Shazia Salam
PHIR SE GHAR KI AUR (COMING HOME) by By Preeti David. Translated by Lokesh Malti Prakash. Edited by Seema and Bharat Tripathi Karadi Tales, 2022, 63 pp., INR 70.00
November 2023, volume 47, No 11

Phir se Ghar ki Aur tells a story about the power of ideas. This is a tale of imaginative children who come together to turn their dream of building a new school into reality. In the process, they also create job opportunities for the youth of their Adivasi community and help the community imagine a better future.
Selva attends the village school where there is only one teacher who does not come regularly to school. In his absence it is often the older students who take on the responsibility to teach the younger students. After school, Selva and other children visit Thulir, a two-room after-school activity centre in Sittilingi village. Thulir serves as a space where children engage in various activities such as playing in a sandpit, solving puzzles, reading from an extensive library and gardening.
One afternoon, during a discussion with other children about building a new room at Thulir, Selva surprises everyone by suggesting that they should build their own school. His idea sparks the movement to establish a new school in Sittilingi. All the students get together and by using locally sourced, eco-friendly materials they start constructing the school. Once done the other educated ones from the village conduct workshops for youth and school dropouts to acquire skills. Thus, a transformation begins. The school becomes an example of how meaningful conversations lead to effective change.
Phir se Ghar ki Aur is a story of dreams and the determination to work towards them. It is the story of how small steps lead to big changes.