Abhiram and Dillan have been pairing up to do different activities; both are around four and a half years old. Just the other day I had shown them how to mop.
That morning when Dillan started sweeping the classroom with the old broom, (I was waiting to give the new broom at the right time to them), I said to them ‘I have a new broom, it is a special gift from my friend, shall I bring it now?’ How could they refuse!

When I brought it out from my room, Dillan almost grabbed it eagerly and then started the sweeping and mopping…They started sweeping the classroom – under the mats, behind the doors, under the shelves. They moved to the three front steps. The small bucket of water was brought out with the small mop cloth.

They swept and mopped – changing the water many times, with just a suggestion from me saying ‘the water seems to have become dirty, do you want to bring fresh water?’. They did the three steps in front of the next door Elementary classroom too. Then they looked around for not more than a second and started on the steps that you see in the photograph.

They swept and mopped, swept and mopped away… Not for one second did Dillan let go of the broom, even if he was accompanying Abhiram to get fresh water for mopping. It was with him right through. Then, when they were done with this long flight of steps, they looked about and started on the driveway of the school! By this time it was 12:20 or so and being the Last Weekend, some parents were going to come in to take their children home. One parent saw them and spontaneously took this photograph. I did not want the others to be welcomed by the two chimney-sweeps, cleaning away and me to be accused of child labour!

I called Abhiram and Dillan in; and suggested that they wash up, get ready for lunch and put away their tools of development – a new broom, just the right size; a bucket and a mop cloth, which had absorbed them for more than an hour. And they could have gone on for longer, oblivious to everything else while focussed on their work!
We could learn many things from these two children…
Amukta Mahapatra
01 September 2013

@ The Blue Mountains School, Ooty 643 001 TN