“Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are. I forgot the rest of the words,” a shy looking Class V student says in slightly hesitant voice. “These ‘akkas’ and ‘annas’ come every week and teach us new songs, but I don’t know them all” he explains.

Once he reverts back to Tamil, he is lot more vocal and explains how he didn’t know any English at all, but now he is able to sing songs and play games and has learnt lots of words in English. He then runs off to play with his friends shouting “I am coming ‘da’.”

This boy is one of the many children from the Don Bosco orphanage being taught to read, write and understand English, which has become an essential skill in today’s world. The project is being undertaken by a group of volunteers from different colleges across Puducherry and they call themselves EdforAll.

When we first came here, most of the kids could not understand even basic English words, now many of them can form sentences, one of the volunteers explains.

“The idea was initially to teach these children different topics, but one of the first skills that most of these children need is to be able to speak in English, so for the time being during this academic year, we taught them how to speak and understand the language. Once they have this base, they will be able to aspire for much more,” founder of EdforAll Anand Raj explains.

The volunteers are given teaching and leadership trainings. Through these training sessions, they will be able to develop a number of skills that will be useful in the future. EdforAll is not only about encouraging the children and social service, although these are an important part of their activities.

So far, EdforAll has arranged a career day for the students to help them understand the various options available to them, since most of these children drop out after Class X, we would like to encourage them to study further. There are also a number of guest lectures that are arranged through the year.

Recruitment drive

On Saturday, EdforAll will have a recruitment drive at 2pm at the Don Bosco Boys Home on Gorimedu Main Road. Those interested can register at www.edforall.org.

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