Friday, August 14, 2020

Jagrik: Educating Aware Citizens

 ‘Jagrik: Educating Aware Citizens

15th August is a very special day for us Indians, because after over 200 years of being colonised, we finally got independence from British Rule. But freedom from foreign rule is not the same as freedom from suffering and injustice. Freedom from those things requires us to become aware citizens, and understand our rights and responsibilities towards our beloved country. 

On this Independence Day, we would like to throw light on our new class- ‘Jagrik’, devoted entirely to this cause.

‘Jagrik’ is a combination of two Hindi words:  ‘Jagruk’ (aware) and ‘Nagrik’ (citizen), i.e. it is a

Jagrik Class Before Lockdown
portmanteau word. The name captures the essence of this class perfectly – to proactively spread awareness and to understand what steps we can take to create a sustainable future. ‘Jagrik’ is a citizenship awareness class started by Ravi Bhaiya in mid-January, when protest and riots were happening all across India because of CAA and NRC. We wanted to know more about this wonderful class, and our editor- Tulsi had a conversation with the volunteer teachers – Nirvan and Prerna. Here is a brief transcript of the conversation.

Tulsi: So, what is the objective behind the Jagrik class and what do you want to achieve from it?

Prerna: One of our primary objectives is to spread awareness amongst the youngsters so that they become engaged citizens. As Ravi Bhaiya describes it, we have a very rich constitution, but many of us do not know much about the document.

Nirvan: And also discussing the ideals of the constitution and the functioning of the government. Our responsibility is to gather information, to question and to be aware. So, the utmost focus is on gathering information, discussing and coming up with arguments and solutions.

Tulsi: What is the need for such classes for the youth?

Nirvan: After talking to our students, we realized that school only lays a foundation. To be a truly aware citizen, you need much more. A school textbook gives certain facts that can be viewed from different lenses and perspectives. However, at ‘Jagrik’, we try to think outside the box, inculcating a sense of responsibility in our students, towards their country and the environment, at large.

Tulsi: What is the age group of the students attending the class?

Nirvan: We have students from Classes 11 and 12, as well as working individuals till the age of 22 years.

Jagrik Class After Lockdown
Tulsi: What topics have you covered up until now?

Nirvan: We have broadly covered CAA, NRC, the Constitution, our fundamental rights, and the difference between local elections, state elections, local body and national elections. We have also conducted 2-3 sessions on COVID-19 since a lot of people were misinformed. Recently, we have started focusing on empowering the students to make a change in their community. Currently, lack of public washrooms for students is our main focus and we are trying to resolve this issue at the earliest. We helped students understand the working of the government bodies and their role in providing funds for basic amenities. This indeed will help them further, to question the local governing bodies regarding serious issues like potholes on roads, shortage of electricity supply, etc.

Tulsi: Can you tell us what medium you use to teach and how many students there are in the class?

Prerna: Since we began teaching remotely due to the Coronavirus, we have around 7-8 students. We have mostly discussion-based classes. We use videos and news articles to share information with our students and to stimulate conversation.

Tulsi: How has your experience been with the class as a teacher? Was there a particular moment in which you felt there was a positive change?

Prerna: One important thing that I have learnt is to keep the conversations and materials engaging and interesting for the students. Nirvan and I are continuously exchanging ideas, discussing what worked well with the students and what more can be done to make it a fun-learning experience for the students. It is difficult to say how successful we have been in helping the students because the time duration is very short. However, being able to just plant a seed in someone’s mind to think differently about a particular problem or a challenge in the community is change enough for me. I feel that this is happening slowly and steadily, and we will surely progress in the years to come.

Nirvan: I agree with Prerna di. Regarding learning, we have realized that it is as much learning for us as it is for the students because even we are developing the curriculum as we go along, and we need to keep evolving to make the class and conversations lively. We try to keep it interesting by making sure that no week is the same as the previous one, and there is no set protocol or curriculum as of now, so we rely on the students’ feedback.

Tulsi: What will you be doing in the class going forward?

Nirvan: Once we have taken our public toilets initiative to a certain level, we will focus again on the Constitution and the Constitutional Rights as it is the base document of all our rights and there is still a big difference between the current scenario as compared to that mentioned in the Constitution.

Tulsi: It was great talking to both of you and understanding the thought process behind ‘Jagrik’. Thank you for your precious time and all your answers.

Note: Some of our students at the ‘Jagrik’ class have also shared their experiences.We will be writing about the students’ learnings in the next issue. For more information, please keep reading our newsletters.

