Nurturing today for a better tomorrow
During a visit to the Khadipada Primary School, we caught up with an energetic but shy Mina Dalei, an eleven-year old girl who just gave her Standard V exam in March. She is the youngest of four siblings with three elder brothers who are working as daily wagers. Her father is a farmer and her mother, a homemaker.
Being an avid learner, Mina loves to study and her favourite subject is M.I.L (Literature). "I understand what the teachers are teaching and I love to be educated. We are also taught the finer art of life skills like socialising with schoolmates, and Yoga," she said. She has a noble ambition to be a doctor and serve people someday. To achieve this, she prepares for her exams thoroughly and if there are doubts she consults her teachers for clarity.
When asked what she does during her leisure, she replies, "I like to do Yoga in the morning after waking up at 5." She then washes up and comes to school after that. She also confirmed that she loves playing in the afternoon and then she studies till 9 at night. During playtime at school Mina likes skipping with her best friend, Minati Raut, with whom she is very compatible.
"I like the food," is what she says when asked about the mid-day meal served in her school by Akshaya Patra every day. It is hygienic and hot, and she has it along with her best friend. Either of the friends makes sure they have their lunch on time.
"A Tata Ace delivers the freshly prepared food to our school," says Mina, a beneficiary of the meal programme for five years, with assurance. She is aware because the students wash their hands and eagerly wait for the food during lunch time.
Amused with her keen observation, we decided to take a few photographs and let her resume her activities. When we left the school premise, we saw her playing in the school yard.
I am Jyotiranjan Das – the film features a 10-yr-old student who is a trained Gotipua dancer from Raghurajpur (Heritage Village in Puri), Odisha. Jyotiranjan lives at the hostel facility provided by the dance academy and his day begins with dance