- On the 5th of January, Sunday, I was given the opportunity to assist in a special storytelling session held for the underprivileged class 5 children at a local school in Koramangala named the Greenland Public School, which is run by an NGO.
- It was an invaluable opportunity to interact and forge bonds with the children of the less privileged segments of society, as well as to understand their experiences especially since it turned out to be an interactive session for everyone involved.
- The storytelling session led by Aparna Dixit aunty revolved around Sushrut, the Father of plastic surgery, dating back to 3000 years ago. We learned many an interesting fact about the evolution of surgery, particularly plastic surgery in India and it was nothing short of an eye-opener for all of us. The children were frequently asked questions throughout the session, to boost their thinking, which made them closely involved in the story-telling process, fostering interaction.
- Interestingly, chocolates were also handed out to these children as a sign of encouragement if they got the answers right, or had unique responses to the question asked.
- At the end of the session, we, the assistants distributed pens and cupcakes among the children. It all ended with a photo-session. We thus made memories we could always cherish.
The 3 things that stood out for me:
1. The animated style and passion with which Aparna aunty narrated the story was captivating.The sheer joy and interest of the children during the session was indeed heartwarming.
2. I learnt how storytelling can serve as an effective method of teaching.
3. What struck me about the children was their level of English, their awareness of the world around and their intelligence. It made me realised that given the opportunity these children could compete with the best and really rise high in life.
4. The story itself proved to be as much of an enlightening experience for me as it was for the children.
To sum up, it was a unique and one of a kind experience, that gave me an invaluable chance to understand the environment in which underprivileged children get their basic education, inspite of the many constraints that operate.
I loved the unparalleled learning and the joy of being able to contribute even if it was in a very small way. Given the opportunity, I would certainly like to do it again in the future and highly recommend it to everyone. And, if someday in the future I return as a storyteller, I might have to thank Aparna aunty for the inspiration!