‘AKSHAR’: Words that bring smiles

-Ramsi Parveen

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By ‘Bridging the Gap, One Step at a time’ Akshar has travelled a year curbing the barriers in achieving its dreams. With the aim of educating the poor children of Sitafalmandi Basti, Akshar was started in the year 2016. It is a purely EFL-U student initiative which introduces the children and parents, the relevance of education and the need of learning English. It is a group of 40 volunteers teaching almost 90 students in the ground of a temple in the Galli on Sundays.

“Akshar was initially started as a project and later on students volunteered to take it up” said Maya, one of the volunteers who took initiative for Akshar.This also acts as a platform for the volunteering students to learn the basic ways of teaching and interacting and became beneficial for both the students as well as the volunteers. Even though Akshar is not a formal kind of school, it satisfies the basics of education. As it deals with the psyche of the students, they are taught what the children needs. The parents welcome this in a positive manner and are also interested in learning English. As these students attend school for a namesake, an additional guidance is necessary. This is not a specific form of school with any fixed syllabus. The content differs according to the children’s attitude. Students are divided into their age groups, starting from the kindergarten to 4th or 5th class. Even students of higher classes attend Akshar for extra guidance. They enjoy the one and a half hour classes on Sunday evenings.

“They may not remember things taught in the previous week, so we will have to repeat them again and build an introduction every week”, Fathima a volunteer of Akshar said.Many people in and out of the University supported this initiative and are still doing it by providing basic things like mats, books etc. Sweta and Dani Abraham have co-ordinated this initiative over a year. Art classes are conducted to improve the extra-curricular skills of the kids. Through these classes the students are exposed to the possibilities outside. Akshar is a simple thought that has grown with time and are giving frames for several kids to shape their dreams.

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