By KATHY KAVANAGH
Dehradun, 17 Nov: Nanhi Dunya has completed 76 years of existence. The festival to celebrate its birthday began today and will continue till 20 November. To keep the initiative going under very challenging circumstances for 76 years is remarkable. Nanhi Dunya schools give a handmade feeling in the present industrial world, as it is child-centred and respects the environment. The children are well taken care of and their development is of utmost importance to the Nanhi Dunya community.
Nanhi Dunya is not just another school for academic learning but is a place where children blossom. Speaking on the occasion, young Vaishali who came as an aspiring teacher, felt that Nanhi Dunya is a place of opportunities and she has learnt deeper things here besides teaching subjects. She said that she is enriched by working with a diversity of people.
“In one year, I feel more confident and have learnt to learn from children,” she declared.
Nanhi Dunya is a pioneering initiative and has done brilliant work in the field of alternative education and inclusive learning practices. Children rich or poor, able and differently able all have an honourable place at Nanhi Dunya. At Nanhi Dunya centres, children learn to coexist and learn from each other’s abilities and skills. Over the last seven decades, the teaching faculty has found original ways to reach the core of children and assist them to discover their innate talents.
Kathy Kavanagh, who is visiting Nanhi Dunya from Australia, was amazed to see the performances of the children today. She said that the children prepared for so long to create a wonderful event for Founder’s Day. The Ulfats founded Nanhi Dunya with eight children listening to stories and playing games under a tree and now run 10 centres. She praised the family for still being committed and working for the expansion of its activities and building new centres.
Teaching children with learning challenges is not easy but one cannot make out which child has what disabilities as they are so well integrated and have found ways to work together. The teachers are generous and learn immensely with Kiran and Alok, both teachers over the past 30 years. Presently, Nanhi Dunya is working to develop a LIFE IN LEARNING approach to education.
“I am from Australia and volunteering at Nanhi Dunya. To my knowledge, there are not many places like this in Australia. Nanhi Dunya runs with limited resources and works with the idea of strengthening children’s will under challenging circumstances. In this school, no one has been turned away because of the inability to pay fees. Open to all and small is beautiful is the motto of the school. The school runs on non-competitive spirit and therefore children can learn without complexes,” she declared.
“The best part of the education here is my meeting with ex-students of Nanhi Dunya who are employed with ONGC, Titan Watches, self run businesses and newspaper reporting and many more such examples are here to show the success of Nanhi Dunya education. This is definitely a school where children blossom and find purpose in their lives.”
On 20 November, Nanhi Dunya, Vikas Nagar will stage a grand show to culminate the Platinum Jubilee year celebration.
MLA Munna Singh Chauhan and his wife, Madhu Chauhan, will be the guests of honour. The event is open to all and will commence at 4 p.m.