One fine day, people told me that a young lad comes to the library and teaches children. I was very happy but at the same time wanted to confirm that he doesn’t use this platform for tuitions or making money. When I first interacted with him, I was highly impressed. He had once seen our night class for these children and that impressed him so much that he wanted to teach the children, then onwards.
This is Vijay Kumar Chauhan, a 22 year old extremely talented and laborious guy who is now an active volunteer at PRAYOG. Vijay’s dedication is such that he prefers giving time to children of the village, designs teaching sessions on his own, conducts competitions, quizzes etc to keep the children motivated.
Vijay resembles a rejuvenated Bihari youth, son of a landless daily wage earner. Like most other Bihari migrants to the west, he migrated to Ludhiana when he was just 15 years old to work in a factory. The petty salary that he made was spent as living cost there and he became sad with the living conditions. But, this is how the labour class has survived since memories exist. He returned back and with a will power that he would keep on with his studies. He is the second child and none of the elderly in his house have ever touched a book. He kept on with studies and has encouraged his younger siblings to study.
In Prayog, he has found a support. He says, “recognition is what people of my caste have never got, I feel extremely proud when children of all castes call me ‘bhaiya’ (elder brother) and many in the vicinity commend me for my job here”. In return Prayog is offering him a minimal volunteerism support, bearing his education cost and guiding him towards further higher education.
He is excited about his future and he now dreams of shaping up a model village. It is Vijay’s enthusiasm and hard work that has enabled Prayog to reach out to many. We are guiding more youths like Vijay and supporting them so that they take responsibility of shaping up the society.
Reaching out to children with selected story books in our community library during this pandemic. 64% of the children who are borrowing books are girls and most of them in early adolescent age group. Is there a need to do more?
Lockdown need not lockdown Children’s creativity n learning. Prayog takes learning to the kids sitting at home with ‘Story reading’ competition using #WhatsApp