Thursday 30 October 2014

Igniting Young Minds

Don’t we all hold a special place for our teachers from the early years of our life? Those teachers who taught us the alphabets, the nursery rhymes and the Golden Words? They brought a host of learning techniques to the classroom to keep us engaged. Ms. Geeta Prasanna is another such teacher who brings a variety of learning techniques to the class. Her classes bring excitement and fun to the children’s lives, who happily repeat every word after her, dance to her action songs and even participate in the re-enactment of moral stories. Using various learning aids she breezes through different concepts like objects, colours, birds, animals. Her interactive classes would make you yearn to be a child again to participate in the class. Surely someday these kids will look back and remember this wonderful teacher, just as we today feel nostalgic about our childhood teachers.

In an interview with her, she chatted about her relationship with Vathsalya.

How long have you been teaching here?
                I have been in the teaching field for the last 25 years. Now I have been associated with Vathsalya for more than two years.

You teach at Vathsalya only once a week, so what do you do as a full- time profession?
                I specialise in teaching children with hearing impairment. So I take one- on- one classes at home for these children. Once in a week, I come to Vathsalya to teach migrant children and help them with basic concept formations.

What has been your most rewarding experience here?
                I generally teach children who find it difficult to speak. But here I was surprised to see that children with normal hearing capacity also found it difficult to communicate. This was because they had very little social interactions. So when they utter every word it brings great joy and satisfaction to me.

What motivates you to teach here?

                Vathsalya is a very well- run institution with a dedicated staff. Their enthusiasm to help the children motivates me to teach here.
- Benita Chacko

Tuesday 28 October 2014


An unassuming, beautiful young girl, intently pouring over her books and writing down her notes, this young angel is all of fifteen and intends to change the world! All I can say is that she is already at it.
In her tenth grade, Akanksha made the crucial decision of dropping out of a formal institution and decided to be home-schooled. If you are wondering why, here is your answer – so she could spend more time at an NGO and teach the migrant children there.

 Akanksha has been associated with Vathsalya Charitable Trust for over three years now. She joined the NGO with the intention of helping the kids in her spare time but was soon consumed by the noble cause. In Akanksha’s words, “These kids have a lot of talent and really big dreams, they only need someone to guide them, so they can achieve their dreams.” Her decision was, to ‘be the change you want to see’. Today, she spends her mornings with these migrant children, coursing through the curriculum in a fun, interesting manner. Only the remainder of her day is dedicated to her personal education. She also dedicates a few days of her week to the NGOs outreach programmes and visits the nearby slums and schools to propagate the importance of education in EVERYONE’s life.

“Every morning now, I wake up with a smile on my face as a result of these efforts,” says Akanksha.
Have you felt this way today?
-Neha Sharma


A child can know no guile, sees the world in colorful hues and wants nothing more but the love and attention he/she deserves. Yet, the hardship of broken homes and financial troubles can rob this child of a fulfilling childhood. This grim reminder is inspiration enough to reach out and support the underprivileged.

Vathsalya Charitable Trust, a non-profit, non-government organization, based in Bangalore, India, has been a refuge to the children of many migrant workers. With an atmosphere of love and care, Vathsalya lives up to its name. The dedicated team of faculty and staff are seen helping the children learn basic skills and equipping them with an excellent informal education. The organization also hosts several sponsorship and outreach programmes, be it in distant villages or within the city.

Nutrition is also a key focus area at Vathsalya. Meals are carefully planned, prepared and provided to the children, keeping in mind every nutritional requirement their age entails. At Vathsalya, every child ends the day with a curious mind, a full stomach and a smile.

Most of us have been blessed with a wonderful education and comfortable homes, but few have managed to look beyond this. There are children, precious little souls, hungry for knowledge and love. Vathsalya has spent the last 25 years labouring for this cause.

It is easier to build strong children, than to repair broken men.”
- Colleen Thomas