A Volunteer’s experience of working @Khushi

For the first time, i have got a volunteer to write about her experience of working with the Khushi kids so as to give you people a different take on what teaching kids in such an environment means. Anjali, the person who has very graciously taken out time to write this post stating her experience, is a 2nd year student at DU. In her interactions with the kids i always found her to be extremely genuine, which is one quality kids really admire a lot and connect to easy. Also, she displayed an amazing level of commitment and dedication towards the play. I really appreciate all the hard-work she and the other volunteers put in for the kids. 

The emotion behind deciding to work with kids for the first time in my life was an amalgamation of two very different things. First was the greed for the purely selfish thought of feeling good, of feeling proud, you might even add a scene from a movie here, i really wanted to feel the slow motion moment of pleasure but what trespassed this feeling was an instant kick back to the real world of knowing to have only having a favourite few teachers, of nick-naming them, of hating them instantly and eyeing them as a totally different group of humans- the ‘teachers’!

Definitely I was scared at first because I didn’t want to ruin my chance and a brief session with our lovely fellow made me even nervous as well as excited as the big day arrived. I have always seconded Jason Mraz’s lyrics reciting ‘our name is our virtue’ (well always the exceptions being the unfortunate ones who get christened with an opposite sex name), the kids in the Khushi Rainbow Home truly embodied the spirit of the name.

Contrary to the fears of acceptance, the girls welcomed us with arms wide open, no literally they did so. We were either welcomed for every session by their wide innocent smiles or we would find them watching some movie or the other, they were true movie buffs! They had pure warmth to offer, and an always willing mind to use you as a pole to swing from!

Well a good homework is always recommended and we did ours just fine. The Salman crazed students we were about to teach easily befriended us with the utterance of three magic words-‘hud hud dabangg’ (obviously followed by the famous hand-belt gesture) .Moreover these little Madhuri Dixits of dancing made us dance with them which was definitely great fun except that it wasn’t our field in question. But we managed our way around inviting their ideas in the script and doing fun dramatics exercises (tip- simon says and London statue ALWAYS works!) and finally producing our play.

A very peculiar thing about our class was that it wasn’t a classroom in the proper sense; we went to their shelter home and just like the circus tiger and the ring master’s power relationship, we had to constantly fight to lay a proper system keeping in mind the fact that it was their territory we intruded upon. But they were kids alright, they understood, sometimes they didn’t but then we were prepared to be on our toes.

I remember reading it in a newspaper interview, the interviewee said that to test a person’s creativity see how he behaves around kids. And man did we come up with a powerhouse worth of energy and an Indian TV serial writer’s creativity!

What i learned from this experience was that to be around kids you need to think fast and in sync with the people you are working with. I learnt that we couldn’t lose control except for when we were dancing. Repetition and inspiring interest is the key and speaking their language a must!

After crazy practices we put up a good show! And what I take back from this experience is the understanding of how crucial co-curricular activities are , how important education is , how impartial the world is, how innocent a child is , how rewarding sharing is and how brutally honest the kids can be!

Anjali Shrivastava

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