Ragini: Small Improvisation Leads To Big Impact At Summer Camp

A Pratham volunteer’s ingenious solution sparks a big impact at CAMaL Ka Camp

Ragini, a 20-year-old girl from Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, aspired to become a doctor but, after not getting through the NEET exam, she enrolled in a nursing course through the skill development scheme.

When the CAMaL Ka Camp was starting during the summer break, the Pratham team had asked Ragini to join as a volunteer. CAMaL Ka Camp is a summer catch-up camp, supporting children in Grade 4, 5, and 6 to brush up on language and basic math skills before entering middle school. She wasn’t convinced initially that the children needed to improve their learning skills. She, however, changed her mind when she saw that some of the children were unable to read from a Hindi textbook. She decided to support Pratham.

After going through the intensive training given to volunteers, Ragini began the camp by reading out stories to children and engaging them. She incorporated a myriad of activities, from singing playful songs to engaging games to solving puzzles, to make learning enjoyable and interactive. However, during her teaching session, she encountered an obstacle: There wasn't a blackboard available to facilitate her teaching. Rather than letting this roadblock hinder her plans, she found a smart solution. After scrounging through her house, she spotted an old iron door sitting forgotten. It may not seem like the typical classroom fixture, yet she saw its potential serving as a blackboard. Discarded fertilizer containers offered the perfect elevation for her makeshift creation.

“You don't need resources, but an intent to bring about change. Children unexpectedly turn up and refuse to leave even after the camp is over. This is the kamaal (amazing) aspect of CAMaL Ka Camp," she said.

Under Ragini's guidance, the children in her village made remarkable progress in just a few weeks. They could read, solve math problems, and narrate stories. Ragini's friends joined to help manage the growing crowd, and the children saw her as an elder sister, not just a teacher.

Ragini's story shows how one person can make a huge impact, even with seemingly small efforts. Small creative improvisations can bring about significant and meaningful change.