I believe in this adage more than before.
Life has not been a smooth ride for me.
People often ask, “How is life treating you?” but it is better you ask yourself “How have I treated what life has offered me?”
Even after a career spanning five decades – I worked in various schools in the capacity of a teacher of mathematics, coordinator, Principal- I realize that a few of my interests have remained with me. In fact they have become my passion now.
Love for children; Passion for teaching mathematics to them and the self-taught art of painting
I started with water colour , then graduated to oil and acrylic. I dabble in charcoal painting too. I find Tanjore Painting both satisfying and therapeutic.
Little did I know then that I would be using this talent for the benefit of many deserving people.
I worked in many schools but the thirteen years in Atomic Energy Junior College, Mumbai , earned me some kind of name if not fame. The most memorable years were the 7 years when I started an After-school programme (a term hardly known in nineties) a “maths Club” for the XI Standard students. Over 100 students from standard XI would assemble with enthusiasm in a classroom, after college hours. They would divide themselves in groups with names like Octopi or Hyperbola … design games and activities based on Maths for the benefit of all the members of the club. The best part was one could hate maths and yet enjoy taking part in those games. There was no internet or facility for photocopying in those days. Students would take the trouble to hand write the problems and riddles. My journey continued after I quit that place of work – I started a maths Hub in the next school I joined. I started a Community and social service club in Jakarta where I worked in an International school. As a principal of a school in Mumbai, we adopted a municipal school for teaching music or enjoyable games in maths for the kids there.
Health hazard like Cancer did not deter me from continuing my passion-love for children, teaching math and art . After recovering fully from the dreaded C, I started my own NGO- Shaktii After school Programme for less-served girls .
Young girls from these groups are hard working and intelligent. They often are denied a good platform to showcase their talents due to societal norms most of them fade away early. Statistics reveal the abysmal conditions under which 50% of world’s population is oppressed and denied the kind of education that can turn the world around. Women need to be respected and honoured. Even advanced nations are yet to come to terms whole-heartedly with the emergence of woman power.
Thus I felt the need to start a programme for the underserved community, specially girls. I am encouraged by the result of the seven years of efforts we have put in creating confident adults out of the young girls who enter our centre.
I am now nearing 70 years of age but living a life straight from the pages of Ronda’s book The Secret.
I use my love for children to teach them to love math which they simply loathe before coming to me.
How does art figure in the scheme of things for Shaktii? I have successfully conducted exhibitions of my paintings to raise funds for the girls.