Sunday, 15 May 2016

Turning trash into toys for learning- Arvind Gupta!

Have you seen him? On TV? On DD1? On Tarang?
Do you reminisce anything about him?

Meet Arvind Gupta:  The IIT Kanpur Engineer Who Quit His Job At Telco And Began Teaching Science To The Children Of India

When Arvind Gupta quit his job, his mother came to his defence stating  ‘good, now he will do something noble with his life’. A prophetic  statement from a woman who never had a day of formal education in her  life but ensured that her four children excelled academically.
For almost 30 years now, Arvind Gupta has been taking his love for science and learning to  the young minds of your country. Gupta has travelled to over 3000  schools, demonstrating captivating science experiments to wide eyed  children. What sparks their imagination further is that Gupta uses only  everyday garbage as the building blocks of these experiments.

“All teaching aids we use are hand-made. It‘s important for children to  see that you don‘t need fancy materials. Science can also help you look  critically at materials that are often considered trash, there is a lot  of learning in that itself”

An empowering lesson for his pupils  who are of limited means. They watch him as he explains phenomenon like  light and its laws of convergence & divergence with only used up  ball-point pen refills, rubber slippers or empty tetra packs! He also  distributes CD’s packed with massive collections of e-books and videos  to the schools he visits. Often, these are the only teaching aids they  have ever received or used. The keenest minds of our country might be  hidden away in a broken down municipality school, in a town we have  never heard of. A tryst with Arvind Gupta could open their eyes to  endless possibilities and give them the chance to dream, despite their  limiting environment.

"Great task of education is not to cover things but to UNCOVER!"

Gupta’s dedication, perseverance and  brilliance have not gone unnoticed. He has been recognised by organisations such as UNESCO, UNICEF, International Toy Research  Association, Boston Science Center, Walt Disney Imagineering and  Research. 
He has received a special award given by the National  Association for the Blind for designing teaching aids for pre-school  blind children and the Ruchi Ram Sahni Award for science popularisation,  among others.

“I have an enduring passion for my work because it  allows me to reinvent myself. Every child has a dream in their eyes,  and each of them instills a hope in me about the future”, he shares.

Thus, not every day do we come across good Samaritans like Gupta who would give their all for the betterment of the society!
In  true Gandhian spirit, Gupta signs off all his communication with the  words ‘with love and peace’. He certainly lives by them.

A man who makes little things that make huge changes in the way children learn. His story is as charming as it is inspiring.

Please watch his TED-talk: TED Speaker- Arvind Gupta | Turning trash into toys for learning