Last Sunday, I attended the induction session for TEACH-INDIA at Noida. The idea behind TEACH-INDIA is to raise the social literacy rate in India. At the start, TOI guys shared their experiences with last year’s TEACH-INDIA campaign. When they kicked up this event last year (its first year), they received around 1 lakh applications in the first few days and by the weekend, they had to shut their site to accept further registration. But as usual, people show great enthusiasm while registering for these kinds of initiatives but when implementation comes, most of them withdraw. Same happened here and around 30% registered users dropped the induction program. Another 30% backed out once they visited the slums and saw the conditions there. This year, they limited registrations through online portal only and this year also around 50% registered people came for induction (at least at my centre).

After this, there was a presentation from Udyaan (NGO for Noida, Gr. Noida region). Udyaan shared what they do and what is their plan for this campaign. Actually, this NGO has some homes for orphans, where they stay as a family. They are provided with best possible educations in schools like DPS. The best part is that they never refer these homes as orphanages. Again, they cited that how difficult to convince children that a new person is here for them. Children repel coz they feel that this bhaia/didi will also leave after 3-4 months. So the task is not only to go there and teach children but to build a relationship with them and make them feel that they are not orphan; there are lots of bhaias and didis for them.

Probably, from coming weekend, I will start my visits to one of Udyaan homes and start teaching. I’m very excited about this experience. As a member of this campaign, my primary focus was to spend time with children, motivate them play games with them and building a strong relationship with them (teaching will obviously be there).