We all have watched those movies and read books where the lead actress is usually working for an old age home or an orphanage or teaching the underprivileged children and always wondered why do these movies always have to show such a helpful and extraordinary character? Do such people really exist?
When I first started volunteering at Pehchaan The Street School, the thought of teaching the underprivileged kids every weekend, even for the minimal time of three hours felt like an exhausting chore. I felt bombarded with questions of self-doubt like- Will I be able to do this? Will I be a good teacher? When I myself can’t study or even sit for lectures for straight three hours, how will I be able to teach them? Will I do justice to the volunteering work I have taken up?
However, all these questions vanished from my mind after the first class itself. The class began with the kids introducing themselves standing upright with beaming smiles, ready to make a charming first impression on the new “Didi teacher” they just met. I was nervous about meeting the kids for the first time, but all my nervousness disappeared as soon as they greeted me in their sing-song style, “Good Morning Didi”.
As the class progressed, I sensed how enthusiastic they were to study. The happiness on their faces for getting to learn something new and studying with Didi after an entire week was immense. The smiles they had after completing a simple writing task was like achieving a goal. Their laughter at minuscule matters during the class made it all feel like the efforts were worth it. I realised how we take things for granted when we get them for free and with no effort.
Here at Pehchaan The Street School, we’re not just teachers but also learners; we learn gratitude. We become altruistic. We start putting our whole effort to make these kids self-sufficient for the future. We feel accomplished in their accomplishments. And after all these days, when the kids were asked what do they want to become when they grow up, one of them said, “I want to become a teacher like didi”. This simple line filled my heart with a great deal of joy and I was proud of myself for accomplishing my earnest goal.
Working for the NGO ‘Pehchaan The Street School’ has made this unimaginable dream of mine come true. As months passed by, teaching them, I realised that the lead actress we talked about earlier does exist. I was like her; It’s up to us to decide what we should do with our lives. We can choose to become the leader in real life and become the hero if we wish to. Volunteering to teach the kids has changed my life in more ways than one, and I would urge each one of you reading this to indulge in some activity with a social cause.