17.02.13 | school opening ceremony
The day started with the opening ceremony of the nursery in the temporary accommodation being rented by ITRHD. The students were dressed up in new blue uniforms, some of them looking a bit nervous before their performance in front of the big audience. Both teachers and students entertained us by singing and dancing. At the ceremony, the head of ITRHD, Mr. S.K. Misra and the three trainers of the teachers from Azamgarh and Varanasi were present. They all gave their blessings for the nursery and were amazed by the performance.
After the ceremony, we were invited for lunch at one of the teachers’ house. The food using all local ingredients was so fresh and tasty. While eating lunch, more youngsters entertained us with their singing. Boys of the Brahmin community receive musical training by family members from a very young age. The house right next to us also belonged to another teacher. They told us that this house is one of the oldest houses in the village. It had a beautiful ceiling made of wood. The main structure of traditional roofs is often made of timber, if not bamboo. On top of it is a secondary bamboo structure covered with clay and terracotta roof tiles (burned tiles which is locally called caprael).
After lunch, the land owner of the new building site, Pankaj, volunteered to show us around the village. He told us that 15% of the villagers work at the brick factories. We wanted to visit the brick factories right away, but first, we were taken to a cluster making sugar canes. The people there sell sugar canes and the juice made out of them at a nearby market in Azamgarh. They were using a huge machine operated by diesel oil to produce the juice. After thanking the people for treating us sugar cane juice, we visited a private school in the village. Since it was Sunday, the school was totally empty but we could still examine the school structure as there were no fences or doors. The building was in a simple brick structure with four classrooms (approximately 3m x 6m each) and one tiny office space. The only facilities we could find were the water pump outside and two blackboards in the classrooms. The brick walls had many openings where the sunlight poured in. It was very interesting to find out about other school buildings in the area. We were told that there is also one government school in the village, so we shall have a visit.