of chairs on the stage, and lot of chairs on the side. We were walking on the side, where we couldn’t see the chairs kept. Just when we were wondering where we were going to sit. I saw some of our group members walking up the stairs and nearing the chairs on the stage. That’s when it struck. We are going to be on stage. “OMG!!!!!!!!, we are going to sit on the stage”

Well, after settling on the stage, I saw how it felt to sit on the stage looking at the audience. Usually I am on the other side. We had to keep a straight face and not behave funny, obviously with 800-900 students looking at us. But it was fine, we got used to it. In a few minutes, Dr. Sri Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, who is the present pontiff of the Math arrived. The introductions happened, we were given roses, a micro mini speech by one of our representatives was followed by the speech from guruji.

I have always detested speeches, but there are very few speeches which I have enjoyed, and this was one of them. For 2 reasons, it was short, and it was interactive. First few minutes he iterated to the students, how computers are useful in life, and how they can benefit that day from our visit. Then he gave an example of animation movies, example of content from TV, then turned into an interactive discussion with students. The answers the kids gave were also entertaining. Finally he ended the speech mentioning, how they should utilize this opportunity.

Once the speech was completed, they mentioning, honoring of our group by the guruji. I was stunned. This has never ever happened to me. So when my name was called, I did namaskar to guruji and he put the shawl over me, gave me a gift (book), and showered some flowers on my. I thanked him and came back to my seat. All 25 of us were felicitated. Our group also, had taken a mala and fruits for guruji. After the vote of thanks, all the dignitaries from the stage departed, and the teachers started segregating the groups, for the classes. The actual program for which we had come. It was like waiting for “Moment of Truth”.

To be Continued........

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