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Learning at my dining table…

2016-08-21         SHUKLAB

No one believes my age when they see how excited I get to learn more from very simple things in life. I am grateful that I have been given such enriched environment of learning. I tell the principals and teachers of Parikrma that actual learning happens away from the classroom. These days I am learning a lot at my dining table. In Parikrma, our schools for slum and orphaned children, we have 1700 children from 70 slums and 4 orphanages and the numbers keep growing. In Bangalore, the heart of South India celebrated for its Carnatic music, great Vedic literature, sumptuous vegetarian food, we have found a home for children from the extreme North East of India. Here children who have lost their parents to continued insurgency and need to be moved away from the instability and chaos back home, travel all the way to find a future through quality education. And they come to the Parikrma schools. It is our delight to see these different looking children with alien language, different food habits, make friends with the local children, eat sambar rice that we provide at school, speak Kannada with ease and even have Tamil film star posters on their walls. This is true national integration. I invited Henginlen Chongloi, a young orphan into my family a few months ago because he needed to continue his degree in law and needed a home. He began school at Parikrma at age 10, completed his pre-university with good grades and has been studying law at KLE. Ever since he came home, I look forward to our evening meals together where he tells me all about his life in his village that he left behind 11 years ago and not seen since. He tells me how he would go fishing with his friends, dig up roots for dinner and be the champion at marbles. I see the longing for his village in his eyes blended with the desire to do well in studies and help his folks back home. If I can keep him enthused to achieve and specialize in Human Rights that he is so interested in, I feel I will do my minuscule bit to bring the country together. I had studied ‘unity in diversity’ from my history text books. I see it is totally possible every evening at my dining table. Here is a poem that Hengin wrote about what is happening in his state. He is all of 21 years old. ROSE and GONE Every parliament in every nation Every government in every state, Every person in the world Yes! They all have ‘VOICE’. Lower the Volume-ICE they become, Never for the sun to rise they pray. While the sun stood still on otherside, The Lilies shrunk to the grounds. Only to protect being trampled, by the Beasts roaming in chaos. The King of the forest eats green. only for the Hope to see his prey at Day again. Man found Scissors to cut the Creeds, but not their Greed. Learnt to open various Accounts but doesn’t want to be accounted. Sorry for my Big Mouth! So take this ‘ROSE’ and be ‘GONE’. Rise Organize and Support Environment. GO and Educate (Others). -Henginlen Chongloi

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