From a homely nursery with four kids,
to a professionally run set-up which accommodates a play school, lower KG and an Upper KG,
Himangi Verma is surprised at their success report, which is glowing with flying colours.
A peek into Bambino.
The school is housed in an
ordinary corner, ground floor flat but the premises seems to be a part of the tropical
jungle. Huge shady trees, lush ferns and a patch of green grass cut out the dusty glare
and traffic sounds. A little artificial waterfall cascades down serenely, skipping over
rocks and boulders to form a tiny pool below. A second gate opens onto a playground fitted
with bars and drums for children to climb around. The jungle effect is continued on to the
outer walls which is painted over with scenes form the Jungle Book. Little Mowgli, Kaa the
snake, Bagheera and the other enchanting figures welcome you to step inside.
The walls of the first
classroom has Bambi, frolicking with friendly squirrels, rabbits and birds in the middle
of forests and meadows. The blue sea dominates the walls of the second room. Mermaids seem
to come alive amidst bunches of seaweed and colourful fishes.Colour - It is there painted
on the walls and even in the various posters and toys hung on the walls.There are
vibrant hues in every bit of furniture, whether it is the mini-sized ones for the kiddies
or the larger ones meant for the teachers or the cupboards to the stationery.
When Himangi Verma started
Bambino in 1987 with four students in a flat, her mother had given her, it was a nursery
school like any other and provided a nearby option for the residents of Kalyani Nagar.
Over the years however, Himangi added new ideas. About four years ago, her daughter
Asmita, trained in interior designing and teaching, joined her with a burst of novel
innovations. It was Asmita, who provided the colourful face-lift for the school. The
waterfall was a gift from Himangi's husband, Col.O.P.Verma who is already famous in the
largest and most realistic looking, man-made waterfall! Himangi adds, "We work
on the child as a whole. We are interested in making the child a better human being who is
kind to friends and animals. We don't admit more than fifty students in the school."
They have wide range of
activities from aerobic classes, or even hold your breath cooking classes! Continues
Asmita, "As for the teaching, we make it a fun experience . When we were teaching
them about animals, we really brought along horses, goats and dogs. The kids were so
thrilled." Moral values figure high on their list. Each day of the week has a
special prayer attached to it. it could be "Give me oil in the lamp" one
day,"Om jaya jagdish" the next, followed by "We shall overcome"
Prayers are followed by Jana Gana Mana everyday because no age is too young to inculcate a
feeling of patriotism. " To ensure that they learn the words perfectly, Himangi
presents each student with a pre-recorded cassette of all the songs compiled together.
Religious festivals are celebrated in the typical traditional ways. On Christmas, a
jolly, round Santa makes a cheery entrance. There are gifts too, but with a difference -
each child gives something. 'Share' with each other is the message, loud and clear.
Whether it is Kamini Bhat who
teaches the group the play, Asmita who looks after LKG or Naina Shah in UKG, the teachings
are value based, if a child pulls out a leaf, he is told, "How would you like it if
someone pulled your hair?" It is only in UKG that the furniture is arranged in rows.
In LKG, the chairs are informally grouped around a large table and the Play Group has no
tables at all. The toddlers can sit either on the seats around the wall or on mats placed
on the floor. It isn't unusual to see little one sprawled on the floor as they draw and
paint. Some even take a stroll to see what is happening in another classroom!
A perfect world tucked away