We are human beings. We are at the top of food chain. We are verbally affluent, manually skilled and rational thinking living beings. We have evolved from hairy hunchback ancestors of ours who used to hunt and survive in forests. We can think and speak clearly and have developed patterns of learning and understanding that many animals lack. What remains at the core of our existence is our animal instinct. We are mammals before we are humans. We have an innate desire to procreate and we long for a sense of belongingness to people with whom we share an intimate bond. This bonding is based out of love and care and exists between all animals in nature.
I recently went to the quarterly event of Bucketlist that is called “Genie in a Bucket”. The purpose is to fulfill the wish of at least one kid once every three months. This time we headed to Nehru Planetarium to watch a movie on Universe and later had a discussion on the same. Around 30 kids were present and along with them a dozen volunteers to guide them during this trip.
The kids we work with are from different age groups. They are as young as four year olds who talk a language of their own and as old as seventeen year olds who play rugby. When we get together, we share stories. We talk less about studies and indulge in activities that that help them learn in smart ways. With the constant facilitation from the Bucketlist team, kids regularly go to play rugby and develop skills that revolve around leadership, teamwork and interpersonal understanding. Holistic development that we often see lacking in adults, these kids is truly experiencing that.
Some of the kids go to school, other stay at home and wait for the facilitators to come every afternoon to spend time with them. Human beings desire to share their hearts and if given a safe opportunity, nobody is stubborn enough to open themselves up. In the classrooms, there are colours, notebooks, pencils and drawing sheets. The walls have paintings and craft items hanging and sticking to it. One can study at school but what kids learn at Bucketlist are values. When logic and knowledge take a back seat and we get stuck, our values then guide us. It is more important to be emotionally sensible than being literally smart and our programmes focus on that side of human growth.
My first day at the community centre was so great that I smiled on my way back home. That smile was not without any reason. It came from a place of gratitude that my heart had felt after spending time with those innocent kids whose unheard stories were known to me. Those kids who once were rag pickers, now they make beautiful drawings. They laugh, they play and they live their life.
What does a child really need? Education? Sports? Toys? Television? No. A gentle hand resting on her shoulder and an empathetic ear turned towards her face. That is what a child wants and that day I did my bit. Everybody at Bucketlist is doing their bit. Change takes time and we are willing to devote ours for change to happen and for change to spread. Their learning can’t be objectively quantified but within them a change is coming. They know it and feel it. We know it and feel it.
Edited by Diya Mathew