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Nirmaan Organization

We have only one passion, The rise of a great Nation



'Great' is an understatement for the feeling when being addressed this way by twenty enthusiastic kids, as they run towards you, their hands extended for a high five. Sometimes, a seven year old girl hugs you out of excitement. Such has been the bonding between us and the kids of Zari. Unlike other members, I joined Nirmaan in my second semester. Back at home, I have a close friend - a slum dweller. We shared a similar childhood; we played cricket all day long and went to our respective schools. He was in class 8 when I was in class 7. Where are we now? I worked my way through the rat race of Indian education to get admitted to one of the best colleges in the country with a branch of my choice and he is struggling with his class 12 examinations after having failed thrice. Now I’m academically older. How, though? He’s intelligent too. It turns out that his parents had already planned his future. I’m still wondering whether to buy a Harry Potter or Batman tee, and he has a wife and a job at a construction site! It was then that I started believing that we must inspire young minds from the very beginning and teach them how education plays a huge role in life. Nirmaan was the perfect platform and I am glad that I took that call.

My induction into Nirmaan was unconventional. I was interviewed by the then President, Dilip Ramesh, and seniors in other verticals. After a month of rotation between each vertical, I had the liberty of choosing my own. I was firm in my decision. It absolutely had to be Teach Zari; it was the very reason that had prompted me to join Nirmaan.

My first class was so memorable. It felt really good when the kids acknowledged our effort and reciprocated our love. They were excited, and became even more so, when I spoke to them in Kannada (common in Zari). And boy, was I relieved to speak that language after struggling with Hindi on campus. I was sent to teach them mathematics, but they insisted on learning English. Their thirst for learning new things, and learning every single day, baffled me. When I was their age, “no homework” meant “have fun” and “read chapter 7” meant “no homework”. But these kids? They wouldn’t take no homework for an answer. They wouldn’t let me leave the room without assigning them something to work on. Another memorable incident was when a second standard girl thanked me for teaching her and gave me the gift of an origami rose. On Independence day, we organized several activities, giving diaries as prizes, which later ended up in the hands of every kid who managed to wet his/her eye for not getting it. After a session of hugs, high fives, and distribution of chocolates, we headed back to campus, a morning well spent.

I’ve just started my journey, but I have learned a lot. Learning is a two-way process. I’ve learned that in every nook and corner of the country, there is a desire to learn, which most of us are oblivious to. There are Einsteins in the shadows, waiting to be discovered. I've learned that social service is not all about earning karma points, it’s about self-satisfaction and mental tranquility too. I also learned that when a seven year old girl tells you that she forgot her sandals and demands a ride home on your shoulders, you just can’t escape those innocent puppy eyes. On a more serious note, I feel that Nirmaan is a great initiative and I’m happy to be a part of it. I look forward to more such memorable days.


Sooraj Kamath

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