It was spring cleaning time at Cacra and Chimbel MOP libraries this summer as most of the children were busy with exams. The Resource Persons were armed with cleaning gear instead of books, just this once. We did not expect that the children will be there too, as their school exams had started.
At Cacra surprisingly we had 9 children helping us with the cleaning throughout. The children took initiative and leadership in handling the cleaning tasks of different things. Yash, Aparna, Tanvesh, Priyanka and Shreya dusted and wiped the story books, placed them properly on the shelves and racks, they sharpened pencils and tidied stationery.
Shubham, Sayyam, Vignesh and Pritesh did the washing of the floor and clearing the walls.
At the time we did not realize that we had a gender divide, but we did.
Sayyam was the most enthusiastic and hardworking child who did not let anyone take over what he was doing and he enjoyed every bit of activity. It was very pleasant working together. At the end everyone was happy to see the difference in the room.
At Chimbel about 8 children were the constant number. Shifanaz, Nazia, Nilu, Mehek from Class 3, and Sania helped with cleaning the book shelves. Nilu and Tasmiya helped with wiping the book shelves and the counter. They helped the RPs with wiping the oil-painted part of the walls, sweeping and washing the floor.
The day we were cleaning our little library room also happened to be a day that the municipal supply of water was sparse. However, the home owner immediately provided us with buckets of water from her store so that the task at hand could be completed. We do not need any further evidence of belonging to the community for now.
All the children were determined to be part of this exercise and initially it was a bit chaotic and we were considering sending all the children out and doing it ourselves and before we could decide, we noticed that they were actually getting work done at lightning speed and deriving immense joy from the experience.
Three cheers for the team spirit of the children, for the opportunity to learn that collaboration is the best way to work in the library and for a happy summer experience.