Transcripted by Vaibhav, Manzil Volunteer
Edited by Cailin,Manzil Volunteer

Manzil Family: COVID Food Relief

Manzil Family: COVID Food Relief 

मंज़िल हालाँकि शिक्षा के क्षेत्र में कार्य करता है, मगर जब पूरे हिंदुस्तान में कोरोना वायरस की वजह से लॉकडाउन हो गया था, तो मंज़िल संस्था और मंज़िल से निकली संस्थाओं ने मिलकर फ़ूड डिस्ट्रीब्यूशन में काम किया। ऐसे में उन्हें किन-किन चुनौतियों का सामना करना पड़ा? उनका अनुभव कैसा रहा आइये उन्ही से सुनते है। 

Manzillions' expressions through Art during COVID 19

Drawings by Manzil Students 

Divya, 10 Years

Chaitanya Vaidh, 12 Years

Ruby Negi, 19 Years

Hardik Vaidh, 16 Years

Divya, 10 Years

Aarti Paswan, 18 Years

समय का बदलाव: A Poem By A Manzillion

 समय का बदलाव 

समय बदला है और बदले थोड़े हम भी
खुशी आई है पर साथ थोड़ा ग़म भी
मौसम के इस बदले रुख ने जीना सिखा ही दिया
प्रकृति के साथ छेड़ छाड़ करने का फल दिखा ही दिया

DRAMEBAAZ: ऊंची उड़ानों के पंछी कैद नही होते

 DRAMEBAAZ: ऊंची उड़ानों के पंछी कैद नही होते

Dramebaaz Team (Vishal, Rahul, Amit, Balkumari, Sachin and Shrikant)


हमारा नाम ड्रामेबाज़ है,और नाटक करना और करवाना हमारा काम है। बच्चों से हमे बहुत लगाव है। मई 2019 में हमारा  सफ़र शुरू हुआ था, हमने 2019 में लगभग 700 बच्चों के साथ काम किया और बहुत सारे नाटक किए।

Aarti Bhatt: A student's amazing lockdown story

 MY JOURNEY IN “LOCKDOWN

Aarti Bhatt


Earlier, life meant freedom. The freedom to do whatever one wanted, explore new places, meet new people, the freedom to live without restrictions. 

मंज़िल स्कूल: लर्निंग की कोई सीमा नहीं

मंज़िल स्कूल: लर्निंग की कोई सीमा नहीं 


"बच्चे देश का भविष्य हैं, उनमे अच्छी भावनाओं का निर्माण हो, इसका ध्यान रखते हुए, बहुत ही प्यार व स्नेह से, यहाँ पर काम करने वाले साथियों का चुनाव करके, मैंने और गीता चोपड़ा जी ने मिलकर मंजिल स्कूल की

Conversations with yourself: Mental Health

 Conversations with yourself: Mental Health

Online Session on Mental Health with Megha 


COVID-19 is teaching us how important it is to be healthy. We are taking our physical health more seriously. We are even eating more homemade food. Manzil is also creating awareness among its students about COVID-19. 

Sunday, April 19, 2020

The Editor’s Speak

The Editor’s Speak


From Offline to Online Classes
Being the editor of Manzil’s newsletter brings with it several challenges and responsibilities, especially when the editor herself is learning on the job what the role of an editor is. In this special edition of the newsletter being released during the COVID-19 crisis in the country, we have attempted to bring forth the beauty of the spirit of Manzillions despite the challenges that have come our way.

The virus has demanded the bitter medicine of a lockdown, bitter as it has left many people jobless, especially those who are on daily wages, or informal jobs not backed by contracts. In the working class from which Manzillions mostly come from, the nature of work itself is such that it just cannot be Work From Home. Even though the Government has clearly told all employers to not cut anyone’s salary, halfway through the month of April, still many parents have neither got their March salaries, nor do they have any clarity if they will, not to mention future earnings.Many of them have little or no savings to fall back upon.Out of dignity, asking for help is difficult, and there is a lot of anxiety and concern in many households about what the future holds for them.

Naturally the children are not immune to the atmosphere of constant worrying in their homes, especially since the lockdown keeps families close together 24x7. Stuck in small homes, unable to meet friends or play outdoors, they are the hidden silent victims of COVID-19 lockdown. Manzil is their learning community; we are trying to create virtual meeting spaces to help them not get affected and continue their learning. On the very first day of the lockdown, our core team, which as you know are our own senior students (including me), got together on a zoom call to discuss how we could adapt to this extraordinary situation. Since then we have been remote-meeting every single morning, and have gradually figured out the way forward, starting many online sessions which are helping Manzillions focus on their growth, utilizing their time well rather than getting entrapped in the spiral of negative news coverage, which was making everyone anxious. We are reaching out to our students to find out which families need food help so we can organize for the same. Core member Vandana is designing an online mental health session with the help of a volunteer. This special newsletter is to share with you many stories about how we are holding Manzil classes using zoom, whatsapp text, google classroom, etc, and learning our way to success there, expanding everyone’s positivity and imagination in these bleak times.

