Some young people in the city are willing to share their knowledge with those who may not be as privileged as them. They feel it is their responsibility to empower the next generation using education as a tool, and it is simply inspiring to see them feel that way. These young people, many of whom are students or recent graduates of the University of Delhi, share what it takes to raise awareness of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and a tool for a more literate and sustainable society.
“I remember this girl who used to share her phone with her little sister so she could also study,” says Kalash Kaushal, a recent BA (Hons) graduate from Rajdhani College, adding, “When she came to me and m said she wanted me to change class times, so her sister could also attend class, I was so overwhelmed that this little one realized that education was important not only to her but also to her sister This is what inspires me to this day…I am not only teaching them from books but also trying to impart social and moral values to them.It’s so good to see them learning, understanding things, and also introspecting and analyzing what is right and what is wrong.
Kaushal also teaches underprivileged girls about menstrual hygiene and its importance. “I think if we take responsibility for educating them, we should cover all the bases,” Kaushal adds. And Pallavi Saini, a final year undergraduate student in management at Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS), feels blessed to be able to make a difference in society. She says, “It’s not that I’m doing anything special because it’s nothing but a privilege to play a small role in a child’s journey; knowing that you are making a difference in how their future unfolds. If I received a quality education, then these little ones deserve it too… It all started for me when I started teaching this young boy, Krish, whose father was unable to hire the expenses necessary to provide him with the education he had truly wanted. It’s a very nice feeling to watch him grow and learn. I can see it in his eyes how eager he is to learn better. And yes, I make sure to sit with him, feed him delicious food and watch a cartoon after we’re done, to make sure he comes back with the same enthusiasm the next day too !”
Many like Saini take pride in doing their bit. Take for example Shivansh Raj, a final year BA (Hons) Economics student at Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC). He is the president of his college’s NSS team and has volunteered for the cause throughout the pandemic. “We sincerely believe that education is a right and not a privilege. Our mission is to provide free quality education to these young and bright minds so that they prove to be an asset to their families and the country as a whole,” says Raj, adding, “Through our Sanskar project, we have impacted the lives of over 500 students by providing quality education and helping them achieve their dreams…During the lockdown, due to the pandemic, we made sure to continue delivering classes online mode, and even to provide internet. A fun event, Masti Ki Paathshala, was also held where students showcased their talent in dance, music, art, magic performances, etc.
For others, what started as an act of kindness inspired them to do so much more. This was the case with Nitika Sehra, a recent BSc (Hons) graduate from Ramjas College. She says: “It was the daughter of my housekeeper who aroused in me the desire to share the joy of educating someone. I used to help him with his studies during the weekends, and that’s when I developed such a passion for it. So I established links with several NGOs and I now teach children there. The children I teach range in age from five to 13 years old. I teach them basic math, the alphabet and grammar. To be honest, I love these kids and they love me too. They have so many aspirations, and when I listen to them talk about it, I am infused with positivity. The world is a better place when I’m around these cute little friends. It’s so hot, so healthy.
Author tweets @karansethi042