Too many stories to be shared, but this is one is worth. Yesterday I had been to an Anganwadi in Pune along with 3 of my colleagues from the organization that am working with. We went there to do a longitudinal study on childcare for age groups 0 to 6 years. This particular kid whose name is Sachi was part of the study last year when she was 1 year old and performed amazingly well back then, said one of my colleagues. So, we were all very keen to test her this year also.
A small kid in green pants and navy blue t-shirt came running near the Anganwadi and stopped at the door of a small room. The Anganwadi worker asked the other kids not to come as we were coming to conduct the assessment there. We were all seated on the mat that was spread on the floor. So, this particular kid with sharp eyes and bobbed cut hair stealthily entered the room feeling a little shy. Her mother came right behind and she immediately felt a little safe. She had a warm smile on her face. My colleagues greeted her. They were all talking to her in Marathi and I couldn’t understand much as I am new to that language. What I gathered from their conversation is that they were trying to make her at ease so that the assessment can be conducted smoothly. “Sachi turned 2 very recently,” said her mom. Sachi was being brought up by her mother all alone as her mother left her father – he was not working. She was doing a great job bringing up the child all alone. Soon after, Sachi’s friend joined who was 3 years old. My colleagues involved Sachi’s friend in the assessment as well, just to make Sachi comfortable.
This assessment was to test the kids on their fine motor, gross motor, self help and listening skills. For a kid of 2 years old; Sachi was very quick to grasp the instructions given to her. She had to make small balls out of wads of paper with one hand, throw a ball over, stack up building blocks like a tower, tell a story and things like that. There was this one particular task where a 2 year old kid was expected to tie a knot. Going by the data every one had failed. Instinctively, I said this kid might also not be able to do it. But to my utter surprise she did. Even I didn’t know how to tie a knot at that age. Then I realized how wrong I was in coming to a conclusion. We never know what one is capable of until we allow them to do it.
Once we were done with the assessment and told the mother how well Sachi had performed, her mother was very proud. The mother’s eyes shone with pride when Sachi said her name and had mummy as her middle name since it’s her mom who is responsible for her upbringing.