Here’s how the Malayalam Twitter community helped a remote school in the Himalayan foothills
It’s election season once again. The time when social media is transformed into a cesspool of propaganda-riddled posts, sassy Insta stories doubling-up as marketing ploys, and sly tweets. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything positive or heartwarming on timelines that are engulfed by berozgars and chowkidars. Nevertheless, as the old saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. This one appeared in the form of photographs. The images taken by Roshan C—popularly known by his Twitter handle @Roshanism_—depicted a bare-bones institution called Himalayan School of Life and its happy-go-lucky students.
Roshan, while on a sabbatical from the corporate world, was backpacking across the country when he decided to volunteer for 32 days at the aforementioned Siguni-based academy. “Due to the remote location of this centre of learning, almost 120 kids from 17 villages within a 12 km radius study here. I signed on as a Computer/Science teacher for kids from the fifth to the eighth grade, but was appalled when I found out that this school only had one faulty laptop from 2006 for all the children to learn on,” shares the 28-year-old, continuing, “Don’t get me wrong, this private unaided establishment is doing everything it possibly can with the limited resources available. Truth be told, they use very progressive teaching methods to improve academic and life skills. But, it was heartbreaking to see them stand in a queue as I taught them basic PC operations, one-by-one.”
After that incident, things snowballed for the better. Roshan while discussing these dire circumstances with his friend Sarath T S, who goes by the moniker @Sa_th, ended up creating a direct messaging group filled with folks who responded positively to the photographs. “Financial help poured in from over 50 Malayali tweeps situated in various countries. We were able to source well over `1.35 lakh. Someone even donated a brand-new PC,” he remarked.
The Palakkad-native recently returned to Uttarkashi along with his buddy M Irshad aka @ichusme, to hand-deliver five new PCs with pre-loaded genuine software, speaker sets, and UPSs. Thanks to a few retweets and the big hearts of Malayali twitterati, children in a secluded Himalayan school have a better shot at education.
To volunteer, visit himalayanschooloflife.wordpress.com