I’ve been lucky to work on some developmental projects in the early years of my career as a working professional. As a part of these projects I got an opportunity to interact with young students in the villages of Assam on various educational and developmental issues.
A strong memory that I have from those times is their hard to miss enthusiasm and eagerness to learn about various career opportunities and partake in new experiences. Every single time, though, I was left mortified with the dearth of resources staring the students in their face. It was the interaction with these young and promising students that kept the flame in me burning to come back and contribute in some way towards their betterment.
Sure enough that opportunity came knocking when I happened to hear about Rukmani Trust.
It was through my teacher Lolita Dutta, a design professional and an educator that I was introduced to Jiban Jatra, a worthy initiative of the trust.
One January afternoon, we found ourselves speaking to children of grades XI and XII in rural Assam. The session introduced children to various aspects of design, an industry that I have been associated with for the past decade. It was heartwarming to note how the children were so interested in learning about the many facets of design. The very sight of so many motivated students peering into their screens, wanting to savor every bit of information, their many struggles notwithstanding, had us in awe.
At this point I must stop to laud the efforts of the team at Rukmani Trust who ensured that the children could easily comprehend the various aspects and that information wasn’t lost on account of nuances of language and culture.
Surely, this needs to be an on-going effort where periodic workshops can be held on different aspects of design and where its allied services can be covered in greater detail. Additionally, there is also a need to share extensive material pertaining to this field with the children so that they are armed with relevant information. Since most of the students hail from humble economic backgrounds, it will be beneficial to guide them to avenues, where they need not enroll themselves in expensive courses, instead where they can learn while on-the-job. There is also the opportunity to connect interested and capable students with individuals and companies working in the field of design at the local level.
I, for one, would love to be a part of this ongoing initiative and would also urge many of you who are experts in your respective professions to come out and share your expertise with young minds!
They deserve all our support….and much more.