I have already told you a bit about the slum which is in transition. Well not that all the settlers have left the area. A few still stay there in uncertainty. We were met with the option of completely leave the area or pay attention to the few who are still staying over there. There is also a nearby slum, from where kids were coming to the school. What about them?
We decided to love the few remnants. But the question was where to put up the school. Luckily one of the teachers spotted an abandoned hamlet. It was a lonely hut on the other side of the road. We occupied the hamlet, and called in the children. The volunteers started teaching there. But then it wasn’t enough. There were the PE kids, whose education was being obstructed by the relocation. We need to build another shed to teach the PE students. That is when Mr. Som called for the help to build a new structure.
I went there at the site, where they said they were building the new shed. I was a bit late. They had already started digging. Oh! We had no other labourers. We were the labourers! The project manager, the supervisor, and the other teachers, braced themselves for hard manual work. I who serves as the director joined in to the joy. They had already made measurements and brought in bamboo cuttings to build the structure. The elder students brought spades and other utensils to dig and clear the land. Then the teachers made holes in the ground deep enough to stabilize the standing Bamboos. Six such poles were placed very soon. Then they cut out holders for the roof. They tilted the roof slightly towards the east. Once the roof was set up, they have to now spread the tarpaulin over the bamboo cuttings. This is the work of the kids. Only kids can climb over the roofs. This is their ‘inheritance’. While the students were busy weaving the roof, the teachers build the side walls. In all this I was an active participant, enjoying every moment with the rugged kids, who playfully work to build their school. A door was put up….. and …. Tada! The school is built!
As I looked at the well formed structure built in just one day. I said to myself: I am living my life! I had joined the chorus of teachers who enthusiastically built their own school. I remembered Henry David Thoreau who lived in the wilderness to know whether he would not learn what Nature had to teach. In this little life of ours, I can’t but learn lessons perhaps many of you would never learn! I echo with Mr. Thoreau: … “…and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” As I talk to many of our friends, I encourage them to come and live with us for a few days. I have hardly found a person, whose eyes were not opened or being inspired by the lives of these people. Some of them then discover that they had not lived their lives!