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Thursday, December 29, 2011

End of Term 1

20 September 2011


The children have gone off. What ever we do we can’t beat the joy of going home. The rain and wind have gone too. Silence is all around us. Even the bright multicoloured cosmos flowers, thin and elegant, cannot fill the silence with all their colours. The birds too seem to have quitened. The first term is over.

      Kamal has finished college and taken a drop of six months on our advise to roam around the country before he applies for MA Economics somewhere, which is before he sits for the IAS. He has long plans. We are looking for suggestions for a good college where the atmosphere is not laden with too much English and neo-liberal economists. He volunteered in a school run by a people’s organization and of course Adharshila where he has been brought up. He is going to spend some time in Bihar with Arvind an old friend and activist of the once famous Vahini group.

    We feel this is a natural extension of our work, to place children in good institutions in the fields of their interests. We have made a list and will try to seek admissions for higher studies for our and other deserving students.

      A small cat has come into our house. God sent. Freedom from rats. But she is all over the place now, only decent looking and loveable.

    We went to conduct a 5 day Education Skills course for the IIIrd year Bachelor of Social Work students at the TISS campus at Tuljapur, Maharashtra. It has about 160 students, 130 staff and 100 acres. The amount of resources pumped into an institution doesn’t necessarily mean quality education. One thing for sure, it means lot of wasteful expenditure and no use of creatively using resources. So the lesson learnt outside classrooms is of a wasteful, extravagant living with others doing all your labour work. How so ever much they may debate on the caste divide or factors of poverty and equality and other big words inside the class room. Routinizing such words is dangerous. It just might prove to be counterproductive. Words lose their edge when overused.

     We have 100 children, 10 staff and 6 acres. Every day we are thinking of improving our farm production or when will we become self sufficient in fuel wood. How can we reduce costs and improve quality with minimum resources. How will we fight these resource rich guys ? This keeps coming up again and again.