Power of the Human Spirit - 8
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF SHRUTI WAMBORIKAR
Shruti is in charge of the community program, Education for Life. This was begun three years ago with the aim of giving back to the community where Share/ MPB has been working for over 30 years. Shruti has been involved from its very beginning and has built the program from the ground up, reaching out to more than 1000 children in the Santacruz slum community. She did not start out to be a social worker. She completed an engineering degree and had a job lined up when her life took a turn. Deciding that her heart lay in the development sector, she volunteered for an NGO working with children with special needs. She then poured her energy into completing both a Masters in Social Work and an MBA in development management. Now she applies her skills to researching and developing projects designed to help the children learn and expand their world.
Recently Shruti celebrated her first wedding anniversary. Normally she and her husband live in Mumbai near their jobs. During the lockdown they went to the countryside to stay with both of their sets of parents.
7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
I am an early riser and like to finish everything on time. In normal times this means getting up at 5:15 AM so that I can commute to work. During lockdown the routine has been different altogether, and now I get up by 7:00 AM. A day for me cannot start without a cup of coffee! Even if it is summer I enjoy a hot coffee. I also like taking a moment to chat with family members.
First thing, the women in the house start to plan for the day & meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner. During the lockdown, families are now all eating together and hence cooking and eating has become a big ritual. And all of us are turning out to be budding chefs! Personally, I don't enjoy cooking at all. But I love to eat and hence I have tried a lot of recipes in the last 2 months. I like to prepare both breakfast and lunch in the morning. Preparing lunch in advance allows me to work uninterrupted. I have never worked from home before and as a person I am easily distracted so I stick to the routine. I finish the cooking, cleaning and personal care by 10:00 AM, which is when I sit down to work.
Around 10:00 AM I start my laptop and begin work by having a call with my team member. We need to plan the sessions we are conducting with groups of students. The groups are mixed in terms of ages and classes, so we need to discuss how to include activities to reach all of them. Many times, we conduct language skills activities, which allows for more individual attention. I then spend time checking email and WhatsApp messages from colleagues and reply to them. Shortly after I spend time working on the reports/documentation.
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Lunch is now more fun since my husband and I came to stay with our parents. With so many people together, there is always lots of conversation and laughter. This week was also my birthday and my husband, who otherwise never cooks, made pizza for me. We both love pizza and we usually have it once a month, either take-out or at a restaurant. Since the lockdown that has not been possible and I had mentioned my pizza cravings to my husband. I was overwhelmed by his gesture of going out of his way to learn and prepare it for me. Everyone else too made the day very special for me by baking a cake and preparing other special dishes.
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
The afternoons are divided between calls and video sessions with team members. Twice a week we have the team update call from 2:00 PM. We share whatever we are doing in our individual projects and also plan our next steps. Afternoons are also scheduled for sessions with students, for we have at least one session with the students every day.
We have also recently started sessions via zoom or google meet with other community partners and resource people for the older students. It took time to help students understand the process and get it started, but it has been very fruitful. Now the focus is on keeping them interested and enthusiastic, taking feedback and making sure we do not lose the momentum.
6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
As soon as we are done "working at home" for the day, we move back to the common rooms and our family lives. The evening starts with coffee or tea, and this is also the time when we sit and talk about nothing and everything and catch up with one another. We might watch TV or sometimes a movie while also planning dinner. By 8:00 PM dinner preparation begins, and the best part is that everyone pitches in. Even the men of the house have started trying their hands at cooking, experimenting with new recipes while all the women comment, advise and in general have a lot of fun. By 9:00 PM we all sit for dinner and by 10:00 PM everything has been cleared away and cleaned.
10:00 PM - 12:00 AM
After dinner comes the time of day we all look forward to: game time. We have dug out all the games from wherever they have been lying around for many years, and each night we play ludo, carrom, monopoly or a card game. When the night ends at midnight we go to sleep smiling. Though we are looking forward to getting back to a normal routine of office and the stability work brings with it, I am also thankful for this time. I was married a year ago and honestly, I haven't spent enough time with my extended family- I am fortunate enough to have both sets of parents with us in the lockdown. We are spending family time together and since they are with us, we are not worried about their health or how they will manage alone. This period has given me an opportunity to spend quality time and strengthen my relationships.
CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO SEE MORE FROM THE ARTISANS.
Power of the Human Spirit - 1
Power of the Human Spirit - 2
Power of the Human Spirit - 3
Power of the Human Spirit - 4
Power of the Human Spirit - 5
Power of the Human Spirit - 6
Power of the Human Spirit - 7