In Warud in Amravati district, Maharashtra, Vigyan Mitras (VM) conducted science clubs in schools. After the conclusion of each session, VMs were expected to visit children’s homes to discuss their progress with their parents and raise awareness about the program.
Besides science clubs in schools, every Sunday, VMs also conducted workshops at the Warud block office for children. One child who attended these workshops was Shubham Ghorpade who was a Std. 7 student. Every Sunday, Shubham, along with 5-7 friends, would cycle 5 km from their homes in Karli village to attend the science workshops. The Karli children’s eagerness and their families’ concern about the long, tedious commute prompted the Warud VMs to organize workshops every Saturday in Karli itself. Of all the children in Karlin, Shubham was the one who was really thrilled by this development because it meant resting his feet—a botched surgery had left him limp in one leg.
Snehal Suphale, the Warud VM, decided to visit Shubham’s home to speak to his family. On seeing her, Shubham ran home immediately and emerged with a box. He had collected a rat’s skeleton which he took out to show her. She had many questions which Shubham answered articulately.
Every day, on his way to school, he and the other children would see a rat carcass by the side of the road. One day, they noticed that the flesh had decomposed only to leave behind the rat skeleton.
Shubham took the initiative to collect the entire skeleton to take home. He took pictures of the skeleton on a relative’s mobile phone. Thereafter, he tried to clean the bones using Detol soap and hot water but ended up damaging a few bones instead.
To salvage the remnants, he separated each and every bone and decided to reconstruct the skeleton by referring to the pictures he had taken on the mobile. The smaller bones were fragile and Shubham handled the fragments with extreme care. He demonstrated the entire reconstruction process to Snehal.
Impressed by his initiative, she asked him why he had gone to such great lengths to preserve the skeleton. Shubham replied that he had seen a human skeleton during the Nurture the Talent camps at the C.V. Raman Science Center in Nagpur and wanted to keep a similar exhibit at the Warud center. He donated the rat’s skeleton to Snehal to exhibit alongside the other models at the office. Snehal was left awestruck by the child’s foresight.
After this incident, Snehal realized that children today are thinking differently and are not afraid or offended by anything. Their scientific curiosity helps them perceive the world and question everything around them. Shubham also had a few questions: Did rat’s bones also have names like human bones? How many bones did rats’ have? Snehal did not know the answers to these questions but said she would read up and let him know. Shubham’s courage, determination and thought deserved commendation. We should strive to help them to realize their fullest potential.