An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum Class 12 Notes English Poetry


The children of an elementary school classroom in a slum look pathetic and miserable. They have pale and lifeless faces. Their disorderly hairs are torn around and look like rootless weeds. They are depressed and keep their heads down. They have stunted growth. They inherit the diseases of their parents. They do have dreams. A sweet young boy is sitting unnoted at the back of his dim classroom. He is dreaming of squirrel’s game in trees and of other interesting places—other than his dull and drab classroom.

The gifts given as donations and the picture of Shakespeare’s head are hung on the unpleasant creamy walls. But these are useless to these unfortunate children. In the early morning, the sky is cloudless. Domes of the institutions of the civilized world shine in every city. So are they in Tyrol Valley. Music of bells and fragrance of flowers pervade there. The map of this world is made and reshaped by the people in power. But for these children of a school in the slum that world is meaningless. Their own windows are dirty. Unpleasant surroundings form their world. The fog of uncertainty dominates their future. They are doomed to live in narrow streets closed in by the bluish grey sky. Their world is far away from rivers, capes and stars.

Shakespeare holds no interest for them. Nor the map of the world does them any good. This map shows a world which is not theirs. This world is full of attractions. There are beautiful ships, warmth of the sun and love. They entice these children. They are tempted to steal them away by running away from their miserable surroundings. They live in their narrow, crowded holes or lairs. Their life starts with the fog of uncertainty and ends with their the endless night of their death. On the heap of waste these small children wander with their bones peeping out of their skins. Wearing spectacles of steel with mended glasses, they look like pieces of broken bottles on stones. All their time and space is spent in these dirty and foggy slums. These slums are nothing less than living hells. Actually, they are a blot on the ‘their’ civilized world—the world of the rich and the great.

The map of the civilized world and the slums of these unfortunate children are two entirely different worlds. Governors, inspectors, visitors and other important persons must abridge this gap. They must peep into the world of the children living in the slums. They must make their own world the world of these slum children too. The unsuitable environment of the slums has blocked all their gates to progress. They are lying shut like catacombs (underground graves).

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