Magic of Nature
This environment is very beautiful
It makes our life truly blissful
None of the resources get outdated
I wonder this nature who created?
Viewing from the window relaxing in the midst of a scenic beauty
Feels like being in a serene village rather than a turbulent city
It feels really amazing
When at the greenery you are grazing
No idea how much wealth a tree showers
With its leaves, fruits and colourful flowers
In a forest, taking long strides is fun
In front of it amusement park rides are none
All the busy workers at some moment in the day
Enjoy the company of an open air garden and say 'Yay!'
- by Aniruddha Deshpande
DLRC Highschool Student
High school journey
Middle school, in most schools, is considered more of a transition program - one which gears the students to face the hardships of Grade 9 through 12. Though I joined DLRC in 8th grade, it had opened when I was in 7th grade, in 2015. Occasionally I used to go to the small bungalow where from DLRC was operating at the time, just to see the other students learn and my parents teach. At first, I was reluctant to get admitted into a school founded by my parents and one other individual. However, within a few months itself, my unwillingness transformed into relief. I had discovered and met some wonderful people before and during the summer of 8th grade, who then went on to become a few of my closest friends. Moreover, by joining DLRC, I had departed from the conventional schooling methods, and had arrived to one wherein the facilitators ensured we not only covered our syllabi in the given time period, but also that we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly in the process. Each assignment was creative and thought-provoking, making us think more abstractly and "out of the box". Our mentors made it a point to take us on various field trips all through the year, which gave us an insight into the topic we were either studying about, or merely just to have fun. Being a school of 50 students, and perhaps 18 in middle school altogether, enabled a high facilitator-student ratio, which resulted in each student getting sufficient support and guidance from them, as well as building a strong rapport with them. This obviously helped those of us in 8th grade prepare for Grade 9 and onwards, but in addition to that, it also nurtured our relationship skills, soft skills, and increased our maturity. The meticulously designed program catered not only to our academia, but also to our overall well being and character. These qualities got carried on with us when we commenced high school, and because of that, despite the location change of our school, we were able to apply the quality of “adaptiveness” to our surroundings, and in turn help those younger than us see the importance of it.
My first month at DLRC
It was 7:40 in the morning. I opened the laptop and logged into the meeting. A thousand thoughts were swarming through my mind. I’d never cared so much about what people thought of me before this. So many things could go wrong. What if my internet was shaky? What if no one liked me? What if I wasn’t good enough? With these thoughts in my mind, I started the first day of school.
However, as soon as we started with our introductions, these thoughts instantly took a backseat. Everyone seemed to have more or less the same interests as me. More than that, everyone seemed so welcoming and open to new stuff. My doubts about fitting in vanished. Now, I focused solely on enjoying the first day of school. In fact, they were so helpful, that I ended up making friends on the very first day!
Now, it’s been a month since school started and it’s been nothing short of fantastic! I thought that we won’t be able to study online with the same engagement and interaction but, I’ve never been so glad to be wrong. All of our facilitators have been providing us with such awesome lessons that you’re bound to enjoy them. The classes have been very interactive regardless of the fact that they’re on Zoom. We’re also using our access to the internet to the fullest by doing research work. Being new, I don’t really know how physical school works but from what I’ve heard everyone say, it’s way better than this. If it is as good as they say it is, I can’t wait to get to campus.
How Music influenced our Freedom Struggle
When you think Independence Day, you usually imagine something like going to school on a holiday, listening to about three to four speeches on the same thing from different people, and maybe seeing the little kids sing some patriotic songs; the only solace being the bus ride back home with your friends.
But now that 2020 has been quite the rollercoaster - and I don't need to explain why, to lighten up our 74th Independence Day, students of G11 had a different take on the conventional 15th of August this year. It was mediated by Rose Chaperone, Siddharth Sirur, Ayush Singh and I, Raghav Ganesh, with some help from Pavan bhaiya.
Our main focus for this presentation was to educate people on how music plays an important role in our lives, taking the example of how it impacted the freedom movements of different countries. We decided that we would not limit ourselves to just the Indian struggle, but would include the American and French revolution as well. All I can say is, our research for the presentation was quite the ride. We had never taken this perspective on Independence Day before, and we had to really think about what content we would share. A thing to notice would be that we deliberately put in songs and music that would not be as commonly heard during this auspicious day. We wanted to show people that Independence Day can be more than the same speeches and generic songs.
