Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Sunday DI session - Chennai

After a year long, I visited a DI center, our Valasarawakkam class in Chennai. Our volunteer Sriram, his brother and a couple of more volunteers have been conducting classes in this school regularly for the past one year. It has been wonderful how the lack of other volunteers and the dwindling student population has failed to deter these young ones.

The class strength has come down to about 5-6 students who attend regularly and today was no different. Sriram's uncle was about to sell his desktop as he was upgrading to a new PC and Sriram convinced him that DI will put it to good use. Hence the HC Bumble bee desktop has been silently making a big difference to the children in the science laboratory of the corporation school here. 

We put a moral story VCD ( where animated characters talk about old Ramakrishna tales in slow English. So not only do the children learn the morals, but they also improve their English skills gradually. I was really surprised to see how well the kids listening powers had developed and how beautifully they were able to talk and understand English. When asked to translate 'panna mudiyathu' in English, while one chap blinked, the other shot out 'It is impossible'. 

When in the midst of a tale, power cut played truant and in true 'Swades' movie style, we asked one boy to narrate one of the earlier tales in English and for the nxt 20 minutes, the entire class was alert, helping him translate all of the tamil sentences in his mind to English and at the end of it, Bravo! we had a very good story in English.

Do not mind the long narration about a small DI session, but the session had only confirmed the faith that DI has - Never bother about how small the class strength is, go out there, do your best, and enjoy the class with the kids available, that is precisely what we did today.

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