The results of class XII and X are out. All the 36 project why children have passed with flying colours. Amit topped his school with 815 and Vivek got a whopping 97% in his class X. I am elated and terribly proud. Anyone would be I guess, but allow me to share where we come from.
In the winter of 2001, we only ran a few spoken English classes . One day, two class X boys came with welt on their arms. They had been severely beaten for no apparent reason. The hurt and humiliation they felt was unbearable and we decided to go and talk to the principal of their school. We had by that time got ourselves a copy of a High Court order that made corporal punishment prohibited by law.
We marched into the school and asked to see the Principal. We were met by a teacher who looked forbidding and who strutted about a stick in hand. We were taken to a huge room that looked straight out of a Dickens novel. Behind a large desk sat a small man. We were asked to take a seat. The man kept leering us in stony silence. I cleared my throat and began my diatribe. The man was thoroughly uninterested in what I was saying. After a while he called for the boys in question. They entered the room, almost cringing and stood in a corner their heads bowed. The man who was actually the principal of the school looked at them with utmost contempt and said to us: Are these the boys you are talking about. They are guttersnipe. They will never succeed in anything. Mark my words they will fail their exam. The boys looked totally devastated; their body language said it all.
We were speechless. This was not at all going like we wanted it to. On the spur of the moment I looked at the boys with a beaming smile and said: Ok boys, do we take a challenge and prove your principal wrong. I know you will pass your examination. The immediate change in the body language of the boys was mind blowing and heart warming. They nodded their heads and smiled. The principal was taken aback but said nothing. Emboldened I added: we will all pass this examination Sir!
That is how our secondary programme began, on a roadside, in the early hours of winter mornings. But we did win our challenge and all our boys passed their class X. Today most of them are gainfully employed and doing well. And since that day each and every year our students have cleared their Board examinations without fail!
When I see Vivek or Amit's marks my heart swells with joy. I am again taken back to a day many years ago when I marched into another school to ask why were the students only taught part of the curriculum, I was simply told that as they needed 40% to pass, there was no need to teach them the entire curriculum! Thank heaven things have changed since, but when I see my kids pass their exams each year I remember our beginnings and feel we have really come a long way. At times like these I do give myself a pat in the back !