Rajendra Marulkar – DSS Community Learning Centre (Dattawadi)

rajendra_marulkarIt’s been almost a year that I am volunteering at the DSS Community Learning Centre, Dattawadi, Pune. It has been a journey with its share of ups and downs as I came from the IT industry and never had the experience of teaching children before. In totality it has been a very satisfying experience.

I interacted with the children on a daily basis and tried to work on their Math and English skills. It was a tough task as many students were not able to do the basic Math like subtraction, division, multiplication even though they were in 5th, 6th and 7th standard. It was the same with English. I also realized that their attention span was limited. Additionally, due to the socio-cultural difference, I had to be very sensitive towards these kids and had to adapt. The pace of teaching was slow, our classroom was always a noisy atmosphere.

Over time I have seen some encouraging differences. The most important being some of the children are now self-motivated and want to excel in their studies. I do see a remarkable improvement in the Mathematical ability of some of the children who are doing relatively complicated Mathematics easily. The students who were not able to do the basics can now solve fractions, square roots, averages and many more Mathematical operations. There is also a word spread around the community and now even a few 8th to 10th standard children are coming regularly.

With this experience, I am convinced that sharing the knowledge with the community consistently, over a period of time can make a difference. This conviction still keeps me visiting DSS every day to see how “each and every” child can be motivated towards advanced education.

It goes without saying that there is a lot of effort put in by the DSS Dattawadi staff. It’s not an easy task to go in the community, talk to the parents and kids and keep them motivated. I know, DSS does lots of other beneficial activities for the community as well. Hopefully down the road, we can see a complete change in the educational mind set of these communities.