I have a few things to say and I am gonna say them here ...
|As readers can see for themselves, this blogger is a rare visitor to his own blog. However, today, I am gonna share some random thoughts with you all.
A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of working on the health check-ups of street children. It came about like this: an Indian doctor, who has qualified from the US has initiated a program for Indian doctors like him to visit their home country and learn about tropical illnesses and so on in tandem with a local doctor selected by his team. I was looking for an opportunity like this where I could volunteer to help impoverished children and simultaneously get a chance to teach young medical graduates. I joined his team pro bono and was called to examine 10-20 children once a week at different locations in Mumbai, my home city in West India.
Why this ramble here? Because I want to share with you something precious about these children: they were almost always poor (which is why they were being educated free by a NGO). They were from all religions and all classes. What was different about them was that even though they were disadvantaged by being on the fringes of society, not one of them showed the slightest bit of nervousness, insecurity or fear of a doctor in modern clothes. The girls were chirpy and the boys, confident, mischievous and out and out flamboyant. They would all ask me my name, submit themselves to a physical with all the modesty of a previleged class child, understand the medical instructions perfectly and always remembered to thank the two of us before leaving the bedside.
I was impressed by such smart and confident behaviour. What I appreciated most was that most of these children took great care to stay clean and wear clean and presentable, if old, clothes. They were almost all averagely nourished and none suffered from the common ailments of malnutrition, vitamin or nutrient deficiencies, or the common illnesses of street kids like scabies, lice, worms, skin diseases, tuberculosis or ear infections.
Remarkable is the only word I can use to describe their health and their savvy, world-wise attitude.
Changing now to another random thought, I would like to tell you, dear reader, about how my elder daughter is coping with her final, end of school examinations preparation. The board exams will be in March, but the pressure of studying is already at a peak in my house. Inas, the daughter in question, is rather blaise about it all, but you should see what her mother experiences when she sees her not studying, but playing a game on this computer!
There is a general tendency for people to get all nervous when their sons or daughters reach the final school year (which is level ten in India). Most students continue to attend school and join private teaching classes at considerable extra cost so that they get the required high marks (we still have marks and percentages in India) at the final board exams. A fantastic result assures you entry into the stream of your choice in junior college (level XI), mostly, Science. The laggards go for Commerce, and finally, Arts. Or they leave formal college and join vocational courses run by government recognised private institutions and become what they want to become, say craftsman, electrician, turner-fitter or what have you. However, most desired vocational courses require you to complete at least Level XII in the appropriate stream.
Hence, after Inas completes Level X, she has to put in two more years in Junior College so as to be able to select her area of vocation/specialisation.
That's all for now.