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TrippinInTheeYah

a travel blog by ac


You never step twice into same India.
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Megh Niwas Garden

Jaipur, India



Je tolik Indií, kolik si jich člověk najde.




permalink written by  ac on March 28, 2013 from Jaipur, India
from the travel blog: TrippinInTheeYah
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Pavel´s Report 2013

Jaipur, India


After one year, I returned to Sahyog School to try to help some more, to see what has changed, and, of course, to meet the kids once again. Some changes have taken place, some things, which are too difficult to change, stay.

Most of the kids now sit on benches (all of them, actually, except for one pre-school class). Some children improved their English language skills, though it lies rather in their ability to listen and understand than the ability to speak and express themselves. The kids, when you look at them, are cleaner than the year ago. Many of them are more self-confident and self-assured than they used to be. I visited some of the families in their homes. Their living standard is far below what people in my country can even imagine. Were it not for this school, they would be probably left without a chance to get a decent job and to rise up from this bottom of existence. So, my words of appreciation to the school for giving them this chance. Only locally focused organisation can do, I do not believe that occasional aid the government provides to the slum communities through its missionaries hits the target effectively enough.

On the other hand, there is big space for improvement in the school. Most of the problems, I believe, come from lack of financing (no surprise) and impossibility of even mid-term development planning. I understand that the school survives from contributions and donations that have to be renegotiated and begged for every year again and again with no assurance there would be sufficient resources to run the school, pay at least some money to the teachers, carry all the costs of electricity and other necessities... The school misses a mid-term (three to four years ahead) plan of action - investments, strategic goals to achieve. No wonder, it is impossible to make one, when there is no stable finance resource.


And there are so many items that would go into the list of goals:

Classrooms have no walls, classes disturb each other; kids, when unattended, cannot help it and cannot stay quiet. (It appears to be Indian national feature that they fight noise only with bigger noise.) On top of it, unfinished walls are ugly and also dangerous.
Classrooms have no windows - a small hole in the wall that lets some light in is not a window. Lighting of the classrooms is random; some children cannot see what is on the blackboard.
Plaster on the outside of the building and especially inside and also some wall painting would help a lot. White walls would change the appearance and help with the light. Also the wiring that leads to fans and lights could be safely hidden. The building is full of dust coming from the raw bricks, not speaking about impossibility to hang anything properly on the walls.
Toilets are a catastrophe. It is good to explain the principles of cleanliness again and again, but if the bathrooms do not allow for the basic hygiene... One of many: there has to be running water inside the bathroom, so kids leave the room clean.


As to the system of education:

The tendency to memorize instead of thinking, understanding and being able to figure out, is the common disease of many educational systems. It cannot be accounted to this particular school; I suppose it is a country-wide problem. Anyway, the ability to think is what distinguishes humans from other species and it should be the school´s primary task to develop and support it. Children have answers written in their textbooks next to the questions and when asked they only copy these not having the slightest idea what the question is about. You change the order of questions and they are confused, you change the wording of some question and they get lost. The answers in their books are often complicated and they obviously did not come out of their heads, maybe some teachers helped. And if one of them answers is incorrect and you tell the kids? Their universe collapses.

Discipline is very frequent word in this school, but order and organisation is what the school lacks from top to bottom. Yelling is a military way to enforce discipline and it very often only enforces a feeling of discipline, not discipline itself. Discipline comes from respect. Respect to rules, respect to personalities of the leaders, respect to each other. Children obviously respect the positions of the teachers and the principal. I am not sure if a real personal respect is also there. And the way things are (not) organised here does not arouse much respect. Example: the habit to burst in the classroom and start talking to children (very often, by the way, with a voice pitch that - to me - indicates some sort of conflict) is bad, to my opinion. If there is any information that needs to be spread, there are morning assemblies and maybe some other ways to do it.

The classes must be exhausting for the children. Except the break for lunch which is very short, there is no time to sit and chat. And kids have so much to tell each other. No wonder they use the time during the teaching periods to do that... Giving them a little break between the periods might bring some relief to all players of the game. I find no pleasure in calling for silence once a minute.


