Humans are highly social beings, prone to connect with people who appreciate and are glad to see or hear from one another. Eventually, these people become our lifelines. Lacking that, we may feel alone, abandoned and even hopeless. Living life entirely on our own is unimaginable.
This is an incredible story of hope, healing, transformation, and grace that can teach all of us something about friendship, acceptance, and compassion.
Janvi was a newcomer to the Grade 7. She was a soft-spoken girl. Being obese, she was overly conscious of being the fattest child in the class. Due to her being overweight, she always hesitated to mingle with her classmates, never moved out of the class during break time and was ridiculed by other students while boarding the school bus.
Her classmates too ignored her and did not involve Janvi in any task. Every day, she shared all her worries and issues with her teacher. She found solace in speaking with her class teacher. The teacher was highly disturbed at her class mocking the girl and body-shaming her. Janvi felt that even the teachers ignored her due to her unflattering size. She had lost hope in continuing with school life and it was difficult for her to focus on studies. All these reasons made Janvi feel dejected and were disheartened. She was on the verge of a breakdown.
|Friendship is Hope
The teacher was distressed and wanted to rekindle hope in Janvi. She reassured Janvi to hold on to faith. The next day, Janvi was absent. The teacher took this opportunity to discuss the concerns with her class. The responses were varied and unconvincing. She informed them of Janvi’s thoughts and requested the class to work together to bring Janvi out of this melancholy.
The students felt remorseful and wrote an apology letter which the teacher texted to Janvi. Every day, the classmates, after reaching home, called Janvi up and encouraged her to revive herself with new hope and assurances of friendship.
After a week, Janvi resumed school. The class welcomed her warmly, with friendship cards, flowers and songs. Day by day, the positivism exuded by the class brought tremendous change in Janvi. In the ‘Edufest’ the entire class performed a skit and Janvi’s performance was applauded by her friends and teachers.
We can make a difference by providing direction to our learners on how to navigate their relationships with their peers when they face obstacles and make mistakes. Above all, there should be no place for self-pity. The students who are exposed to positive affirmations rather than being on a guilt trip for their shortcomings. Everyone contributes in this path making one most likely to reach one's goal successfully.
The onus of helping students, cultivating hope and friendship lies on both parents and teachers. Not only will it help them improve academically, but will also boost their confidence and self-esteem to pursue their long-term goals in school and life.
Optimizer @ Billabong High International School Thane
- Madhubala Saji, Kalyani Chaudhari, Ajita Bhoir, Kshama Rajgor, Momita Banerjee, Rupal Trivedi, Sanket Patel