Sagar Dev sits in the corner of his classroom right near the window. A drop of sweat slowly making its way from his hairline to his tiny button nose… but he doesn’t care, he is busy with Diwali celebrations in school.
The sunrays heat up the open classes at Juhu Gandhigram, where sun fills up the classrooms with light and a hot summery temperature. There are no AC’S here, no interactive black boards, no computers, no fancy desks; but the children remain undeterred as for many this is their get away from a troubled home or to be more specific a crowded foot path and a plastic roof.
Here they learn languages, arts and craft, get a daily meal from Iskon and free education. Their teachers are their friends here who help lay a strong foundation for their future and also counsel their parents on how to treat them right and guide them further. At home their individuality is lost amongst their many siblings both born or on their way; but here they have their own identity and are honing their talents.
This place is the Juhu Gandhigram Mumbai Public School, a municipal school located right opposite The Iskcon temple. The school is run by an NGO known as the Nagriksatta Ward 63 Association, who go out of their way to give them an education the parents cannot afford but the children certainly deserve.
When I asked Anjali Bose (secretary and trustee) why she joined this organization, she said, “I was tired of just sitting around and complaining about the system all the time, so I decided to join it and be a part of the solution.”
The students are often given treats like chocolates, vadapavs, cakes, wafers, icecreams, kulfi and much more on special occasions like Diwali, Christmas and sometimes just on days the kids deserve some extra love.
For me it’s like home there…! The warmth and love is simply heart-warming.
Do visit it sometime.
Their facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/NSWA63