When a thought was born in the mind of a final year engineer to teach the poor children, he approached his friends whether they would be willing to start such an activity. Discussions were carried out in detail as to how the entire things should be carried out. It was decided that the finance for the same would be handled by the students themselves by contributing the required amount as and when required.
One of the major inspiration to begin NIRVANA was the movie 'Swades'. While Watching this movie, the first ideas were born. The scene that inspired the most is when Shahrukh Khan buys water from a poor kid while in train.
The chronological order of events that followed is as follows:
March 7th 2007:
- Plan drafted by Swapnil and Chandan to approach the poor families and many alternatives thought as to where and when to teach.
- Left in the evening along with Mohini and Ramanan to meet various families in various corners of the campus.
- Talked to parents and children, asked for permission whether they would send their children or not.
- Few families denied sending their children. They were convinced after few days.
- Came up with an estimate for the number of children ready to come (around 30) for buying slates and books.
March 8th 2007:
Left in the afternoon.
- Purpose - to get stationery - slates, chalks and books - many shops to be approached
- Prices quoted at various places didn’t seem to fit in the budget which we had decided. We had decided to spend about 1000 bucks for 40 children.
- Dissappointed, we went to Jigar bhai (Ravi Medicals) to get some contact number of a whole sale dealer to get things at cheaper prices.
- He called someone. After a while he told us all the stationary would reach our rooms by evening. He hadnt even inquired about the prices. All the ordered items reached our room by evening. The bill was around Rs.1200.
- Next day when we went to pay the bills, surprisingly Jigar bhai refused to take any money from us. Our continuous insistence was of no use. He said that it was the least he could do to help.
- We then refused to take chocolates from his shop if he didnt take any money for chocolates too. Since then we have been getting all chocolates from his shop. He gives it at discounted prices cutting out his profit.
- Decided the place and time - lecture hall and evening hours - 6:00 to 8:00.
- Reason for lecture hall: Children were too small to sit in benches. So it was required that the place could seat everyone small or big; hence chose the verandah of lecture hall. At the same time. The spot had to be a prime one so that anyone could join us at any time just by seeing us.
- Evening hours were decided because we were free during that time. Also, the workers returned from work along with their children at the same time.
March 9th 2007:
We decided to commence teaching.
- There was an air of uncertainty since we didn’t know whether the children would turn up or not.
- We went to pick up students at their homes. About 10-12 children came on the 1st day.
- Our main aim was to make them comfortable with us and the environment in general.
- We started with giving chocolates and knowing their names. Stationaries were distributed. (We also learnt their background and the level of education which they had acquired).
- Some responded while others didn’t - (they overcome this initial hesitation after few days).
- We thought numbers would be easier than letters so we started by teaching them numbers followed by pictures of animals & birds.
- Students who were there on day 1 - Swapnil, Chandan, Mohini, Aditya, Ramanan, Prasanna.