(MAD started off in the year 2007 and in a span of 2 years has spread its wings to 11 cities across India. MAD in Mangalore has around 70 volunteers, mostly college going students involved in spreading the message of love, care, knowledge and humanity across the city’s underprivileged kids. MAD volunteers spend 2 hours every weekend visiting these kids).
Coming back to the kids at the orphanage, it was calm now and the MAD volunteers had started their classes for the day. The kids were learning spoken English, they were being taught basic ways of conversing in English. Vikram, a MAD volunteer tutoring a group of 20-25 kids said, “It is important that these kids learn to speak English, it will immensely enhance their career prospects in the future”. Vishnu, a 2nd year BBM student and MAD volunteer, said “I consider myself lucky to have been able to acquire the amount of knowledge that I possess, these kids are not so lucky in terms of seeing the world and harvesting knowledge. So I am here to pass on whatever I know to them”.
Of course, learning English would do a world of good for these kids who attend Kannada medium schools. With all due respect to Kannada and other Indian languages, nobody can deny the fact that nowadays for a job in a private co., apart from a person’s qualifications and aptitude, what matters is his or her knowledge of the English language. There is a need to develop the personality of these children by exposing them to mind games and pro active games. As Qawwam, a final year BBM student and MAD volunteer said, “Being educated people of this society, it is our responsibility to help these kids so that they have the confidence and knowledge like the other kids outside”.
By now the kids were at me again, and asking various questions like “What is your age”? , “Where are you from”? and so on. Through all this questioning, it was clear that some kids asked these questions just because they loved talking in English and wandered away without waiting for a reply, but some of them eagerly waited for a reply and left only when they got one in “English”. Such are the ways of children. They are just like any other normal kid, and yet they are different, because they don’t have parental care, nurturing and love. On asking another MAD volunteer and 1st year B.Com student, Mahwash, what she would do if she landed a lucrative job on completing studies in another city which did not have MAD? She answered, “I would start MAD activities there, that’s the least I can do for a better India”.
By now as much as being awestruck by the kids I was beginning to admire the sense of responsibility and maturity these young tutors were showing. And Suraj, an employee in a Pvt. Co. and MAD volunteer summed up, “In simple words we come here for the smile of the kids, they love to learn new things and we love them, we don’t know about their future, but today we make them smile”.
In the end I realized that the kids learnt because they loved speaking in English and the volunteers taught because they loved the kids. It was a classic case of love at work. As Euripides, a Greek tragedian said, “Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other”.
About the Author:
Mohammed Imran Khan, is a freelance writer. He has completed his MBA from ICFAI National College, Mangalore.