Tiny Humans of Dharavi

Meet my gang, naughtiest kids from my neighborhood, Dharavi. Aditya, Pratham, Raj, Yash, Pooja, Dhanraj, Akshada, Renuka, Pratik, and newly joined Sahil. They are 6 to 13 years old. After school and in vacation their business is to find and practice ways to nag older people and run behind stray dogs and cats. Now they also do Foldscoping.

Conducted all the sessions in an old temple attached to my home.

In this  summer, I  conducted a few Foldscope sessions. We collected diverse samples and learned about them.

Aditya, an 8-year-old kid, captured the spider and a fly in a plastic bag.

Whenever I see the kids first time introduced with foldscope, I imagine of the Antonie van Leeuwenhoek- the first Microscopist and father of Microbiology. Initially, even he might have fascinated by microscope and might have explored the surroundings in the natural form without the use of stains.

Gaurav, 8-year-old, trapped a spider in a plastic glass.

While observing samples we started from Introduction and need of microscope, basic principle behind microscopy, function of an eye, and single cell as a basic unit of life. We also learned how cells are diverse in their size and shape not only at a microscopic level but also at a macroscopic level. I explained how this microscopic diversity is responsible for creating the diverse microscopic and macroscopic world.

Dhananjay’s (6-year-old) drop of blood- while playing, he injured his knee and curiously donated a drop of blood to observe under Foldscope.

Lastly, we saw organ system how all these cells work together in a team like any organization and how all things are connected and interdependent on every element on this earth; this lead to a small conversation on value-based education.

Eggs of the spider.
I was amazed by the details drawn by Akshada
, an 8-year-old girl, She has drawn a ruptured abdomen and debris also labeled it.
Slides made by Akshada

I really love this tool because it is an immediate experiential tool.
Most of the samples were observed under natural light and kids also feel comfortable as they don’t feel that they are lacking something as classroom kits don’t have light modules.
All sessions were spontaneous. Children’s questions lead the sessions and gave structure to it.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    @sonali: what an amazing group. I love the curiosity and the discussions. Thanks for being such an amazing change agent for your community.


  2. Mitali says:

    Dear Sonali, So happy to read this and also inspired from it! 🙂

Leave a Reply