In February 2008 I was privileged to lead a group of eight teachers from Sheffield LA on a TIPD (Teacher’s International Professional Development) on a week’s visit to the Punjab, in order to compare provision for Gifted and Talented pupils from nursery upwards. Our itinery covered schools and Teacher Training in Amritsar, Ludhiana, and finally Jalandhar. Our host was the Cultural Attaché for the Punjab.
We were all so impressed by the warm welcome at every establishment we visited. The children responded lovingly, the staff inquisitive and thirsty to find out more about us as we did of them. Who could ever forget the children in the orphanage, the amazing dance and musical ability, the pride in cultural heritage, the determination to improve mixed with the poverty and sights, sounds and aroma that is India? Let alone the traffic!
On reflection those with so little gave so much and we felt truly passionate about wanting to further support the needs of the children we had seen. During our visit we had managed to secure small mats for all the younger children to sit on in class for one school. Shoeboxes filled with gifts were sent out but this was not enough. Through fund raising events such as sales of poetry books written by pupils in one school, to sales of “Stars not Christmas cards”, and sponsored events we managed to raise the donation that we are now pleased will support the Unique Home for Girls in Jalandhar.