ChandraMa’s return


Selene with school kids


After scoring appointments, recognitions and international awards for her innovative ideas carried out through her web sites which have become a worldwide point of reference in the field of voluntarism and youth social engagement, our ChandraMa (Selene) has just realized educational comics for the areas with a low degree of literacy through her new site


The educational comics


So, while we were beginning Navaratri in Italy, ChandraMa has come back to meet Shri Aghoreshwar Gurukul students and test the practicability of her latest work.


Kumari Puja


Let’s listen what she tells about her journey:

Two weeks in India after almost five years of absence. Recently, coming back to the ashram had become a constant thought, on one hand I was curious to see how the place, the school, the hospital had changed, on the other – let’s face it – to see if, with my comics, I was doing the right thing.


Learning with comics


Yes, educational comics for children. An idea that could seem odd to many people but that has very practical basis: where the level of literacy is low or zero, communicating important messages through visual aids is one of the few alternatives we have (according to UNESCO estimates there are almost one billion of illiterate people in the world, half of whom lives in India). So, with comics being about subjects connected with basic health, food safety and hygiene, here I am, back again.

Among the children


The first thing I notice when I arrived are the colours of the ashram: pink, red, yellow and a lot of green. The place is nicer than I remembered and has a really unique peace and serenity. Only now I realize how much I miss it!


Visiting the village


I started immediately to work; with the precious help of Dr. P. K. Singh, I revise the messages about health put in the comics, then I test them with 3rd, 4th and 5th classes. The story is easy to read and the children understand soon what we are trying to teach them; from the importance of washing their own hands before touching food to that of boil the water before drinking it. I organize also some other activities to let them have some fun: a pizza party at Pizza Hut in the town, an afternoon at the cinema and ice cream and jelebis for everybody!


Their first time with pizza


Days pass by fast, and what with visits at the village and school meetings – with both kids and parents – I begin to understand children’s and place’s real needs, collecting cues, requests and hints I hope may become local development interventions as soon as possible (bathrooms, water pump, more classrooms, etc.).


Our kids’ houses


With a lot of ideas and cues and a little bit tired, yesterday I came back home. Even if I haven’t spent not so much time at the ashram, I am happy to have had the chance of learning a lot by facing directly the reality of the place and of the people living there, who gave me their time, ideas and knowledge with the utmost humility and willingness, helping me find riches even among the poorest ones.


Meeting with parents