Mumbai – a city pulsing with energy, its people embodying an extraordinary spirit and resilience. Traditions held close, communities even closer, it bounds towards the future, with shining towers and bridges sprouting next to centuries-old temples and colonial structures.
Traveling around Mumbai is often an adventure in itself – traveling outside Mumbai city and into the suburbs even more so! But the trek proves worthwhile in capturing a broader glimpse of life in this thriving city.
When I visited Mumbai a couple months ago I decided to volunteer for a day at the Door Step School in Mumbai’s eastern suburbs. After navigating to Lalubhai Compound and asking a few rickshaw drivers along the way, I was greeted by Ehsan, the school’s coordinator. I was quickly introduced to a classroom full of 10-15 bright and energetic kids in the midst of English lessons. I participated in their lesson, sharing English words. We followed up the lesson with a ‘Learning through Drama session’ where the kids made a fan, the globe, and a house with their hands and bodies.
In the late morning we walked over to another room filled with computers. Students paired up and work together on the assignment. I wrote three sentences on the board and asked them to type them out on their computers. Some of them were using the computers for the first time and it was heartening to see their excitement when they found the letters on the keyboard.
The students attending Door Step School are from underprivileged families and often forgotten by the traditional structures of education in India. I grew up in Mumbai, and still remember wondering why my own privilege was so vastly different from the children that would come up to our car in the streets.
When I was in college, I spent my Saturdays teaching Math and Science at the Swami Vivekananda Youth Forum. I have fond memories of making friends and teaching students the same age as me. But I found myself further and further removed from responding to the issues that the majority of people in India face when I took a job in marketing and again when I moved to the United States.
Door Step School was an excellent reminder of the needs of so many students in India, the work that people are doing to address them, and the ways in which I can get involved.
At Door Step School, It took only two hours to get incredibly attached to these students and inspired by their infectious energy and excitement. They were all so inquisitive, smart, and engaged. We laughed together, learned a bit, and to me, it felt like a very fulfilling way to spend time.
I truly enjoyed being able to learn from and spend time with these students. Thank you Give A Day Global for the opportunity to spend some time with them!
Learn more about how you can help or visit Door Step School via Give a day Global.