Our Teachers: Covid Warriors
We have many warriors in our group as they have understood all the challenges of the children and their lives including their families too. When covid stuck, they became covid warriors. Here, we shall share some of their stories with you.
Mrs Yashodhara Rajurkar joined us to inculcate moral values in slum children, as they are surrounded by many Anti-Social Elements. She has succeeded in her task as our children are very well mannered. She suggested that we start tuition classes for children as parents are illiterate, and children don't do homework. They fail and drop out and start working. Parents also welcome an extra income. She ensures that children complete their homework, solve their problems, and help them revise tables, poems etc. There has not been any school dropout since then. Teachers in school treat her as the mother of students as their parents don't care. When the lockdown started she ensured that children were given bananas, dates, sprouts, ladoos, and tonics at their doorstep. monthly birthday parties were held, kids were served food, cake pieces and gifts for Birthday Boys and Girls were delivered at their door steps. We started distributing rations as soon as the lockdown was announced. She would shortlist the needy families for every distribution. She would sit with her team of volunteers to pack the foodstuff, make kits, and even work overnight to guard the ration against being stolen. The next day the ration distribution would start and sometimes end after a week. She volunteered for a 3 Day Medical Camp in Anand Nagar, which was declared a Red Zone. She is very honest. She can be trusted with any amount of money.
Another such person is Miss Hemlata Pant. She joined us to Assist Yashodhara Rajurkar in managing Nursery Classes at 2 different places. As soon as Lockdown was announced, we had to stop Nursery Classes. Small rooms, large families and common toilets made a mockery of social distancing in slums. People, including kids, used to roam freely without masks. She volunteered to teach Science and Mathematics to senior kids. She ensures that kids maintain social distancing and wear masks. She has been an amazing teacher, teaching new tricks, and encouraging kids to participate in different activities. The story doesn't end here. She was instrumental in finding needy people for ration. She spent day and night working on the requirements of donors, completing lists to submit to donors, bargaining with vendors, and comparing rates, She would ensure that the same family doesn't get ration more than once, which normally happens under such circumstances. I would just give instructions to her and sleep peacefully, knowing fully well that the work will be completed before time. The next day she would spend time distributing rations, checking their ID, clicking photos, and most importantly, risking her health and life as the area was declared a Red Zone. She started online registration of vaccination for slum dwellers. She would call them to the classroom as most of them were unable to give her OTP online. Find 1st and 2nd slots for them, explain to them the procedure, direction etc. It is an additional burden on her and she never complained. She is always smiling.
One more such person is Miss Pavithra Yadavar. When the lockdown was announced, we had to close our classes. When the lockdown was extended we panicked. We bought mobile phones for our kids. Connectivity was the main issue. Kids were also unorganized and didn't know how to attend online classes as their parents are illiterate. We closed our online classes. Pavitra dared to start off-line classes at her home, with social distancing, putting the entire family at risk of epidemic. She continued classes at home till society permitted her to operate in the mandap. She continues to shortlist names of needy families for the distribution of ration kits. She has welcomed voluntary work, not like Govt teachers who are forced to perform extra duties for voting, census etc.
These three are our strengths and we call them our Three Musketeers.