FLAME –Foundation For Liberal And Management Education, situated in a valley amidst bountiful green pleasure and brevity of beauty came into being within the vicinity of Pune city when it was founded in 2007. As you cascade through entry ghats, tailing you away into a learning land away in isolation and peaceful solitude that is content with a joyous ignorance of its own , stands that architecture in pride of unique existence! FLAME happens to be my scholastic abode and home to many bubbles of Hope!
Walking into the gates of innocent laughter, ripe hunger and blissful ignorance ,as my feet skidded the mere doorstep of one highrise, and surpassed that to enter the room, a playful wave swept past me telling me this –“ It’s okay. Leave it for a while .Just a while. Let it be.” It told me to stagnate my thoughts and allow my engagements with the rest of the “adult” world that knows no tolerance to be on standstill and indulge myself into the tranquillity of a simple Life they invite us into! Who are they? They are the most luckiest people on this planet;they are kids . And where had I come to ? It’s their home – Balbhavan. So I did as i was told; very obediently, just like a school kid!
Thus filled with childlike qualities, I look around. Meant for the kids of our workers , Balbhavan was started four years back, almost around that time our institution was. Mr. Vincent Pinto, our CEO, and General Mehta were the founders . Along with the collective effort from Deepali Ma’am and my seniors , Ankita and Anish ,we have what we have today i.e a bunch of smiles, and innocent aspirations! As I talk to the teacher , who comes from Lavale ever since this started, I learn that Balbhavan , which now houses children between the age group of 3-6, used to accommodate children till the age of 12. Now the elder ones, after the age of six, commute to a Balwadi in Lavale.
The naked floor that was heaped up with crayons as I trespassed as a visitor ,encourages those it stages- with hungry minds and naked hands waiting to do something to make a world of their own; to play and learn – almost anything! They are just like how we are in FLAME!
Ankita who prepared colouring worksheets that day, tells me about a movie screening they plan to execute in the near future while she runs through the monthly vaccination programme scheduled for the next day. And while I sit to wonder which of the kid is the smartest, Anish promptly replies that it’s Nisha, all of 3 years of age and his clear favourite! One of the things he can’t stop grinning about is the huge turnout of volunteers in the Funfare which was held recently for the kids. It housed things such as games, mehendi for the girls, bubble making, tattoo, jewellery making, even kite-flying and not to forget awesomely mouth-watering food! It was held in our lawns with maximum participation from students and staff, including our dean Mrs. Indira Parekh who witnessed and lived the moment of ‘juvenile in the making’ .
Spell-bound and mesmerised with the canter of small human feet as they finish their classwork and break free into a sprint when their teacher announces “ Ab jaake chill maro” ,I remember my own foregone childhood and imagine how it would have been if there was any subtraction in any of the gifts I received! Built with a thatched roof and whole of only one room , ‘Balbhavan’ at a corner behind a tapri at the outskirts of our campus is still a step forward in making this world a better place. I immediately decide to be proud of my college for its little contribution in the same!