Friday, December 09, 2022

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A Day in Remote Rayagada - II

Continued From .... A Day in Remote Rayagada

So as we enter the training room, I realise its as good as any conference halls from the finest of cities! There are around 23 trainers who have come for this session. They have traveled from their (tribal dominated) villages, where they are presently conducting classes of ALP (Adult Literacy), thanks to Sparsh. So my work? To train the trainer - TOT. To make them comfortable with the TCS built software, which can make their lives easier along with making learning more structured, fun for the villagers and of course to introduce computers.

TCS has donated 10 computers after a long approval process and now the software and the training is a part of its own CSR :-). All thanks to the efforts of our CSR coordinator, Priya Mahapatra. As I start interacting with these trainers, their Simplicity & Innocence hits me. They are so soft spoken I cant hear them standing just next to them with my ears stretched! One moment I feel the despair, how am I going to finish the session and come out satisfied if I don't get any interaction? How would I know if the purpose was fulfilled? Will they be able to go back and use the computer software and teach?

Anyways giving up doesn't come that easily to me ;) . For the next 1 hour I keep shouting my lungs out, poking everyone, madly reaching out to each individual throughout the room! There are a few supervisors and officials from Sparsh who poke them along with me. That helps as well, as these girls are more familiar with them.
Going by the instinct, I call them up and ask them to help me with the software. Towards lunch time I get smiles, replies, reactions!! Now that the comfort level has been established, we have to rise to a new level!

I realise the trainers haven't operated a computer before and are getting confused with the mouse! I pass the mouse across to let them have a look and check the left and right clicks. Little patience and time works like magic :-). Some of them go pro with it exploring and helping others!!


The training goes down very nicely, much better than the expectations I had after entering the room :-). We have a small photo session outside the conference hall in our tea time. There are about 5 supervisors with us, I basically focus on for explaining the Reporting part! Although others are still there, I find it hard to expect them to learn mouse clicks & excel sheets the same day :-)


Eventful day almost closes with formal greetings, just the way it had started! We go back to Mr Rajguru's office n are treated with another round of lemon tea :-)! Seriously, after having 3 rounds of lemon tea the entire day, I started to like it :D They even take us to their CEO, again a nice gesture and we get some unexpected gifts! :-)

Next we are permitted to go see the paper industry with a guide and helmets. And wow! Starting from logging to chips to pressure cooking to labs to humongous rollers to packaging to the multi floored storage. Just wow! Felt as if I am standing inside an episode of Mega Factories, Nat Geo!!

After an Awe-inspiring tour of the factory we started out to a nearby village, Amalapatta to see the present ALP center running there. It was a small place filled with enthusiastic people, running out of a Anganwadi center, 7 to 9pm. Mansi & Ninoshka mingled with the ladies there and brought out their hidden talents. In a few secs someone was singing, few others were drawing!! A lady with two naughty children very enthusiastically shows me what all she's learned in the last week.

We return back to our guest house. Situ is also done with her program n has reached there (I had already called her to come there on Mr Ashutosh's request). We have a heavy dinner, at least I have ;)

Then it's time to start back. Having said our goodbyes to Mr Ashutosh, thanking him again for the hospitality and promising to have another visit after few months, we take leave to catch our 10:30 pm train from Rayagada. On the way I share the latest Rangabati song with our recently-converted Odia volunteers from SBI YFI before waving them goodbye. Its been more than 12 hours and we are totally spent. Situ & me, we share a few stories of the trip & Situ snores in no time :P

I lie down and start with this blog & doze off in the train.

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