‘ पगडंडी पगडंडी, कदमों मे है सारा जहाँ’

“But why not help them in their studies instead?” was the first question that popped into my mind as I went through the Pagdandi schedule. Dance, Singing and Art and Craft weren’t going to help these children as much as good marks could. And, boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Their grins from hitting a note right or getting a dance move just correct was independent of the consideration of their background.

The usual chaos of the Summer School was accompanied by brimming excitement as the children ran from station to station at the Showcase event. Unable to contain their elation, they smiled from ear to ear as they explained the technicalities of urban gardening, Upcycling waste into jewellery and the science behind spinning tops, often breaking into fits of laughter, much to the spectator’s glee.

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Downstairs, with parents waiting in palpable anticipation to watch their kids perform, the children were being given an unconventional pep talk by Utkarsh (one of the interns) and the other coordinators backstage. With sweat soaking their shirts, they laughed and recollected their best memories from the past 25 days and with a renewed vigor, they were ready for showtime! A series of exhilarating dance performances on hit Bollywood numbers did not drain their spirits and a short skit on awareness regarding our rights as citizens left the proud parents beaming. But the showstopper of the day that left everyone’s eyes a little moist was the theme song, ‘Pagdandi’, an honest coming of age confessions of these children, who no were no longer wished to be shackled by arbitrary constraints.
If you pride yourself in the pseudo hate for children, as did I in the beginning of this month, I challenge you to interact with the children of this summer camp and still hold on to your notions.

Photo Gallery – https://www.facebook.com/SwechhaIndia/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10153723263042896

-Aditya Pant (Intern at Swechha)

 

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