Note: This post was authored by Suneeta Kulkarni and originally posted on the old School in the Cloud website on August 8th, 2014. Suneeta is the Director of The Granny Cloud and was Research Director on the School in the Cloud TED Prize Project
These days, as most days, the Granny Cloud core team is busy recruiting new grannies and supporting those already part of the group. We keep hoping that more will join. We really are desperately short! And yet an ongoing concern we have relates to the understanding grannies or other people have about the role they play vis-a-vis the children.
This time, I’d like to touch upon just one critical issue.
One of the reasons the Grannies have been an essential component of the initiative from the time of the very first SOLEs in Hyderabad from 2009 onwards, is that many of the SOLEs and now many of the SinCs, are in locations with minimal educational, social, economic resources. This often leaves the children at a disadvantage in terms of being able to use the internet and computer, at least to begin with. Given half a chance, and being naturally curious and enthusiastic, they quickly start figuring things out.
Even as they first enter the SOLE and SinC experience, children come with their life experiences. These are often quite different [even unimaginable to many of the Grannies who interact with them].. But it is precisely this ‘difference’ that adds to the charm and richness of the interaction. The children may not have much by way of material resources or even world exposure. But this is more than made up for by their desire to take on a challenge, to learn, to derive joy from the simplest as well as the most complex of things.
So, if as a prospective Granny, [or if you are already part of the group] you think you should feel sorry for these ‘poor’ children, THINK again! They will leave you as enriched as you will them. Their perspective on life, the creative adjustments they make in order to make the most of what they can get, their willingness to share their lives with you; will show you over and over again…. This interaction is NOT a ONE WAY Street!