A few YFS volunteers spent a day in a slum in Balanagar, to ‘live’ the way the slum dwellers live everyday. They moved around with the people, ate at their places and so on.
YFS volunteer Raunak shares his experiences:
I am really blessed and excited to write this as this was one of the best experience till now. The journey started with all the volunteers assembling in “Hindu Degree College For Women” in Sanath Nagar where we kept our luggage. Then we have been informed that we don’t have any dinner arrangement there ,we only have to go to the slum and make relationship with the family and eat food with them so we all were excited about that as we have never experienced that. After giving introduction we all started playing games and prayers and some talk given by Prasad who was coordinating the slum and was running a tuition center since 4 years.Then we are about to start our journey from Sanath Nagar to Amru Nagar slum and we have been divided into group of 2 members so my partner was a 3rd year civil engineering student named Anil .
We reached there at 6:45 pm and than we visited the tuition center run by Prasad ,where we became friendly with the children there.We decided finally to visit a child named Rakesh.
The summary of family :
Student Name :- Rakesh
Father:- Auto driver (1000 per day)
Mother:- mason (150 per day )
Elder Brothers:- Two (both working in assembling parts of fan in electronics shop – Rs 5000/month)
elder Sister :- married in AP (studied till 7 th class)
Grand Mother :- 95 years of age
He guided us the way to his home from the tuition center .When we reached we were treated like relatives and very warm welcome by their parents , moreover Rakesh’s father quickly said someone to bring Cold Drinks (mazaa) for us. Then they made arrangementsfor sitting there in chairs but we made them comfortable saying that there is no need of it and we made the parents sit on the chairs .Rakesh’s father stated telling how he has migrated from Mahboob nagar village in Andra Pradesh and was also telling that he dont want his son to be auto driver like him so he requested us to take care of his child . Rakesh is really a bright and a mature boy who understand the value of support given from Prasad . He was also showing his bag eagerly which was given by Youth for Seva in school kit drive this year .Then after sometime his mother was saying that Rakesh know cooking also and used to cook when sometimes his mother is not there in home .
They have started telling us about their daughter who is married and is pregnant now and is staying in a village in AP. The family of the daughter was treating her in very rude manner . As the fact that Rakesh’s father paid the dowry of approx 3.25 lakhs, so they were demanding more . Inspite of being pregnant her FIL used to give slangs and use to beat her rudely along with her husband. They made her work in field in this delicate condition .Then his father continue to tell that he can bear the pain of her daughter but cant afford her to bring her back as society will then talk ill of their family . After some time his mother was saying that Rakesh is having some heart pain and because of that now she is not allowing him to work in home like cooking and bringing water from outside. Now the time was 8:45 and me and Anil was felling hungry but feeling somewhat shy to ask. Then his parents asked whether we wish to have Namkeen ,then we replied that we are feeling hungry and not in a mood to eat snacks and if they have any plan of dinner we can share and have with them. After few min his mother served the food as she continue to say that it is food of poor and she thought that we would not like it .So then she has served me and Anil Rice along with chutney (prepared by Rakesh) and vegetable curry of palak and aloo .Actually we both like the food ,and I asked her to give some rice and when I ask that I can see the happiness in her face as she thought that we are eating like them .
After some time his dad forced me to take some extra as I like the rice n sabzi so why to say no 🙂 I had till I was full . After our food was over they brought big vessel in which they said us to wash our hands . Now time was 10:00 pm and then again Rakesh guided us to the tuition center where all volunteers were waiting for us and was watching Programs of kids there.
After that we left for Hindu Degree College For Women, Sanath Nagar where the arrangement was made for sleeping . I had a nice sleep as all were tired after the visit .The next morning we wake up at 5:00 and than we have some games along with yoga ,then we were ready for “Shram daan “. As a part of program we have to throw bleaching powder in the slum where ever dirty water or dirt was accumulated .
After that we again came to hostel in Sanath Nagar and we had bath and breakfast there. After some time we planned to go to one of school named Vivekananda school where students from slum were studying there .We had a good interaction with the Principal who told us that they have some unique methodology for teaching .There was no class as such ,we can see only subject name before the class like Maths lab, English, Social studies etc.as it was organized such that whatever students like to study they have to gather there and study on their own in that class room .The school authorities had made arrangement for lunch ..the menu was rice, sambhar, aloo curry, curd .After finishing our lunch we then returned to hostel in Sanath Nagar .
All in all, it was a unique experience. Thanks all for making me part of this.