In an uncelebrated corner, near the hustle and bustle of Forum Mall in Koramangala, Bangalore, stands an old school. The condition of the school building reeks of negligence and lack of proper maintenance. Once upon a time, this very school used to have six classrooms and regular classes. Now most of the rooms have now perished— only two of them have managed to stand the test of time. These are the rooms where a handful of kids from many underprivileged families come to study in order to get their share of a meagre midday meal. That is the brightest part of their day, that is their only break from the harshness of everyday life.
Quite unlike the bleak and perishing condition of the school building, the children going there are really intelligent and bright. They are good at math and many of them can even speak a bit of English. Most of all they have curious minds and an acute sense of logic. Maybe it was their struggle for existence that has made them wiser than most other kids of their age. But the condition of the school building was far from encouraging for these kids who come to school to divert themselves from their inevitable hardships. The walls were discoloured and shabby with parts of the concrete falling off at places. The benches too were old and in need of immediate repair. In short, the space where the children came for food and respite didn’t differ much from their dreary and depressing existence at home.
Fortunately, a few youngsters from Bonito Designs, a Bangalore-based interior design start-up accidentally spotted this little school one day. They were really touched by the enthusiasm and intelligence of the kids going to this unnoticed Tamil-medium school and thought that maybe they could help them in some way. They talked to the kids, they discussed about the school with its one and only teacher and came up with a plan to renovate the school as much as possible within their limited means so that the children can look forward to coming to a bright and colourful space every day. Playing with space is their forte and they realised there is no better time or reason to put that to good use.
They repainted the whole classroom in bright colours, themselves. They designed and made new benches and bookshelves and brought fresh sets of utensils so that lunch time appears all the more bright and beautiful to these little stars.
Once the renovated classroom was revealed to the kids, their surprise knew no bounds. They looked around with eyes opened wide and nervously ran their fingers over the furniture as if unsure whether it’s real. The locality came alive with their laughter and joy as they moved around the room again and again exploring the new, bright look of their school. At least for a while, the brightly painted rooms gave them a sense of hope, a courage to imagine that maybe some dreams do come true if you want it from the heart.