“Children are like wet cement, whatever falls on them makes leaves an impression.”
The above saying is true indeed. Anything we say or do near children have an impact on them. Chacha Nehru said that children are the future of our nation and it is our responsibility to raise that future to the best of heights possible. It’s a privilege to study in one of the best institutions in India, and it’s time we start to extend this privilege. Nurturing mind is a continuous endeavour by IIM Shillong in contributing towards the same and create a sense of connecting with the local community.
Nurturing Minds is a campaign and conscience of the IIM Shillong community that teaches underprivileged children of Shillong. At the heart of this movement, is its endeavour to carry forward the teachings of Dr. Kalam and create a difference. This unique initiative, which currently reaches out to 60 children, across seven schools, in Shillong including nearby Puriang, has undertaken to nurture and ignite young minds. The initiative thus far, in its one year journey, has reached out to more than 80 students of classes eight and nine. As part of the programme, the children are taught Mathematics, wherein communication-related activities are also conducted.
The initiative that began on Oct 15, 2015, in memory of Dr. Kalam to spread his lessons and promote his learnings, has blossomed in its first year. The venture consistent with its undertaking looks at inspiring young children to study in a fun way, along with encouraging them to take up their interests and pursue textbook lessons in a practical way. Classes are led by imaginative visual guides and ingenious, creative teaching methods are used. The target of the program is to empower learning, encourage innovativeness and fearlessness, amongst the understudies, as Dr. Kalam had imagined.
The program widely supported by the IIM Shillong community, and recognised across Shillong, has been a joyous experience for all student volunteers, teachers and the administration. It has struck a chord with all those involved, enveloped by vivacious energy and positivity.
Children are the future thought developers and it is this quest of acquainting and familiarising the students with boundless possibilities of the world through mathematics that keeps everyone going. Apart from teaching the students every Saturday, the initiative has helped students ideate science projects, wherein volunteers have also worked towards helping schools connected with the program better deal with their everyday operations and become administratively stable.
In celebrating the spirit of “igniting” and “nurturing” minds, the initiative is spreading its wings and starting a children’s library on the 85th birth anniversary of our beloved and revered teacher “Kalam Sir”.
The future objectives of the program include efforts to broaden its compass, contact more schools and children, help them prosper holistically, and work in synchronisation with the schools to create a favourable learning environment. The program is geared towards bringing a reasonable and continuing change, one that ensures that students of Shillong are better equipped to achieve their dreams, just as Kalam Sir intended doing.
About the Authors:
Raghav Agarwal and Gaurang Gupta
Class of 2019, IIM Shillong