My friendship should come with a massive warning label that reads “will sweetly bully you into donating anything from time and expertise to emotions and toys…. and you will love every minute of it!” Here is a bit about my recent recruit who donated a combination of all of these the day-before-yesterday in honor of Teach for India’s ‘Teach for India Week”. While his driver cautiously weaved through the narrow roads of Dharavi, Raj Pai, Managing Director of Global Environment Fund, anxiously reviewed his presentation for 25 students of the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir School located in the heart of “the largest slum in Asia”. Leaving his mobile, email and luxurious Grand Hyatt Office behind, Raj enthusiastically stepped into an unfamiliar universe: a classroom full of 25 overzealous 7 and 8 year olds. Within just a few moments, the energy radiating from the tiny bodies transformed the visibly tired managing director into an enthusiastic schoolboy himself. I found a spot in the corner and smiled my way through the lesson on Energy Conservation. A quick quiz, distribution of caps, collection of caps, lecture on appreciation, and redistribution of caps later, our guest teacher headed back to his reality with a little extra warmth in his heart.
*Teach For India is a nationwide movement of outstanding college graduates and young professionals who will commit two-years to teach full-time in under resourced schools and who will become lifelong leaders working from within various sectors toward the pursuit of equity in education.
P.S. You can play Santa Claus for a Cause by dropping off new, unwrapped toys at Hard Rock Café Mumbai to be distributed to 100 children of Teach for India on December 21st.
P.S.S. Some famous faces have made appearances during ‘Teach For India Week”. Both Rahul Bose and Soha Ali Khan instructed second standard classes at civic schools in Juhu and Kala Chowki.