What do most engineering students do after a gruelling round of semester exams? Relax and chill out, you would say. True. But for Kaustubh Morye, Sagar Mhashelkar, Vishal Manikade, Nitin Bohra, Shantanu Tekade, Ambesh Singh, all third year engineering students from Don Bosco Institute of Technology, Kurla it was different.

These students volunteered to respond to an appeal from Latur District to conduct English Speaking classes and personality development programmes in 5 Zilla Parishad rural schools. DB Tech Mumbai Province is implementing the Multi Skill Foundation course in these institutions.

The school children were all from a Marathi medium background so the objective was to get them to reflect on the importance of English as well as motivate and expose them to the English language. Using games, class room teaching, action songs, competitions as play way method, the volunteers got the 8th, 9th and 10th standard children to engage in English. The motive behind this program was to encourage students to converse in English and overcome their fear, build confidence and support their effort at spoken English.

This programme ran from June 20th to 28th June and covered more than 300 school children. The Principals and teachers of the schools provided every support and allowed the volunteers to extend their sessions as much as they wanted. It was observed that the young students’ confidence soared, they took a liking to speaking in English and were eager to express themselves.

This engagement of city engineering students with rural children brought home a few realities to the DBIT students too. The enthusiasm of the learners, the simple lifestyle and meagre facilities available to these rural children yet their determination to attend school and have dreams for themselves was a lesson these volunteers would remember forever.

The program was coordinated and conducted under the guidance and support of Royal D’souza (NSS Head, DBIT Kurla), Fr. Anthony Santarita (DB Tech School project Director) and Kiran Patange (District coordinator – RMSA Project). The Don Bosco Tech Trainers Mr. Chetan, Mr. Ganesh, Ms. Sonali and Mr. Omkar also helped in this endeavour.

The school authorities along with the staff were appreciative of DBIT’s efforts to give a boost to their senior students who pleaded for some more sessions of this nature in the future. No doubt the engineering students have a treasured memory of their summer vacation.

By Royal D'Souza