I reached Bali (Rajasthan) not knowing what to expect in this barren land and to be honest prepared for the worst with many apprehensions in mind. What I found there, in the shape of The Fabindia School truly humbled me and reminded me once again of what can be achieved where there is no dearth of honest determination and hard work. The first thing that meets the eye is a beautiful campus nurtured over years to allow development of a green zone with very modern and well thought out architecture. Then come the children. Over 800 young minds, oozing enthusiasm and most of all happy! It was a joy to see children actually wanting to come to school and enjoying every minute of their time there. Bearing in mind that most have to travel many miles from various villages spread across the area to reach the School.
I had the privilege of interacting with the children in a very informal environment wherein I was allowed to take them out on a small field trip to a water reservoir just short of Ranakpur. Being a wildlife photographer I decided on taking them out for a bird watching trip. In extremely hot weather conditions where any city child would have had my skin peeled off for dragging them out in the sun, the students from The Fabindia School proved to be very keen, resilient and avid learners. Completely unfazed by the heat they took to learning how to operate a camera and photographing birds and hopefully had a fun time exploring something so new to them. A small test for whether or not you delivered as a facilitator lies in the number of questions asked by your audience and I was most pleased to answer many questions thrown at me by the children. Some even surprised me and had me going back to the books to find answers.
My very short visit to The Fabindia School was a fun filled trip at the end of which I was almost loathe to part from the children and a connection with them had been established where there was room for mutual respect. Lovely to see such spark in life, which leaves you feeling very young at heart and thoroughly revitalized.
It was a pleasure to associate with The Fabindia School and I do look forward to establishing a relationship where growth and learning will open up many new worlds to us.
A keen photographer with a flair for writing, Neha grew up in the valley of Dehradun, away from the chaos of a city and has fuelled her passion for photography by trying to capture the essence of wildlife, landscape, people, children and much more over the years. She is driven forth by bringing alive an experience for the curious mind. Being a wildlife and birding enthusiast she spends a lot of her time in sanctuaries across the country and has discovered moments that truly define the pure joy and tranquility of being in the midst of nature.