Nov 2, 2019, Time 0600 hrs: As I boarded the bus from Chandigarh the exploration began. The scenic view on the way to Palampur was very fascinating, butterflies started tickling inside my stomach and I was unable to wait for the clock to strike 1400 hrs, I kept on checking google maps how much distance is left, then finally at 1430 hrs I reached Palampur and the next very movement I called Danish that I have reached.
Danish & Shubham came to pick me up we shared greetings and then we went to pick other co-fellows of Aavishkaar – Babli, Shreya, Aanchal, Divyanshu & Shamli. Starting from Palampur on the way to Aavishkaar campus I kept quiet since the excitement was at its peak to enter the campus which I explored in Google maps. I met the Aavishkaar team Rita, Trilok and few whom I already met on the way to Kandwari. 1600 hrs a small introductory meet was organized for me where we revealed some funny incidents of our life, some more chit chats & end of the day. As the sun started setting down the snow-covered mountains of Dhauladhar range of Himalayas caught my attention, it was glooming reddish in color from the light of the setting sun, this was the first time I was experiencing a clear sky and gazing stars on a cold chilly night and waiting for the sun to rise for next day to continue my exploration.
Next morning started with the warmth & welcoming attitude of people in a very cold place. Especially Sarit sir and Sandhya ma’am “the techies” but so down to earth that no one can say they lived in the states for a couple of years. “AAVISHKAAR: CENTRE OF SCIENCE, MATHS, ARTS & TECHNOLOGY” as per the name Aavishkaar is the storehouse of ideas and concepts in a mud house named “Library” where we work, the place where ideas emerge and sessions are conducted and every time every individual unlearn and then learn and we (fellows) are here to unlearn- learn – teach some excited and enthusiastic kids. Everything here in Aavishkaar is that which we’ll feel like we know but then later on when we have to teach in a layman language we get stuck and that’s why we first unlearn – learn.
Sarit sir’s theories and Sandhya ma’am’s Ganit Charchas are always fascinating where we learn everything in a way that if we have to teach our “Dadi” then even she gets a good understanding of the concept. Past one and a half months at Aavishkaar was like a very new roller coaster ride which was full of new learning’s, bonding, observation of class of co-fellows and the scenic view of the place, where every morning fills an individual with positivity and to create a change and I enjoy the sunrise that fills me up with a lot of energy for the whole day and the chilly nights over here.
On the 7th day of my fellowship, there was a Workshop scheduled “Hamaari Shikshaa” from which I learnt a lot of new things and with different views of every participant and how we can create a change in Education system of India. In the workshop, we learnt a lot about how the Indian Education system is governed who are the stakeholders and how the policies are designed which included a lot of different types of tasks in which we all the Aavishkaar team collaborated and worked with the participants and bonded with them.
All this while in my few initial days at Aavishkaar I made 2 really good friends my roommates “Shubham ‘Naam hai Humara’ and “Divyanshu ‘Papa se panga nahi’ with these two and the co-fellows all the other members of Aavishkaar, I never missed my home, I always felt like it is just my Dad and Mom had gone out on a vacation.
And then a couple of weeks after “Hamaari Shikshaa” the moment came when I have to start a new class at Government Primary School – Kandbari and I was very nervous to teach small kids of 3rd, 4th & 5th grade but then Sandhya ma’am and especially co-fellow Babli the expert in teaching young “kids” supported and backed me every time, I just lost control in my first class. I remember an incident where I was teaching number sense and then I just got blanked while teaching reverse counting and suddenly Babli took the charge of the class and helped me to maintain the flow of the class and everyday she helped me in planning for my class. The kids to whom I teach are also very excited and some of them are so fast learners that to keep them excited I have to always think of something new and take that to my class.
While taking my class, whenever I get a chance of going to DGL nunnery with Sarit sir and Shreya I accompany them and kids of nunnery are so disciplined and so energetic, the way they think of whatever Shreya teaches them is always fascinating every time I go there I learn something from the kids the patterns they see in Ganit Charcha of dots which we never thought of and the most important thing that I learnt from all the classes that I have observed yet of my co-fellows and myself is that we adults always complicate things and get stuck but on the other hand kids just do everything in a simplified manner.
Here in Aavishkaar, we have an Engineer not by degree but by knowledge, experienced and talented, whose problem-solving methodology is as simple as kids. He is Roshan Lal Bhaiji the man with high caliber but down to earth. He invited all the members of Aavishkaar to his place for dinner and his family is also same as like him, we all experienced hospitality with simplicity at its best.
I being an engineer, always enjoy his company, he shares a lot of things to me, I share some experiences with him which I had in my college and I take up a lot of practical doubts to him, he solves them so quickly and I hope an engineer is going to learn a lot at Aavishkaar under the guidance of so many talented, young and energetic people……. Let’s see what I’m going to learn next …………….
Sanjay – Aavishkaar Fellow.