RANCHI: Finally, the innovative approach of the Principal of Bankathi Utkramit Madhya Vidyalaya in Dumka, Shyam Kishore Singh Gandhi, towards teaching children by organizing ‘mohalla’ classes, has found a place on the leading OTT platform – MX Player which has over 28 crore users across the world.
Documentary filmmaker Satyajeet Sharma has made a documentary ‘BANKATHI – ‘Shiksha Aapke Dwar’ based on the innovations of Gandhi.
According to Sharma, the film is about how the teachers at Bankathi Middle School in Dumka introduced open-air classes at the doorsteps of children taking all care of Covid protocol. Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also mentioned this unique way of teaching in his ‘Mann Ki Baat.’
Sharma, 44, said that the significant point which attracted him the most is how Gandhi struggles to teach children with loudspeakers, which is really an out-of-the-box idea. It took him around 10 months to complete the documentary as he had to call his camera team and other crew members from Delhi and make several other arrangements for shooting, he said.
According to Sharma, the innovative approach of teaching children with loudspeakers when the pandemic was at its peak really attracted him, but after he saw an article related to this innovation in Forbes India Magazine, he thought it worth making a documentary.
“Gandhi’s approach is really innovative as he had been conducting open-air classes when none of the schools were open, teaching children with loudspeakers which were later followed by several other teachers, but the actual concept belongs to him,” said the documentary filmmaker. Given the fact that the Government had announced complete lockdown, these people were reaching out to the children, which, actually is appreciable, he added.
“The loudspeaker factor was really unique to him, which, nobody had even thought of at that time. It’s always better to do something than doing nothing and sitting back at home, which he actually did,” said the documentary filmmaker. Being a native of Dumka, Sharma was at home due to the lockdown and came across several reports on the innovations taken by Gandhi, which inspired him to make the documentary, he added.
According to Sharma, when post-production works were being done, all of a sudden he saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioning the initiative it in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ which gave a good thought of concluding the documentary.
“Finally on August 24, he got confirmation from the MX Player that they have made the documentary live on the platform, which is being watched and appreciated all over the country,” said Sharma. Efforts are on to get this documentary telecasted on Doordarshan, but he is yet to get a response from them, he added.
According to Gandhi, initially, he was reluctant but, somehow agreed to it after some time. When it got completed, it was really appreciable, he said.
“I had never thought that the documentary filmed on my initiative will ever find a place on the OTT platform. It is really a great honour to me. Thanks to Satyajeet Sharma for presenting the struggle in such an excellent way,” said Gandhi.
Villagers and children are quite excited, he added.
In yet another unique initiative, Gandhi is currently educating children by painting village walls with English and Hindi letters along with the picture of fruits, animals, vegetables to teach the small kids who have not yet started going to Anganwadi Centers due to the lockdown. Gandhi believes that it will also prove to be helpful for the primary school students who have started forgetting the lessons taught to them at their schools around 19 months back.