Internship with Robominds
In 2018, DLRC hosted an internship fair, wherein, various companies participated and shared what they do and what they required help in. Among the many firms, one of them stood out for me - Robominds.
I began working there over my summer break of 2018, and soon found out that it was more than just an internship for me. I started here for 2 weeks in summer, and found this job very enhancing. So, “What is Robominds?”
Robominds is an organisation founded in 2013 by Prakalpa and Chris Bastianpillai, to provide hands-on learning experience for children through the latest robotics technology. It is their vision to be recognized as a leader in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematic education through robotics, along with nurturing a mind-set of innovation.
Trekking, PE and Art
“Hurry up, form a double line. Let’s go.” All the P1 students, or six to eight year olds, bolted out of their classroom and made pairs with their best friends. Their excitement was unparalleled. They were going for a trek around the alluring resort behind DLRC; not something every class was authorized to do. Two kids were glued to one of the volunteers on the walk, adamant on holding his hands and walking alongside him. Initially, this was all fun and no work, but as the students delved deeper between the gnarled trees and treaded through the leafy ground, they discovered nature’s hidden traits.
They learnt about the various flora and its’ importance to the farmers and locals. Their thirst to gain information was surprising and prodigious. Their facilitator, Pavan bhaiya, guided them through the towering forest, directing them back towards school. Laughter and chatter boomed as the children skipped back to class. Excitedly they opened their breakfast box, and sat down to eat and watch their seniors, M2 students, participate in strenuous activities during their sports period.
Tinkering Lab, Chess and Hindi
Thud, thud, thud. The periodic hammering was audible throughout the open structure, also known as the tinkering lab. The children were seated in clusters of two and three, working decisively on constructing wooden frames. While one hammered, the other demarcated the nailing spots into which the nails were going to be placed. The constant chattering lingered on, allowing the work to be pleasant and joyous for everyone, including the vigilant facilitators present there. Previous exasperation of not wanting to participate in the activity was replaced by zeal to learn and know more due to the prodigy, Shivaji Sir.
One and a half hours was meager for this task that required equal measures of patience and diligence. At the end, the student’s toil resulted in symmetrical squares, with thirty or so nails on opposite sides. Work deemed fit for a carpenter, was completed by mere fourteen year olds in a short time span, proving to be a feat in itself.
ठाणे म्हटलं की ठाणे शहर आणि तेथील गर्दी, धूर, इमारती हेच चटकन डोळ्यासमोर येतं. पण याच ठाणे जिल्ह्यात अफाट नैसर्गिक सौंदर्याचं व सुंदर माणसांनी भरलेलं एक छोटसं गाव वसलं आहे- देहने.
४-५ तास आगगाड़ीने, खूप लोकं, आवाज, व थकवून टाकेल असा प्रवास केला आणि माझ्या अपेक्षा अगदीच उंचावल्या. आणि हो. जीप ने देहनेच्या दिशेने जातानाच मला कळलं की पुढचे ३ दिवस इथला निसर्ग माझे डोळे दिपुन टाकणार आहे.
लाल, तांबूस रंगाचे भव्य डोंगर. असामान्य आकारांच्या या पर्वतरांगा. काही मोठे काही छोटे, काही गोलावलेले तर काही टोकदार डोंगर. बाकीच्या जगापासून आपले रक्षण करणाऱ्या या रांगा व त्यांवर फक्त अणि फक्त निळे आकाश. अश्या या नेत्रसुखद घुमटाच्या कुशीत हे गाव. इथे भात सोडून काहीच पिकत नाही. शेती सोडून कोणताच व्यवसाय केला जात नाही. खूप खूप सोपं व काटकसरीचं जीवन जगलं जातं. शुद्ध व निर्मळ हवा व परिसर. छोटी, रंगीत घरं व हिरवी, दाट झाडं. एक विनयशील अनुभव.
An experience called Dehene
The day after the tiring community meet, many of the students of DLRC regrouped at the Pune railway station in the wee hours of saturday morning, for they had a train to catch, to Kalyan, in Thane district of Mumbai. From Kalyan, we took a local train, crammed with locals to Asangaon station from where we travelled for an hour in jeeps to our destination, Dehene village at about 12 o'clock.
Dehene is a pristine village on a plateau in the shadows of various grand mountains of the Sahyadri range. The village is not very populous, only with about 200 people. We learned that the closest town is about 60 kilometers away, and that the village is not supplied water by the district. Rice is the only crop grown in the area with GM and sikander varieties grown from June to December. Otherwise, there is no particular occupation.
