The day started as per usual with a Vikram ride. Had we been asked on Wednesday if it was possible to have a more exciting car journey than that of Dehradun to Mussorie we would have firmly said no however, as it turns out if you take the doors, one wheel and any form of suspension off a car, things could get far more uncomfortable. The Vikram left us off at the end of a bridge built over a river, the banks of which marked the boundaries of the marginalised community from which the majority of the SNEHA students we teach, come from. Upon arrival, we were informed that one of the women we were visiting had given birth to a son four hours before our arrival. Six people lived in this small dwelling on the edge of the river. No electricity, no running water and only a ‘makeshift’ fire to keep them warm. Living conditions in the community are among the worst in the world yet such joy from a new–born baby could lift spirits and put a smile on these people’s faces.
After this visit we proceeded to SNEHA Academy to begin our three lessons for the day. Students greeted us with the biggest smiles and laughter as they always do. We taught three lessons today, almost back to back, with a brief recess for Mr. Ronjoy Rao (the school Director) to give an emotional testimony about the recent flood that devastated their school community and grounds. After two lessons of craft which energised the children, we got the opportunity to get Henna work done by the women of the local community, a skill they have learned at SNEHA to help support them and give them employment. Boys got their name in Hindi and girls got elaborate patterns. They were beautiful. Today was an emotionally challenging, yet immensely rewarding experience that we will never forget and though tomorrow may be our last day at Sneha, we thoroughly look forward to teaching these children for the last time.
Caitlin and LewisPosted in Bangor Team 2018
on Saturday 3 November 2018