Assembly at Mitraniketan

Breakfast is at 8 o´clock and after breakfast everybody goes to morning assembly. The girls sitting to the right and the boys to the left. At the back of the assembly-hall behind the students you will find the staff and the volunteers – and again men to the left and women to the right.

“I was a volunteer at Mitraniketan in 2011 and when I sat down at the back of the hall for the first time I expected someone “in charge” to direct the proceedings – but nothing happened.

There is a stage in front of the hall, but no grown-ups were to be seen on the stage and miraculously (and in unison!) the students suddenly began singing.

Then one of the students got up and made a speech. It was in Malayalam (a language spoken by 31 million in Kerala).

Finally there was another seemingly spontaneous song and then the session was over and everybody went to school.

Strangely none of the adults present interfered. The same procedure repeated itself every morning. Sometimes it was a boy who spoke, the next day it could be a girl. I have been told that the students talked about issues like deforesting or the green house effect.”

(Rolf Erbst, volunteer at Mitraniketan in 2011)

Watch a YouTube sequence of the morning assembly at Mitraniketan: