Learning to make choices

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sanaSana had been a student at Akanksha for many years and it’s no surprise that the place drew her back for more…

Eight year old Sana had been told by an aunt that she should join Akanksha if she was interested. What was Akanksha? What could it do for her? Little Sana hardly thought about it. Her mother was supportive of the idea and when Sana went to the Akanksha centre, a new world opened up for her. And what a world – here, teachers, or as they are fondly called didi and bhaiya, didn’t beat students if they made mistakes. They gently guided the children and made the process of learning fun. Sana’s years at Akanksha became a time of discovery and joy.

Ten years later…

Sana was 18. Her family needed financial support and she had to get a job. A month with a corporate made her realise that she didn’t enjoy the work environment. Her familiarity with Akanksha brought her back and soon, she was helping design and paint products with Art for Akanksha. She found that the place offered new learning experiences every day and this became the space to “explore and discover” herself. “The environment is so good out here, it’s like people can only love you,” she smiles.

For many students like her, who came from backgrounds where parents weren’t educated, the Akanksha teachers’ guidance was valuable. The teachers even encouraged parents to get children to continue with their education – something Sana is glad about today. “Many of my friends are married, but now my parents know I am capable of earning and being independent. I have been working with the art department for many years now. It is here that I have learnt to make choices for myself.”

Her Art Centre teacher, Rajshree, beams with pride every time she witnesses Sana’s efficient support to Akanksha’s art department. “Sana was a shy and loving child and art brought out the creativity in her. She has evolved into a confident and smart woman, who has discovered her potential. This clearly reaffirms how Akanksha and art have impacted our children.”

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