By Shruti Ambast
*What a day!* Nothing more required to describe the wonderful and eventful day at Bachchon Ka Ghar when the kids there got a new MAD Library!! :)
Bacchon Ka Ghar (BKG) in Daryaganj is swarming with wide-eyed children, busy-as-bees MAD volunteers and the extremely enthusiastic guests – a bunch of management students at ESSEC, who have come all the way from Paris to set up a library here.
If you listen closely, you can discern a medley of languages – English, Hindi, French, Urdu – as all these diverse speakers come in contact with each other. A ‘Hello?’ from one of the boys is met with an ‘As-Salamu Alaykum’ from a French speaking ESSEC student! The tone is set, and everyone is ready to dive headlong into the fun.
Volunteers are walking carefully to avoid being knocked over by the speeding kids, who just cannot control their exuberance, as they are grouped and sent off to different classrooms. The labels on the classroom doors read: Origami, Languages, Photography, Drama, Drawing, Olympic games, Board Games, Computers, Dance. Yes, these are all the workshops which are going to be conducted by the ESSEC students, before they start setting up the library!
Within a few minutes, we can see some kids with cameras, joyfully clicking away at everything they see around them. Some kids are participating in a sack race, some are causing eyebrows to be raised at their phenomenal dance moves, some are giggling as they recite the names of all their body parts in French, some are folding paper to create beautiful shapes, some are learning the fine art of emoting… so much activity, and such few words in which to describe it all! Sigh!
As the workshops start winding up, the kids make their way to a room which is about to be transformed into a magical, magical place. The ESSEC students have prepared a backdrop, now it’s time for the kids to make their mark.
Here’s how it works: take a glob of paint in your palm, rub your hands against each other, hold them to the wall – and stamp! Then rinse and repeat! Simple, right? :D
Within seconds, the walls are teeming with handprints of every colour, shape and size. The volunteers have joined in, and now all the hues of pink, blue, green, yellow, red and orange are competing for a spot on the walls of the new library. Names, faces, stars, trees, alphabets – everything is being drawn on.
The ESSEC students and the kids can’t speak each other’s languages, but no one is asking for an interpreter. There is complete, utter chaos and we’re all loving it!
The last smudges of paint are wiped off, as the kids prepare to feast on biscuits, chocolates and soft drinks. It has been a gloriously satisfying day for everyone. We take one last look at the library. The furniture is still wrapped in plastic, and all the books are not yet out on the shelves, but you can already sense the promise of a brighter future… where there is more to read, more to learn, more to imagine, to share… more to make dreams come true!