As well as welcoming the Mumbai monsoon, June also sees children across India return to school. Gathering at the school gates with butterflies of anxiety and excitement, returning to old friends, meeting new teachers; whether you’re in Mumbai or Manchester, so much about this experience is universal.
At Royal City School, where Reality Gives supports Kindergarten through to Grade III with teachers, textbooks and curricula to foster a holistic, child centered, engaging learning environment, Sonakshi Shashikant Ukalikar, a 6 year old student going into Grade I, couldn’t wait to get started.
Talking to Sonakshi during the last week of her one month long summer vacation, she was counting down the days excitedly, “I love the holidays. I play, study and spend a lot of time with my grandmother. But now, I can’t wait for the classes to reopen”.
Sonakshi’s grandmother, Chandrabala, plays a vital role in her upbringing. As both of her parents have to work to support the family, the 66 year old not only takes care of Sonakshi at home, but also accompanies her to school every single day without fail. She shares with us “My sons didn’t get to study much, Shashikant (Sonakishi’s Father) has studied only till Class 8, but I don’t want the same for her…I want Sonakshi to be really successful in life and become whatever she wants to be”.
On 15th of June 2016, the first day of the school arrived. Morning classes at Royal City School start at 7.10 am but anxious adults accompanying their children for this important day started arriving as early as 6.30am! Whilst of different religions, cultures and traditions these parents held the same ambitions – to see their children go to school, to be happy and successful in life. Something that may well unite parents across the world.
First assignment of the new year – draw what you like.”This is my house”
As the mass of anxious adults massed outside the school gates Sonakshi’s bright, smiling face could be made out, patiently awaiting the start of the school year. With the gates opening we followed her in, sharing with her a day of English, maths and art.
Without the help of our supporters across the world, Sonakshi might not have enjoyed her first day back so much. With your support we’re able to deliver a quality of education that every child deserves, but we can still do more. Visit http://bit.ly/RCSWishlist to learn about what materials and equipment are on our wishlist or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.