Visit to Shanti Bhavan


>We visited Shanti Bhavan School, a world-class institution for children from socially and economically deprived families, run by our college Dean Mr. Abraham George, on Saturday, July 31, 2010. The official website of the school is:
It is interestingly located on the border between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu…away from the rest of the world, away from social life. Quite similar to the location of our college (though I do find human habitation in and around my campus!)
It’s like a whole new world out there. Something which always existed and yet we were unaware of.

One visit there and I was convinced that I know NOTHING.
There is SO much to learn…from SO many people around you, regardless of their age, sex, colour, caste, creed or race.
The sheer confidence in these kids amazed me so much that I actually developed a serious inferiority complex while interacting with them. Now that we are getting accustomed to the profession that we are in, i.e., reporters (for those who still don’t know what I do/where I study), it was a little tricky to get used to answering questions. We are more used to asking people (random) questions than answering some that can put us in a tricky spot. Kesh, a 11th grade student, in the most nonchalant manner, asked me: “So, why did you choose journalism as your profession?” On the face of it, it’s a great question. Which is what makes it difficult to answer immediately. It needs thinking. It needs clarity of thought. And it needs to be apt-just what is to be said. And the way the question was shot at me was on the casual assumption (and an absolutely justified casual assumption) that I knew the answer. I probably knew the answer. But as I said I wasn’t really prepared to answer it so quickly. The question made me think. Think more about my choice of profession. Why I was here? What was I doing here? What do I plan to achieve here? And once my contemplative mode is set in action, God alone can help me! 😉

We attended the morning assembly there which brought down memories of school life. The assembly prayer. The school choir. The group song. The news reading. Everything brought in a nostalgic atmosphere among each one of us.
I don’t know about others but all that sure made me feel aged. Felt like it was years ago since I actually attended school. It made me feel antique, in a sense. He He : D

We also interacted with the volunteers, who spoke about their experience–both the fun and pressure of being a teacher to these over-enthusiastic kids. The environment there. The high level of job satisfaction. The requirements and eligibility criteria for being a student and/or a volunteer here. It was almost an inspiring interaction.

I don’t exactly know how to conclude my experience of having gone there and met these kids.
Do I feel blessed that I have everything I could ask for, in this life, unlike many others who are not as lucky as me?
Or do I feel depressed that I have everything I could ask for…and yet I am not utilizing it to the fullest?

I guess, at the end of the day, it’s all a matter of perception! : ))

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