Team Poonam and Sayali (13)
Fughdi/Sankhli winners, Chincholi Zilla Parishad Primary School, Kokrud.
Last year, Dr. Professor Ram Dhillon (UK) and I accompanied a team of doctors to some Zilla Parishad schools between Pune and Ratnagiri, for NGO Mukul Madhav Foundation’s annual free medical camps for rural children. Post the visit, I felt two experiences at the Zilla Parishad school at Chincholi (Kokrud) are worthy of sharing:
One, I never saw a bored child. Five little girls (primary school) had made the dry earth of their school ground wet with water and had built a house. One of them was poking holes in the structure to construct small doors and large windows.
I felt, this is true creativity. Inventiveness. Real imagination. Seemingly, they have nothing much, yet they can create fun and art for themselves from thin air and the dust below our feet.
I believe, these are self-motivated self-inspired children. No mommy & daddy in a dilemma how to inspire them to play daily or the dilemma of some parents ‘…. what can we engage them with on the coming weekend!?”.
Second, I saw the children play fugdi, sakhli – girls in teams to two reach out to each other (holding arms) to spin around endlessly, until both their bodies and laughter are exhausted, even though their joy isn’t.
Looking at them play sakhli, fugdi, I thought, these are games of trust. I realised this when Dr Ashutosh Mulye and I discussed what this game really means to us. Building trust naturally, from a young age. When we reach out for someone’s hand to spin with us (like we do in a good marriage, a good partnership) we are actually placing our trust in that person that he/she will not let us down, not leave our hand. Will be dependable.
Going off on a tangent, even most successful long lasting marriages are built on dependability, more than on romance and … I think. In fugdi, when the opposite person takes your hand in hers, she too is in turn placing her trust in you. Thus, instilling a sense of trust and faith in us right from childhood, they are able to gauge whom they can approach to co-play this game where if the other person leaves your hand midway you can go spiraling away and hurt yourself.
Sometimes, at annual corporate outdoor excursions they will discuss and conduct ‘team-building’ exercises, games. However, with many team-games like fugdi going out of our urban lives we may perhaps have become less able in team building right from our teen days, and that is why we need to attend expensive lectures and motivation-workshops to ‘learn’ team building as adults.
So, this year we decided to organise a fugdi contest for them, and because girls rarely are given bicycles in rural areas, their brothers get them more easily, we decided to give the team of two winners a bike each. To boost their self-worth and spread a little cheer amongst all the girls who participate and their audience.
The two winners of the Fugadi competition are Poonam Machindra Jadhav & Sayali Sanjay Jadhav (cousins) in Nov 2017. They are 13 years young, studying in std. 7th.
Two donor friends of ours were keen to contribute on our next trip in the rural region and they donated the two winners’ bicycles – Thank you to Neil & Rhea Sahasrabudhe, and Gunjeet Kaur Sawhney for donating the bicycles to team Poonam and Sayali.
I could not visit them this year, during this fugdi contest as I was occupied with a wedding in my extended family. However, someone who could attend this competition sent me a lovely lovey message and I decided to post a screenshot of the same below – “They missed you” – It made us (the donors and myself) feel appreciated and thus another day of feeling fulfillment. 😊
Thank you Mukul Madhav Foundation and Finolex Industries for helping us reach two more deserving souls once again beyond our own means.