Ms. Pooja Anjanikar- Principal Orchids International School

Our vision is to seed compassion, wellbeing & wisdom in every child’s character & help them lead a meaningful & happy life. The Mindful Souls team spoke to Mrs. Pooja Anjanikar, who is the principal of Orchids International School, as part of our nationwide campaign in which our team is traveling and connecting with eminent leaders who are making a difference in the field of education. We tried to understand how the school has been functioning during the Covid times and what effect did the situation have on the children and parents. A common feeling that the parents, kids, and teachers have been going through is the ’Stress Factor’. Education has been an industry which over time has become a stressful industry and the stress levels in this industry have been pushed up by a few notches during the pandemic. Many teachers in the education industry have lost their jobs and many of them who are working are working under pressure. Well, Mrs. Anjanikar says that their school is making sure that they lessen the burden on the teachers as much as they can.

The parents have been anxious about whether they should send their kids to school or not. Mrs. Anjanikar spoke about how their school adapted a technique to tackle this stress. They first made sure all the staff was vaccinated, and once all of them were vaccinated they came to school and started working. This included them taking online classes from school. This helped build a trust factor between the parents and the teachers. The parents felt calmer knowing that the teachers are going to school and working from there. This made them feel that the times are improving and in few months they can send their kids to school.

Mrs. Anjanikar also brought to our notice that there has been a change in the mindset of children during this pandemic. Some children have never experienced a real-life school, and have entered school life into a virtual classroom. Times have changed and there is an immense need for guidance and ‘building trust’ with the children.

She also made it a point to encourage the parents on being positive. Only if the parents are positive will they pass on that positivity to the kids. She emphasizes on the parents talking ‘positive’ with the kids. The parents were encouraged to send their kids outside to play slowly and steadily as the situation got better. Children must go out and play in the open. This is of utmost importance as the children are already exposed to long hours of screen time. Time spent in the open areas and being out of the virtual world will enhance the wellbeing of the kids. These few steps are a way forward to schools opening in full swing, hoping that the pandemic gets over soon and the playgrounds, the corridors of the school can be filled with the laughter of the kids once again. Having a conversation with Mrs. Anjanikar was a pleasure. Her school’s ideals fit with Mindful Souls’ mission, and we hope to be able to work together to “Create A World That Cares.”