Ruchi Malhotra’s warm smile and friendly nature have made her the favourite teacher (or “ma’am” as the kids call her) of students in Class 4 of the Chinnapanahalli Govt. School located in Marathahalli. She came across YFS as she was researching about various organizations that could help her in the betterment of the school. She is so passionate about teaching her students that she learnt Kannada so that she could help them understand concepts better.. She has taught at this school for the last 3 years, after resigning from HP in 2009. She recently became a part of the YFS family in 2013.
She narrated an instance about one of her students, Padma. Padma’s parents were planning a trip to their hometown and wanted to take Padma along. This would mean that Padma would have to miss two weeks of school. Ruchi made Padma realize that they were learning so many new things in class and a break would not be good at that time. Padma was so keen on not missing school that she spoke to her parents and arranged to live with a relative while they were away, just so that she would not miss Ruchi madam’s class. Padma read out her favourite passage from her work book. It was heart-warming to see her read fluently. Even if she stumbled upon a few difficult words, with a few encouraging nods and smiles from Ruchi, she figured out the pronunciation by joining the syllables.
Ruchi was thankful for YFS’s help in arranging for school bags (through the school kit drive) and activity books for the school. She did point out a few more areas that needed some help. The school is as of now lacking in basic infrastructure, such as desks and chairs. She has requested YFS to help her in this endeavour. Ruchi has also been getting her friends involved in the school and has managed to get a computer for the students. She will be starting with basic computer education soon. She was very appreciative of the school’s headmistress, Mrs. Indira, who has been a great support throughout Ruchi’s journey. Ruchi mentioned how dedicated Mrs. Indira is with the kids’ progress and how accommodating she has been towards her.
The kids sang a wonderful song about getting ready to school every day. Most of them were extremely enthusiastic and looked forward to the lesson for the day. Ruchi mentioned that sometimes it can be frustrating to handle so many students and their different pace of learning. She was saddened by the fact that most parents of her students do not encourage their children whole heartedly to do well in school. She hoped that this attitude would change soon. For now, she was happy with the little victories that gave her the strength to keep continuing the amazing work that she has been doing.
–by Shruti S, Writers for Seva volunteer