Each time I visit Muthati and Hyakanuru, I’m amazed at the duality of it all. Lush green fields, oxen, auto rickshaws stuffed with people, cattle being herded by women and the old, farmers toiling in the sun; and then, a room filled with charts of evolution, cuisines from around the world, life cycle of a butterfly and children solving Khan Academy. It’s surreal and the feeling never gets old!
On the day I went, it was a holiday for the village festivities and the number of children was less at Hyakanooru. For the first time, I found the noise levels bearable. I admire Asha working in those decibels for eight hours a day!
A new student enrolled at the centre, and Asha asked another to help the student with MS Paint. Thirty minutes later, the new student was drawing her house and village life, with NO prior experience with computers!
In Muthati, I was fortunate to be part of the local celebrations, and even learn a few dance moves myself!
The children and the community always say that they are fortunate to have this centre, and Gangadhar says that people respect him for being a teacher, and offer him tea. Plus, the children, as you have observed, have an artistic bent of mind. It was a nice opportunity to see them prepare for the local festival. Taking part in the local festivities gives an insight into their lives, beyond the time they spend in school and at the LearningSpaces.
Some children spend the whole day during the weekends and holidays at the Learning Spaces, and Gangadhar says that often they stick to MS Paint, as activities tire them; they also prefer games to just unwind.
I also met Usha, the volunteer who teaches drama. Oh, btw, the children say hello to the “Dubai Akka”.
Whenever I leave these centres, their wave and shout goodbye at the top of their lungs, and also wish an advance goodnight, while some walk into the sunset talking about what made their day interesting at the LearningSpaces.