I guess I do not have to stress that all I do and say including my critical words is meant to help. But what I want to repeat over and over is this: This school is the only fixed point the children have when they leave their homes and it is very good alternative to roaming the slum area with no perspective. And I am much convinced that some of the kids (and after this second mission I could name them) have a bright future ahead of them.

Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to take part.



permalink written by  ac on March 29, 2013 from Jaipur, India
from the travel blog: TrippinInTheeYah
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Brzda pokroku

New Delhi, India


Takovou dobu už křičím na svět, jak se má změnit, aby věci začaly aspoň trochu fungovat, a svět mě ne a neposlouchá. Abych se pořád jenom rozčiloval, to je flagrantní ukázka nepoučitelnosti! Vezměme si třeba jenom takovou Indii - co by jí to udělalo, kdyby se trochu ukáznila a zklidnila a jenom jednou skočila, jak já písknu, ale to ona ne. Já opravdu nevím, buď jsem blbej já nebo Indie. Zkouším to po dobrém i po zlém, shora i zdola. Vždyť já tě mám, Indie, rád a všecko pro tebe udělám, ale podívej se na sebe, podívej se na mě. Na hromech vstáváme, na hromech líháme. Muší to bét, Indie?

Tenhle svůj názor bych možná neměl zveřejnovat. Ale zase na druhou stranu - proč já bych se měl bát jich, když oni se nebojí mě a nestydí se po staletí bránit milionům lidí ve svobodném myšlení? Zlo, které spáchali, nadělali ve jménu svých politických cílů a to obrovské množství dobra, pod které se podepisují, je dílem výjimečných laskavých, statečných a obětavých lidí, jejichž práci si oni přivlastnili.

A teď - o čem mluvím: v Indii mi konečně došlo, kdo je brzdou pokroku: Bůh. Na špici vývoje jsou civilizace, které se zbavily Boha a přestaly většinu svého času trávit modlitbami, lezením po zemi a dětinskými rituály. Všechny tyhle věci pro ně vymysleli vůdcové, co je chtějí ovládat a držet v ponížení, kterému vznešeně říkají "pokora před něčím, co nás přesahuje". Dá se namítnout, že pojem "špice vývoje" je relativní a je otázkou, kdo je dál, ale tahle relativizace je dalším trikem církví, které se ve jménu "něčeho vyššího" snaží udržet masy co nejníž. Na špici vývoje je ten, kdo přijede do chudé země a za zadkem se mu okamžitě udělá fronta malých i velkých fyzických i právnických osob, které po něm něco chtějí a zdůrazňují, že by jim to měl dát, protože on se má stokrát líp než oni. A že jsou jenom zmatení a nevědí, co je pro ně dobré? No, výborně, a kdo to ví? Kazatelé?

Když se někdo zcvokne a začne rozmlouvat s fiktivním přítelem a rádcem, který existuje jenom v jeho hlavě, stanoví mu lékaři diagnózu a začnou uvažovat o tom, jestli ho nešoupnou do nějakého pavilonu v blázinci. A mezitím po glóbusu chodí po kolenou miliony lidí, kteří si myslí, že žijí jenom proto, aby se zalíbili fiktivní postavě, jejíž úmysly jim navíc tlumočí partička funkcionářů. Tak kdo je tady, pro Pána Boha, magor?

Milé děti, neřeknu vám to přímo do těch vašich ksichtíků, protože bych vám tím začal bourat vesmír a na to nemám právo, ale napíšu vám to sem: dokud budete každý den trávit hodinu u oltáříku na zemi v koutě místnosti, kde by jinak mohla stát knihovnička, a druhý den mi budete vykládat, že už jste fakt neměly ani chvilku na procvičování krácení zlomků, budete běhat za oslem, zatímco já budu jezdit autem. Jak chcete. A vzpomeňte si, že byste chtěly taky jezdit autem...

permalink written by  ac on March 30, 2013 from New Delhi, India
from the travel blog: TrippinInTheeYah
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