Is the progress so far ‘made real’?

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Is the progress so far ‘made real’?

Thursday, 25 May 2023 | Radhika S Tibrewal

Is the progress so far ‘made real’?

The Midterm Break always brings in the sense of delight and new freshness amongst every student particularly for the ones going to a boarding school. A small escape and lavishing break from the activities, sports and the daily routine works very well to instil in us the encouragement to yearn for a kick start of a new and an amazingly packed April Term. Mondays in our school were usually devoted to social service activities. All of us had chosen domains to work for.  Some devoted their time to the literacy of the baijis and the bhayajis while the other domain working for the interest of some adopted village and the others well taking charge and care of the mute children. The school and the teachers really did try their best to keep us in touch with the prevalent social disparity and the grief which still persisted amongst the less privileged.

It was once decided to dedicate a day to trekking expeditions and rock climbing for the junior students while a secondary option was as well placed well before the students to visit the different NGOs and look after the old and the retired as well as the mute and the dumb. As I was made the in charge of my domain I was extremely doubtful for the juniors’ enrolment in the social service project. To my surprise after the orientation session we had around 45 students willing to join us for the endeavour. “It would be like any other social service project that I had gone for before” .This was the thought that played constantly. We would have to play with the kids, teach them the basics followed by lunch, something which usually was a part of the project. However, this project stood out from the rest in terms of both the efforts and the engagement that we had to put in. The notion came up after I was briefed by my teacher escort and told what was expected of me.

It was the dumb and the mute school.

Our foremost step was to learn the basics of sign language when we met them in order to interact with them efficiently. For the entire first quarter of the day, we struggled and tried to grasp as much of the language that we could. The feeling and nostalgia when I entered the room was something that I had never experienced. I lacked confidence and felt as if speaking was absolute task .The nervousness, anxiousness and the inability to convey the ideas was something I never felt short of before. It seemed we were bound with constraints and the only way to deliver our thoughts was our expression, our gesture or the sign language.

While the kids tried to get and understand as much as they could have throughout inexperienced and absolute new venture, it was for the first time I felt bound and chained and nothing but a sense of true respect and a loud ovation to the strength of the children who found an alternative way to connect to the “less social” world outside touched me.

While everyone thriving has their own set of challenges and insecurities ,  while the youth of today are privileged to receive everything that they “demand", while the idea to communicate with the parents effectively to make them understand a point leaves many of us not wanting to get there in the first place. Here, comes the children who fight to communicate everyday with whatever little abilities and by means they could to interact with the world who still struggles to give their “respect" and ‘aid’ to the ones beyond their social strata.

A native of Ranchi, Radhika S Tibrewal is presently studying in Class 12 (Science) at Mayo College Girls’ School, Ajmer. Her interests lie widely in finance and management. She is an avid and a passionate public speaker who is part of the Model United Nations Club and the debating society of her school. The views expressed are personal.

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