I came to know from Hari that the person in charge of the first shelter home where we taught had asked us for a report and since we were not able to provide the report, I had to go meet this person and sort things out … Little did I know how that meeting would change it all and I would also meet the third person who influenced and shaped Bhumi.
Because I was coordinating the
Pudupettai Community centre, I had discontinued teaching at the first centre,
Bala Mandir. There was a break in the classes because of some holidays and the children
had some exams. When Hari went to seek permission to restart the classes, he
was asked to submit a report on what impact our classes had on the children.
We were thoroughly befuddled by
the request. We had neither made a diagnostic baseline assessment, nor one at
the end of our last class. Even though Hari had planned each class, we had
never planned the programme to achieve a cumulative impact. After some weeks of
being paralysed in inaction, we decided to go meet her and explain our
Hari fixed the meeting because
it was on a weekday morning and he could not go, I went instead. Ms.Maya
Gaitonde a trustee of the shelter home is an imposing person who manages almost
everything at Bala Mandir even today. Imagine a Principal in a school and she
would tick off all the checkboxes. The children loved her, but she could be
strict; she has the best interests of the children in mind even if it meant
being tough. I remember waiting on the bench outside her room and 'Hari from
Bhumi' was called in for the meeting. She understood we had no impact report
and gave me a thorough dressing down. I was prepared with detailed explanations
on why we could not do what she was expecting us, but I hardly got out a word!
She kept referring to me as Hari and I could not even open my mouth to correct
her! The meeting ended with a stalemate, without a report, we could not restart
From a seeming high, we had hit
Do you remember a time in life
when you hit rock bottom? Leave a comment.