There is a palpable excitement
"Something is happening? What is happening?" asks Goat, our neighbour.
Something is definitely happening ... there is excitement in the air
And Look say the kids of the Government primary school who come in to help get the place ready!
"It is for us!" say the children.
Yes! It is being specially made for the children of a fishing community in rural Tamil Nadu who are reluctant readers -- made more so by the Pandemic.
The school walls are getting bright colours ...
the yellow of mustard fields in the wind and the blue of blue skies and the white of the wave's frothy curl.
Work stops in our rural neighbourhood
... the dhobi halts to look ... a goat wants to join in ... even a shell pauses on the seashore ...
But the boys who are working instead of being at school and the bum-bum maadu are hard at work.
Do they know what is happening?
"We have magic up our sleeves!" say our reading mentors, gathering children who would rather not come to school. Why get scolded and punished for doing something they cannot do anyway?
But then ... the Katha mentors are just tooo much! They make you laugh and giggle🤩
The first Magic Lab is taking shape!
And our children come to see if this is what they had asked for ...
"Are there cycles? Are there games? Are there pictures in the storybooks..."
The Katha Faculty Club is drumming up its own excitement!
And our mentors go under training in traditional crafts and arts.
Dr Kaleeswaran is an awesome folk musician who conducts our Faculty Club Meeting, for peers and near-peers amongst our reading mentors and volunteers.
Our mothers and other family members come to visit. They go WOW!
So ... where did this Magical journey begin?
With the support of the Collector, of Tiruvallur District
Cannot-is-not-in-my-vocabulary Dr Alby Verghese, and his efficient team have been hard at work to find the spaces where we can start our work with the children of Tamil Nadu's "First Peoples" the Adi Dravidar, Adivasis and Dalit families.
Thanks so very much Tiruvallur District for helping the forgotten children of Tamil nadu to stand tall and fearless. Dr Verghese is finally putting the sparkle of a future into the eyes of so many downtrodden families to rise to a decent lifestyle.
… with a step … a skip … a run … a quantum LEAP!
We in Katha thank our supporters and donor partners, Katha's "Two First Volunteer Donors" who have always stood by us, to do whatever possible to get the quality action going for our 10 million (and growing by the day children). They taught us to fly ... and continue to provide and provide whatever is needed.
And last but definitely not the least
The parents and families of our children who welcome us with such open minds and a singular dedication to their children and grandchildren
They have awoken a whole district to the magic of sustainable learning!