June 27th, 2017
It all started three years back when Rupam Singh, an advocate from Noida decided to open a school for the underprivileged children, from Rasoolpur Nawda, in the park behind Telecom City, Sector-62. As an advocate she witnessed various children wrecked in juvenile cases. Her heart went out to these children and she decided to bring about the change, she wanted to see among the underprivileged kids. She soon came to the conclusion, educating them is necessary to bridge the gap as problems of the society are interconnected at different levels. This led her to launch the Parimal Pathshala that aimed at educating kids right from the grass root level.
The Journey from 5 to 125 children
It began as a one man army and a handful of students. The initial months have been difficult, with hardly five or six students who came to learn. She started off by approaching house-helps to send their wards to her but was paid heed to by anyone hardly. It took her efforts and perseverance to get them send their children.
She firmly believes that there are numerous gaps in the society created by the caste and class structure. These are the gaps which she aims at addressing and narrowing. Education is one of the first premises which would help in reducing these gaps and provide the required support to these children.
With regular strength of about seventy children, the transitory strength often shoots up to 115 or 125 students. From teaching basic English and mathematics by using standardised NCERT books, Rupam also stresses majorly on the need to learning extra-curricular activities like art and craft.
The children are taught how to paint and make art objects like quilling, designing plastic flowers to name some. The children are trained under the expert guidance of a retired DPS arts teacher, Manju Kohli. Anjum Awasthy, a post graduate in engineering has taken up the responsibility of teaching 8th and 9th standard kids. One of the primary uniqueness of the medium of teaching lies in the fact that the children are taught according to their mental needs. Teaching, therefore, is a daunting task, as she has to analyse their mental capacity and plot their needs accordingly. Most of the children are enrolled in government schools and this method of schooling by Parimal Pathshala helps them in achieving holistic grooming. Apart from teaching, yoga workshops, storytelling sessions, afforestation campaigns and initiative like eye check up camps are also taken up at Parimal Pathshala.
Many women from the surrounding appartments have volunteered by joining hands with the Parimal Pathshala. The women get to use the skills they imbibed as mothers, in a setting outside their families, to discover and identify themselves outside of their own kids. The children, get to spend time and learn from women who have years of experience caring, educating and in general dealing with young ones. Both the children and the women get to know a little bit more about each other’s world.
When The Logical Indian spoke to Rupam Singh about the ordeals, she had to face while for taking this initiative, she said, “I had a hard time convincing the parents of these kids to send their children to me. Most of them belong the lower rung of our society. Gaining their confidence took me a lot of hard work. I feel happy when I see their smiling faces.”
Upon asking what triggered her to embark on this journey, she said, “The society has given a lot to me. It’s my payback time with whatever I can do.” As this initiative based out of Noida, gradually started gaining momentum, more volunteers started joining hands in teaching these children.
Challenges and vision
The primary challenge is the lack of a roof to conduct the classes. Classes are conducted in the society park where interference of kids playing and climatic issues create the most hindrances. “It gets difficult holding classes during the summer and the rainy season”, replied Mrs Singh, remorsefully. “Often kids playing nearby create a disturbance for those who are trying to study”, she added. The tone of remorse quickly fades out as one gets to hear her chirpy tone upon asking about impact has the Parimal Pathshala created. She replied, “I have noticed a drastic change in the kids regarding growth in confidence. Education mainly affects their personality helping them bloom into better and stronger human beings. They exude confidence as they are given opportunities to perform at the community functions like Durga Puja or even Republic Day. The change in personality and behaviour is noteworthy.”
Parimal Pathshala continues to touch lives by imparting education to children and illuminating lives in the process. Mrs Singh is hopeful that in spite of the hardships these children face, primary education shall give them a firm footing. Few of them have also been admitted to private schools which are nothing short of an achievement for her and the entire team at Parimal Pathshala. Parimal Pathshala is trying to put their best in giving a better future to the kids belonging to an underprivileged background. On asking where does she want to see the organisation five years down the line, she replied,”We want a roof above our heads and want to touch the lives of several more kids. Their smiling faces makes me happy and proud.”
For more deatils visit : https://www.facebook.com/ParimalPathshalaSec62/
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