What is this space NIRMAN? Who is it created for? How much has it mattered?
Let’s take you through a tour of this place. If you entered the gates of this campus, you will be met by plants, trees and flowers of all kinds and people of all ages. You will see beautiful school walls and classrooms which feel like ‘home’. You will find children who are happy, relaxed and joyful in their different activities. Whether it be singing their English/ Hindi rhymes, or making a hut of mud, whether it be listening to stories and happily narrating their stories to their teacher, or deeply engrossed in their English sentences and numbers. The relationship of the teacher and each individual child matters and it is emphasized time and again.
This is not just a school, it is a safe and secure world for children. Where else will you find a place, where each child is treated as a unique individual. As a child, one should have the freedom to touch the pinnacle of body and the horizons of mind. To make a child feel limited in his abilities takes away his basic freedom to live and prosper. In today’s world, this is happening everywhere, in homes and in schools. No place is safe and secure for children and one which gives them the freedom to be and learn at their pace and learning styles.
NIRMAN is a place where children are given the confidence to express their opinions and listen to others’ with respect because listening does not necessarily mean following but it means an expansion of mind and ideas. All forms of Arts are part of our life at NIRMAN and part of all children’s lives.
We observe and observe children. We keep researching into their little worlds where imaginary characters happily co-exist, where fairies and ghosts change forms, where there is beauty and organization, where there is a story in every thought.
I am inspired by the thought that gave birth to this place and the grit and determination of the people committed to it. I have met some ex- students. When they come visiting, I can see the love and adulation they have for this place and the teachers who taught them. They can confidently express their opinions and are into different kind of professions. They are happy in the choices they have made for themselves in life.
Our work has touched many families and it continues to inspire them to do better with their children and for them.
Any real change is small. And NIRMAN is one such example.
( Harshita currently works as the Preschool Co-ordinator in Vidyashram- The Southpoint School and as Incharge of Events.)