Visit South City II, Block A1, Gurgaon, on weekends and you may come across a bunch of underprivileged kids studying on the ground. What is so special about this class, you may wonder. Well, it’s the teacher!
Meet Samaira Gulati, an 11-year-old resident of Delhi, who visits the locality every weekend to see her grandparents and conduct these classes.
A Std 7 student of DAV Centenary Public School, Delhi, she gives lessons in spoken English, grammar, Math and Science. Since November, 2015, Samaira has been spending two hours every weekend with these kids, who are six to 12 years of age. During summer vacations, she helps these children with their homework. She also keeps encouraging them to study hard and make their dreams come true.
Shivam Raj, one of her students, who studies in Std 3 and is only eight years old, says, “I want to study hard and become an army officer. I want to serve the nation. I really feel sad when I see my mother working in other people’s houses. I want my mother to rest and spend time with me. I tell her not to worry and that when I grow up, I would never let her work like this.”
Samaira says she always wanted to take up the task and whenever she saw kids wasting time, she thought their time could be used productively.
She found her inspiration three years ago when she saw a 64-year-old man teaching such kids in a park in Gurgaon. She wanted to know why the children were sitting on the ground and studying under a tree. Her curiosity led her to GK Bhatnagar, president of Society for Upliftment and Development of Human beings by Action (SUDHA), an NGO which works for underprivileged children in the city. Bhatnagar explained to her that these were children who came from families with limited means. It was then that she decided to help such children.
"When I saw these children, I decided that I have to teach them. I should at least spend two hours with them every day. I have also decided to motivate my friends to take up this initiative and bring a smile on such faces in their locality," says Samaira. She is thankful to her parents for supporting her decision.
Neha Gulati, Samaira’s proud mother, also shares her sentiments. She says, “Real education comes when you can relate to the problems around you. What good is bookish knowledge if we fail to implement it? At this tender age, Samaira is doing what many people can’t even think of. I am proud of her and she has all the support she needs from us.”
Samaira is passionate about social change in the country and wants to contribute towards it. She aspires to become an IAS officer. But she is not just all-work-and-no-play kind of a person. Like any other child of her age, she enjoys sports, video games and movies.
Other volunteers of the NGO have words of praise for her and say that she’s like a little fairy to them. Bhatnagar says, “She’s one of those children who bring fairy tales to life and encourage others to dream. She’s been a regular volunteer with us. At such a young age, she’s become an inspiration for many.”
And we can’t agree more!