Posts by Dipankar Krishna Das

Introspection: Are you really a part of the IDIA family or do you treat it as just another volunteering organisation?

By on Nov 21, 2013 in Blog | 2 comments

Introspection: Are you really a part of the IDIA family or do you treat it as just another volunteering organisation?

A year back, you asked anyone at NALSAR what IDIA meant and they would have said, it meant family. I would have too. Today you ask the same question and some volunteers would say that it is an organisation that they are volunteering for. Somehow, IDIA lost that personal touch among many new volunteers. For me, managing this team became managing a bunch of volunteers, not a family. And as I made my way through those dusty roads to the Palam Vihar Centre of Literacy India, I asked myself the same question: What is IDIA to me today? With my shoes having taken a light brown color, I was ready to throw tantrums there. But then as the pick-up van from LiteracyIndia arrived and took me to their centre, I realised why I was there. I was there on IDIA work. And I truly had a re-discovery of my own IDIA journey. I realised that being a Team Leader, I had nearly forgotten the essence of IDIA. That it was I, who had lost touch! I was there to check out the facilities of LiteracyIndia, with whom we are planning to collaborate for English training. They teach kids from KG till 10th and then sponsor their education through “+2”. And those conversations behind closed doors in the office is not important. Those discussions and talks about teaching, material, method is not important here. What was important were those kids. What was important was the glimmer of hope that I saw on the face of the students I talked to. As I walked through those corridors leading to the classrooms and heard the laughter of the kids being taught, that laughter was important. It reminded me of the visits that I had made to Sai Junior College for the visually impaired or recently to Nagpur and the joy I had felt there. A joy that I drew from the hope and excitement of these kids. And truthfully that is what IDIA is. Yes, IDIA is an organisation that helps underprivileged kids access legal education. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. IDIA, for me and countless other people, is much more. IDIA is that glimmer of hope that you see on the face of your scholars when you go down to teach. IDIA is the smile that engulfs those visually impaired kids at Sai Junior when they meet us. It is the hope that each of us entertain, and continue to nurture everyday. A hope that we are building a better future. That we are filling in on the interstices that the larger institutions have so unabashedly ignored. The hope, that tomorrow we will have a more diverse educated society, built with compassion and mutual love and respect; where law schools are a more friendly environment. I completed my visit and was dropped off at an auto stop by the school bus that was taking students home. And as I took an auto rickshaw with a Bengali migrant driver, I posed myself the same question again. And this time I realised what it meant to me. IDIA is...

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