I work for the SOS Children’s Villages of India for their Guwahati Project. Most of you know about the organisation, but for those of you who do not know about this, let me tell you about my organisation briefly. SOS Children’s Villages of India is a child-care organisation to help orphan, destitute, abandoned, homeless and helpless children by providing them with a family, home, education and a strong foundation for an independent and secure life. The organisation’s only source of income is public donation from all over the world.
In India, we have 32 SOS Children’s Villages. Under the Guwahati Project of SOS Children’s Village, we have 250 children this year, studying in various schools in and around Guwahati, or colleges all over India and even abroad. But due to the current lockdown, as schools are closed, all our children are restricted to the campus. We have also strictly prohibited the entry of any outsiders to the campus, and limited the movement of residential employees outside the premises.
At the beginning of the lockdown, I was very skeptical about how this lockdown would impact our children on the campus. But to my utter surprise, children not only understood how grave this situation is, but are even utilising their lockdown time very productively. During our evening rounds, I see happy faces showing me their beautiful drawings, paintings or sometimes an English essay or multiplication tables. Children inspire us every day to just be present in the moment and make the best of what’s available.
As far as academics are concerned, some of our schools are taking online classes, using WhatsApp as a medium of learning. But majority of our children are not benefiting from online teaching as I’ve always felt, no matter how developed and technologically-advanced a classroom is, nothing can replace the love and kindness of a teacher.
So, I have started taking Science classes by maintaining proper social distancing and sanitisation habits, as for me, teaching is not only my passion. Spending time with my children is my hobby. Children are also enjoying these classes because they are not able to go to schools.
Though photography is not something I am very good at, but because I love travelling, I feel that photography is complimentary to it. During my leisure time on the campus, I have started doing photography. This not only allows me to spend quality time, but also gives me immense pleasure, because for the past one year, I have never observed my campus so minutely, like I am doing these days. And suddenly, once I started photographing, I realised how beautiful the nature around us is, if we observe it silently.