This Article is From Apr 29, 2020

Not Just Students, How Delhi's Happiness Classes Are Helping Parents Too

Delhi government started the 45-minutes-long happiness classes two years ago in July 2018 for students of nursery till 8th standard.

Sudhir Kumar Paswan said he is learning about yoga from his son who learns it from the happiness classes

New Delhi:

13-year-old Ujjwal, a student of a Delhi government school, is attending all his classes online these days. All he needs is his father's smartphone and a video chatting application. However, after the class, Ujjwal teaches his 40-year-old father Sudhir Kumar Paswan yoga postures and how to regulate his breathing while meditating - things that Ujjwal learns from the happiness class.

The Delhi government's happiness classes, which have now gone online, are not only helping the kids deal with the lockdown but are also proving helpful for the parents. Parents are adapting and taking interest in the curriculum activities like meditation, yoga, mindfulness and storytelling.

"Our kids learn yoga, music, karate, and dance in these classes. I like it when they teach me how to practice yoga. Earlier, I would only hear about yoga but never really learned it. But now, because of these classes, children learn new things everyday and teach us also," Sudhir Kumar Paswan said.

Mr Paswan is among the many parents who are now using these classes to cope with the lockdown.

Delhi government started the 45-minutes-long happiness classes two years ago in July 2018 for students of nursery till 8th standard. The sessions are held thrice every week.

The objective of the curriculum is to develop self-awareness and mindfulness among kids. For the evaluation, no examinations are conducted and no marks are awarded.

The government says that the assessment under the curriculum is qualitative and focuses on the process rather than the outcome.

In February this year, US first lady Melania Trump had also witnessed these classes during her visit and had called them "inspiring".

12-year-old Nikhil grew up hearing bedtime stories from his parents but these days the roles have reversed.

41-year-old Lal Babu Tiwari and his 35-year-old wife Indu Devi now keenly listen to Nikhil as he becomes the storyteller, a skill that is taught in happiness classes. For the parents, it is a fresh change amid this lockdown.

"It gets very boring for the kids as they can't go anywhere. When they indulge in these classes, they remain occupied in a healthy way. They also explain to us about the things they learn. We don't have much to do these days so when they tell us about yoga and storytelling, we also get to spend our time well," Lal Babu Tiwari said.

School authorities claim that the response to the happiness classes has been very positive. Dr LK Dubey, Principal of Rajkiya Sarvodaya Vidayalaya in West Vinod Nagar said, "We have been holding these classes for two years and have seen immense growth in the kids. But since these classes went online, parents are also participating and learning these skills from their kids and they have been appreciative. It gives them some moments of happiness too."