- by Mala Balamurugan
Mala Balamurugan is a former Corporate Banker and currently a mother of two and a homemaker. Mala realized that the field of education is where she wanted to be and so she recently completed her B.ed and M.com. She is a Parent Representative and active member of the Discipline Committee. Her daughter Anaghaa Balamurugan is currently studying in class 3 Karma. She joined Shishuvan last year and thoroughly enjoys coming to school, even when she is unwell.
Once upon a time a little girl loved to hear stories. Like any other little girl she used to say, “Amma read to me”. But as days passed..TV took over..and the little girl got busy with classes, school and routine. Reading stories became a once in a week event, then once in two weeks…and then it started dwindling. The little girl’s school too was transforming her into a rote learning machine. From a fun loving, inquisitive, curious child she transformed into a timid, lost one. She dreaded reading, writing and thinking. Mummy and Daddy realised she needed a desperate change…
The twist in the tale came through Shishuvan!!
The little girl – Anaghaa moved into a loving, positive environment and her life began to unfold again. The same spirited child was being reborn with a renewed energy.
As a parent and someone from a strong academic background, I always knew the merits of reading, but somewhere in the mad race of today’s world, I had just let time slip by. The damage was already done and the challenge of undoing it was huge.
I kept telling my husband…we have to start taking baby-steps again.
In Shishuvan, the wonderful teachers had already instilled the seeds of reading in her, then came LRSIA!!
Her first reaction when I told her that she should take part in the reading competition was, “ I don’t like reading, How will I read these big books?, I have classes, I don’t have the time, what if I don’t win?”.
I just smiled and told her, “ You don’t have to win. You will see how you enjoy these books. We will read together. I promise you that”. So I took her to the bookstore, and while we were sitting there I casually gave her one book from the list recommended by LRSIA. And while I browsed through other books she sat down to read…she read…and yippee!! She finished the book!! I was amazed. Then she asked me, “ Amma which are the other books I have to read?, let’s buy them”. (The books are so amazing and child-friendly).
This was the first time she had finished reading a book..that too by herself. I was so excited by this small victory.
We still have challenges we face, but we are taking baby steps along with our child and the amazing difference we have seen in her after joining Shishuvan cannot be expressed in words.
Today, Anaghaa wants to read, she does not hesitate to write on her own, make her own stories… She even reads out to her little brother…and that too so very proudly.
LRSIA, is just an opportunity for her to make new friends – after all, books are our best friends too. And I as a parent know that this baby step will help her in the long run.
These baby steps will turn into confident strides one day!!
Thank You Shishuvan!!
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