Our next destination, as guided by a well-wisher, was to be a school—Lokniketan. We never thought that it’ll become a nostalgic memory. We thought it will be a small school but we’re all shocked as we set to find out the address of this school in Ratanpur; a small town in north Gujarat. The principal guided us the way and told us to reach the main gate. When we reached the main gate, I was clean-bowled!
There was a band waiting for us and as we reached near the gate, beautiful music welcomed us. We’re offered a warm traditional Hindu welcome. There was a crowd of almost 100 students and few teachers to welcome us and they took us respectfully near the prayer hall. It was almost like the celebration of a king assigned to the throne. I was very excited at least as I have never experienced such dashing welcome before.
We entered the prayer area that was a huge hall. The principal introduced us to all the students—who were already waiting for us—and told us about the founder of the school and his story. It was mega-school spread in acres and acres of land. But this is not it; the founder built 15 such schools in Gujarat. After the prayer, we had a good talk with students and interacted with a lot of them who stay on the premises.
Next morning, we got up early and sat for the prayers. Thereafter, I wanted to share the message of cleanliness with the students. Actually, the students clean the premises every day but I added some spice. I made a fictional character called SAFAI-MAN that means something like a super-hero. It clicked with the children and they got crazy with this idea. Suddenly, a stereotype boring activity became so interesting that almost all of them took part. Within no time, the whole school was clean and tidy.
Finally, after delicious breakfast, we had to leave. We addressed a small group of students and again were escorted by this band till the gate. I don’t like such special treatment much, but this was selfless and hence I also accepted it with great love and happiness!