Our visit to Madhava Kripa Primary School

We leave the restaurant with our bellies full to visit the primary school in which we will be hosting the main event for our project on Friday and the different sessions of activities for the kids throughout the week. The visit is scheduled for 2:30 pm and the whole group is wearing formal clothes, as required by such occasions, both to show respect towards the institution and to be taken seriously by the pupils. Even if the building is only a couple of minutes away from the university campus, we decide to take a rickshaw to avoid wasting time. Our buddies accompany us to help us dealing with the drivers that do not always speak English. After five minutes of almost uninterrupted honking, we finally enter the building from the main courtyard. At a first glance the Madhava Kripa Primary School looks empty and we can only hear the muffled sound of the pupils’ voices through the many windows, but as soon as we turn the corner a tidy crowd of students welcomes us. The boys are running around while the girls scream at each other while trying to catch the ball during a basketball match. They all have the same hair-do, a central parting with a shiny braid on each side. When the principal, Mrs Jessy Andrews, comes out of the door, she is wearing a blue and gold saree, the color of which changes according to the woman’s moves. She guides us inside the building and introduces us to the Physical Training teacher, who is also a lady. They then show us the sports equipment available for the school sessions and the event. The light filtering from the window illuminates cones, hula hoops, and a series of different balls suitable for different sports. Mrs Andrews then guides us through the corridors to show us the whole structure. At the ground floor there are the first grade students divided in different classes, A, B, C, D and E. We then go up the stairs, where we find many posters advertising the National Sports Day which falls every year on the 29th of August. India celebrates on this occasion the birthday anniversary of Dhyan Chand, the hockey player who won gold medals for India in 1928, 1932 and 1936 at the Olympics. The upper floor of the building has badminton and volleyball courts in the middle, while the classes occupy the left side of the corridor which runs around the court. The upper floors are organized in the same way, leaving a central open space. As soon as the bell rings a loud group of children invades the corridors and starts waving and smiling at us through the grills. In the meanwhile the Event Management and Sports Science students talk to the principal to understand how to coordinates the event and the school sessions. Mrs Andrews looks at them smiling and nodding and we conclude the meeting in a positive way, knowing she is satisfied with our proposals and happy to have us running the event.

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