A Life Changing Experience
I was thirteen when I started homeschooling - that was an eye opening and life changing event for me. The freedom to be able to do as I pleased, to sleep and get up when I wanted to work on my Lego projects for however long I wanted; there was no better feeling like that of having a sense of control over my life.
But gradually, the first inexpressible joy of the freedom lost some of its value. Waking up at eleven o’clock in the morning no longer made me happy, nor did having to spend most of the day studying on my own. It worked out for sometime, studying with my Mom or Dad, but having to learn from a know-it-all got boring extremely quickly. I didn’t want to lose my freedom; I wanted to be able to pursue my hobbies, but I also wanted some company to study with, people with whom I could spend time to come up with answers. School was a definite no in my eyes, and the solution presented itself before long after Pavan Bhaiya visited my house.
A place which practiced discipline, encouraged hobbies and extracurricular activities, a center where kids of similar age with a similar outlook on education could come together and learn in a way different from the regular schools. All of this would eventually yield what we think is the purpose of education, good marks, but it gave me so much more. DLRC, DriveChange Learning and Resource Center. At the time I joined, there were only three other children of my age in ninth. And yet I found myself greatly enjoying being with them. I was now waking up and experiencing the urge to go to the center - something I hadn’t felt since the days of my old, awesome school in Bangalore. The center was a house, and perhaps that was what made the place seem so warm and comfortable; it was no where close to a building with well defined rooms consisting of symmetrical benches and dull tube lights.
Internships at DLRC
What do internships teach 13 to 18 year olds? They teach us how to manage academics, extra-curriculars, work, social life, and also how to manage real world situations, involving working and communicating with veterans and business leaders. They hence forming an integral part of shaping our lives early on.
DLRC initiated an internship program to expose its high school students to something more than just studies, and to expand their horizon through social skills building. This program is a unique feature of DLRC, and helps students grow, become more responsible and aware of what it takes to succeed outside of academics.
At DLRC, students can participate in two types of internships; a compulsory on-campus internship and the other, voluntary off campus internship. On campus internships have been started by DLRC to familiarize and equip students with suitable work ethics, which would be an asset as skill building tool while applying to college or to companies going forward. They enable students to think creatively right from choosing the internship that would help them gain the best experience, besides being closest to their other interests.
Each internship option is led by a facilitator who guides students in the nuances of delivering quality and timely work. The tasks delegated are in line with students’ strengths and interests. So, every week, students engage for 1-2 hours in tasks that range from tending to the gardens, to creating pieces for outreach. And for those who put their best foot forward, the centre awards recognition in the form of an internship letter, which helps students stand out
in their college applications.
Besides these learning opportunities on-campus the more enterprising students have the option to take on off-campus internships with organizations that are led by the parents from the community. Towards the end of an academic year, parent organisations present these options to the students, for their learning, either with or without remuneration. These can either be long term internships or summer internships, depending upon the student’s zeal to learn and their ability to work under the guidance of people who have done wonders in the professional world.
Through these internship opportunities, students learn the importance of time and task management, which are skills they can utilize to balance their academic, extracurricular, work, and social life. Moreover, it teaches them the business etiquettes and soft skills such as collaboration, diligence and hard work essential when dealing with senior professionals.
In all, these internships, help high schoolers enhance their portfolios, learn how to deal with real world issues and come up with tangible solutions to them. But most importantly they learn to be responsible, mindful, independent, compassionate and logical individuals.
Grade 12 student
The current lockdown has not been able to lock down the creativity and talent of our students. Showcasing the works of few of our gems:
Historical Sifar - For History buffs, here is a History Channel made by our Middle School student Sifar Jirgale.
Blogger Prisha - A G12 student, Prisha is currently doing an internship with a new business startup - Imagineer's Circle. She recently wrote a blog post for them where she tried to connect business and Sociology and highlight how businesses can be humanized. Click here to read her blog.
Though it is attributed to a senior professional, you can see her name credited on top right.
Starry Urvi - Want to be dazzled by Stars! Watch Urvi's YouTube Channel
Handy Soumya - Want to have some Hands on Fun? Soumya tells you how here!
Inspiring Sapna - While some of our highschool students are preparing for becoming enterpreuners, Sapna is inspiring teenagers with her blogs and articles.
Toury Joe - We have placed 10 of our Grade9 - Grade12 students in companies for internships during the summer and beyond. This is after an internal internship with DLRC Faculty throughout the year. Here is a 22 second campus tour by Joe, a Grade 9 student & Outreach Intern