Friday, February 14, 2014

Namchi Blind School , Sikkim

Its a gruelling 3 hour drive from Gangtok. At the end of which, you arrive at a small, beautiful building in a lovely place. It is early January, it is cold, and there is no one about.

The experience at Namchi Blind School cannot be described in words. Perhaps that's why this blog post is so belated. Of all the experiences that I have shared at Esha, few have been as deep as this one.

The school has never heard of audio. They were delighted when we told them that we could send them audio content. "What is it like?" asked the principal sir. On the spot, I downloaded some content from the library on the smartphone and played it to them. Their faces went from lack of recognition to beaming smiles.. "This is really good!"

We spoke about other things.. the lack of resources (but that's for another post), how much the school administration is trying. They didn't need to tell me about the lack of resources. It was obvious.

And then I met Tenzing sir. He is an SP at the Namchi Blind School, but every weekend, he is at the school. When the school's only hall was damaged in a fire, he didn't ask his orderlies to paint for him. He saw that the school had no funds, took a paint bucket and paint brush and just got started. On that cold winter day, he was out, trying to repair the plumbing of the school. A pipe had burst and he wanted to use that opportunity to create 2 taps instead of one, because the children don't wash up properly with only one tap and so many of them. Yes, people like that exist.

The principal, the few students who were there.. everyone..

When I asked them what we could record in audio for them, everyone told us unianimously that they wanted only English. "Your files the English is understandable. we want this only."

Some days ago, the Devnar Foundation in Hyderabad also asked for no Telugu, only English.

And I wont write more about the personal trip that was Namchi.

Photographs from our Facebook are available here.

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