Children from disadvantaged sections mentored by their privileged peers, and teachers, performed to a cheering crowd consisting of parents, teachers and dignitaries at The Gurukul, Zirakpur neighbouring Chandigarh.
The Gurukul joined hands with the Smile Foundation, a development organisation for the cause of the underprivileged section of the society.
Around 50 children from Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre participated in the annual ‘Achievement Day’ event on the 19th and 20th March hosted on the school premises. Over the two days, the children presented a couple of songs, a dance medley celebrating right to cherish childhood and a mime act highlighting prevalence of child labour and the Right to Education. Their performances were held with those by the students from the school.
In a celebration of empathy and creativity, children bridge the divide of privileges
“It has been an amazing journey for all involved as the teachers and students from The Gurukul mentored the children of our Mission Education centre to build their confidence and refine their singing, dancing and performance skills. These kids have transformed into impressive performers and the school also provided costumes to them,” said Vineet Vaidya, Country Director, Child for Child, Smile Foundation.
“We felt the need to create empathy among our students towards the realities that the underprivileged children face. The experiences from this interaction will reflect in their behaviour and higher emotional intelligence in the times to come,” said Heena Sharma, school principal, The Gurukul.
“We at The Gurukul believe in holistic education, which goes beyond books and laboratories. Through this intervention, we want to create responsible and empathetic citizens of tomorrow,” she added.
“It is important to bring the underprivileged and the privileged sections together through a process that allows them to appreciate and, more importantly, encourages them to learn from each other,” said Santanu Mishra, co-founder and trustee, Smile Foundation.
“While some children lack access to basic amenities and opportunities, others belonging to the “privileged” group have them in abundance, and often tend to take them for granted. While in school these children are sensitive and responsive, so it is easy for them to learn from surroundings,” he added.
The Child for Child programme follows an audio-visual design through which children connect faster and more effectively using direct interaction, cinema, art and music.