Abrupt shutdowns and distressing situations created havoc in the world which would take years to recoup. It shattered young and old, rich and poor equally. It dwindled the social strata psychologically, socially and economically and reduced the human race to a stage of haplessness and helplessness.
Fear psychosis travelled fiercely, thereby disturbing the human peace at large. It followed no absolute protocol but made the human race bend its knees and filled the hospital chambers with the infected population. Roads and streets were thrown to dogs and it seemed that the world was handed over to ghosts.
The human civilization was under an unwanted siege and more so, bigger questions started backfiring the claims made by medical science and the questions are still looming large before the gods of the medical world and are still to be answered.
The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir was not an exception to all this. The sons of Adam living on the banks of Tawi and Jhelum too got bigger blows. Among the sobs, cries, sighs and suffocation, the people lost jobs and businesses were shut and even roadside vendors were put at God’s mercy.
The education sector was the worst hit, though it was not felt so when the education and allied concerns got closed. The corridors of schools and their premises no more presented colourful scenes of colourful students wearing colourful uniforms. Morning assembly roars were replaced by ambulance honks on the road.
The only uniform visible on the ground was the PPE Kits used by medical, paramedical staff and volunteers. Online classes became the order of the day. In India only, about 250 million students were affected by the closure of the schools at the onset of the lockdown induced by COVID 19.
However, we are back on track with the new normal. The students are back in school. We could see flocks of satchel-wearing students in and around schools. But in the overall scheme of things, we have forgotten the damage within the little fragile body frames of these students.
Have we ever pondered over the fact that our kids have received shocks that they were not prone to and the damage caused cannot be ignored? We can see class work and activities back on track but how far are we successful in getting them out of the depression and disengagement they have been victims of? These bigger notes of interrogation put us all in the domain of exclamations. Be it parents or teachers, we have to build up on it in a very serious way and address this unaddressed issue which could prove very detrimental to our future.
The working zeal of these RRCians speaks loud as right in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, they were preparing handwritten notes and were delivering it to the needy students while following COVID protocol on bikes or at times going by foot to their doorsteps. On seeing large demand from the student community, they founded this initiative to start with more enthusiasm. Later, they started community classes in and outside Pulwama town.
These enthusiastic young men were mentored and motivated by a young KAS officer from Pulwama who is helping students for the last 10 years and guides them free of cost for different competitive examinations like IAS, KAS and JKSSB.
In this situation of chaos and confusion, we could see a ray of hope from the suburbs of Pulwama area, where an educational initiative — Reading Room Classes (RRC) — has been doing miracles. The initiative was started by some young vibrant minds who were all brilliant but unemployed. They choose this initiative to help the student community in particular.
The story doesn’t end here. The group of these young teachers moved from pillar to post to get a rental building where they can teach the students and finally succeeded to establish it at Ahad’s Towers near District Hospital Pulwama.
They achieved one more milestone and created history by conducting “Habba Khatoon Talent Hunt Test” in Pulwama town in which a record 1000 students enrolled themselves and became part of the overall process of mentorship, guidance and classes. By their dint and hard work, they conducted this historic and the first of its kind test in district Pulwama which hitherto was a farther dream for the students.
This way, students got their reading rhythm back through the Reading Room Classes initiative. These unsung heroes are working day in and day out to help students through motivation and the kids they have mentored are jubilant enough that their motivation levels have touched the skies.
The undaunted energy of these young messiahs doesn’t end here. More recently, they have started another unique initiative which they named “Anti-COVID Capsule by RRC Pulwama” — a new educational innovation. Through this initiative, they are now going to give free compensatory-cum-mentorship classes to all the students of Class 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th.
In this initiative, they are already conducting free special sessions, counselling sessions, motivational classes, one-to-one mentorship sessions, doubt clearance sessions, recreational curricular sessions and much more, thereby creating an environment of motivation which would lead the student community back on track.
It surely and undoubtedly is a pioneering step towards the overall development of students. These young men need to be appreciated and their commendable work needs to be celebrated so that this model is replicated in other districts and states and becomes torch bearer for others so that more such initiatives are taken up by other people too. Great applause to RRC and its team and their mentor!