Whereas online classes brought a positive experience to students, they also came face to face with many new challenges.  It is hard for them to participate in these virtual classes from within the small spaces of their homes, inhabited by large families, all of whom depend on a single data connection accessed through mobile phones. Families do not have costly broadband connections, and with mostly pre-paid mobiles,experience low bandwidth because of lower-gen networks (non-4G). There is limited data, limited number of devices and multiple users. Some students’ homes are in locations where connectivity is poor. Rarely do they have private space in the house for focused and undistracted learning. Yet the passion for learning is strong enough to overcome these situational factors. For instance, 35 students including core members have signed up for a 3-month online Personal Mastery program under the mentorship of Neha Bhabhi, Amit Bhaiya, Ravi Bhaiya and Gurbani.

Beyond the difficult times that we all are suffering, our students have gained certain positive personal experiences. They have become more cooperative and are helping their mothers with their house work, especially boys. They are now realizing how much their mothers do for the family. They have even become good listeners and gained more interest in their parents’ conversations. This brings them closer to each other and has helped in developing stronger bonds.

We are happy to report that as far as we know, no Manzillion or family member is infected. They are safe and following Government directions dutifully and are even making others around them aware of them. Wherever possible, the older students are helping the vulnerable in their vicinity, even assisting reporters stuck without transport to drive them to locations where they need to report from (https://scroll.in/article/959565/watch-in-delhi-hungry-people-join-a-2-km-long-food-queue-in-peak-afternoon-sun).To contribute this way, they maintain very high standards of safety precautions themselves, and have got themselves curfew passes.

Kotla School which is a pre-primary school, the first center of Manzil, led by Aunty ji (Mrs.Indira Gulati who is 85 years old), has been influenced by our youth empowerment center practices.All the four teachers -Manita, Anjali ji, Hemlata ji and Uma ji- along with Mrs. Gulati meet twice a week through zoom app which they were taught by Neha Bhabhi and share new teaching aids which will be helpful after the Kotla school reopens.

The beautiful thing about Manzil is that we are a community standing together and fighting against the global crisis with each other’s support. Even more than ensuring uninterrupted learning, we are reaching out to connect to ensure uninterrupted community. After all, this is a time for physical distancing and not social distancing.In any crisis, the greatest source of strength for any of us is the belief and knowledge based on our lived experience that others care for us. The essence of community is that we care for each other. Manzil as a safe space continues even if virtually.


---Tulsi Kohli, 19th April 2020


When Corona gives Lemons, Manzillions make Lemonade


How Manzillions are adapting to learn in the midst of COVID-19


COVID-19 is officially a pandemic that is spreading like wildfire around the globe. It has changed people's lives to an unimaginable extent. The virus was able to shut down most workplaces, evacuate schools and colleges and force people to stay at home.

Lockdown unlocks Virtual Manzil

Lockdown unlocks Virtual Manzil



“I have always read in the books that change is the only constant, and that humans should be ready to adapt to this change.

कोरोना की परिस्थिति में गुलाटी आंटी जी का जज़्बा


कोरोना की परिस्थिति में गुलाटी आंटी जी का जज़्बा



इस समय जब लोग कोरोना जैसी महामारी की वजह से परेशान हो रहे है । वही इंदिरा गुलाटी जी जिन्हें हम सब आंटी जी कह कर संबोधित करते है ।

ये मंज़र भी बदलेगा

ये मंज़र भी बदलेगा

बदला बदला सा ये मंज़र बैठे हैं सब घर के अंदर,
सोच से सबके परे ऐसा उठा हैये बवंडर,

Monday, January 13, 2020

Manzil's Got Talent


Uma: The Master of all Trades

Uma
Uma joined Manzil as a part of the English Program in 2004, post completing her 12th class at a government school.

The Creative Manzillion




माँ

औरत ही सही माँ की निशानी हूँ मैं,
इतिहास के पन्नों में लिखी कहानी हूँ मैं

Teacher’s Speak


                                                                                   
मेरी कहानी मेरी जुबानी

श्रीकांत
नमस्कार मेरा नाम श्रीकांत है, मैं एक मिडिल क्लास फॅमिली से हूँ और साउथ दिल्ली में रहता हूँ | मेरी जिंदगी की शुरुआत तब होती है जब मैं 9th क्लास में था | मैं क्लास की सबसे पिछली सीट पर बैठता था और अपने टीचर से बहुत डरता था | 

Beyond Manzil


Mental Health Initiative at Manzil 

The WHO defines mental health as a state of well-being which entails a person being able to realise his or her own abilities, cope with the normal stressors of life, work productively and make a contribution to his/her community.

The Inspirational Story


Safe in India

Safe in India Team
We are back with an inspirational story of Safe in India, an NGO that aims to help workers who have lost their limbs in job accidents get their rights

Gratitude Note


Amit Ji: The Water Hero

Amit Ji
“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry”
--Thomas Fuller—