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My Story of Inspiration

My Story of Inspiration
Award Winning English essay writing topics, sample examples for school, college students and Competitions. International Essay Contest for Young People 2011 Award Winning Essays.

I walked on land that was supposed be a stream. I stood with people who were supposed to be 'animals'. Well, I myself wasn't really supposed to be there at all, for Machchar Colony, an unrecognized community, is a cradle of crime in Karachi. Swarms of languid plastic bags blew in the densely fetid air, the man-made earth blooped each time I moved with the stream stirring threateningly under my feet. Tattered straw huts dotted the sides of this path, from which curious faces popped out to stare at my unceremonious slog with heels. I finally reached the school where I had volunteered to assist.


The entrance was a big oval hole blasted in a wall, curtained with a hole-riddled cloth. The building consisted of 10 rooms, a small courtyard and a back garden. As I walked from class to class I realized something missing-there was no teacher. The children were playing noisily around; the desks were being used for passionate graffiti craft work or as obstacles in the obstacle-races. The older boys listlessly ambled about in the courtyard, smoking keenly. It seemed that they were clinging to the last vestiges of their fast evaporating childhood, by visiting school before they would have to make their way into the criminal world.


Finally I found a teacher in the last room. She was chatting animatedly on her cell-phone, so I waited. When she finished, I told her about myself and that I wanted to help her teach to gain work-experience. She looked at me quizzically, suspecting me of ulterior motives. After interrogating me more, and satisfied that my motives, whatever they were, would not involve her, she gave me the approval and went back to her happy chirrup.


I was uncertain from where to start. I had brought my box of paper, pencils, erasers and crayons, so I grouped all the kids together and handed out paper and pencils. I drew a circle on the blackboard and asked them to copy it. But I was disappointed to see they didn't know how to hold a pencil. They were gripping it hard like a knife. Maybe that's how they learned to hold thin pointed objects. I took each child's hand and taught him how to draw. After some painstaking efforts we learned to draw basic shapes.


It was always said that children of this colony by nature were capable only of violence, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how receptive they were. Despite the flat disapproval from my family and friends, I continued to trek through the sewage-soaked paths to the school, and everyday taught them something new. They learned fast and soon I was gettingbeautifully drawn pictures, with well-thought combination of colours. A couple of pictures were particularly memorable. They portrayed the Machchar Colony as quite a fascinating place to be in. Instead of lakes of sewage water, there were acres of rich green land where flowers grew. Instead of those grim suspicious expressions, people wore smiles on their faces while their children swam and fished in clean streams. The other picture had more young women like me with lipstick and heels teaching eager-faced children, while one sang a hopeful song through clumsy drawings of shops and roads in the colony .With a pang I realized that this was how the boys dreamed their home to be. They could spot the potential in their colony and imbued me with refreshed hopes for this otherwise dismal pre-doomed place.


Children learn whatever is placed before them. If they were given guns, they would automatically learn to use them expertly. Although, not initially planned I now decided to give them alphabets. Soon they mastered the English Language. When I presented them with numbers, they learned to manipulate them and became little Math genies. As I now see them jabbering fluently in English and calculating decimals, I can't help feeling proud by the fact that their intellectual prowess is equally as good as the private-schooled children's.


Nobody's fate is predetermined. We make our own destinies by the opportunities provided to us. If a certain sector of our society is weak, it is not because they are inherently incompetent. We too play a part in their ruin. What this Machchar Colony taught me was that people have potential for everything; they become masters of whatever you give them. Show them unfairness, and they will become the champions of sin. Give them the reins of trade, and they will re-write the rules of successful business. Enlighten them with health awareness, and they will be an example of hygiene. Give them the tools of Education, and they will produce the greatest intellectual feats of mankind.


And before everything however, all they need is just a chance-a chance to prove themselves.

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