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An inspiring story of Lab Assistant Mr Sanjay Tikaria from Jalna.

An inspiring story of Lab Assistant Mr Sanjay Tikaria from Jalna.

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  • 1. Jalna Icons / 130 On the third floor of Jalna’s CTMK Gujarati School is the school’s science lab where many science projects are on display. While many of the school’s students have created the projects placed near the lab’s entrance, there is another strange yet amazing contraption made of distinctly familiar objects on the table of the school’s lab assistant, Sanjay Tikariya. On closer inspection, you see a wire-stemmed, upward-facing pinwheel magically gyrat- ing atop a water- filled bot- tle complemented by a swirling water vortex whose tail end barely lashes at a couple of sunken, wooden marbles. A small rectangular piece of wood has been attached to the lower end of the wire immersed in the water. Inside the bottle is actually an emulsion, which is evident from the blue-dyed kero- sene that struggles to stay above the water while being frantically stirred by the vortex. If the experiment’s scientific principles are still unclear, it is best to approach Sanjay Tikariya. He explains, ‘What you see before you 20 Practical Magic Sanjay Tikariya Sanjay Tikariya is unlike the typical lab assistants who lackadaisically fol- low their work routine and keep watching the time. He has surpassed the bounds of his job descrip- tion to take up the mantle of a science educator. His creativity speaks for itself through his projects that have helped foster scientific curiosity among children as well as adults.
  • 2. Jalna Icons / 131 are four projects based on scientific principles. The first experiment involves the water and kerosene emulsion. Because the density of kerosene is less than that of water, the kerosene floats to the top. In the second experiment is the spinning pinwheel. The ceiling fan increases the airflow thereby rotating the pinwheel. In the third ex- periment, the pinwheel’s rotation causes the wooden piece to act like a stirrer, and the resulting vortex makes the pinwheel rotate more rapidly. The fourth experiment involves the wooden marbles. When water replaces the air in the pores of the marbles, they sink to the bottom having attained a density greater than water and kerosene. With a motley collection of disposable or ordinary objects, Sanjay has created a fun-filled yet educationally valuable resource that can help any child to remember the four experiments for a lifetime. Every person who works in an educational institution such as a school has an important role to play. While the progress of the school’s students greatly depends on their teachers’ teaching skills, work integrity, and ability to bond with the students, the teacher’s subordinates too can actively contribute to the teaching process. A person aware of this fact is Sanjay Tikariya, who has set very high standards even in his ordinary role of a lab assistant. His name truly deserves a place in the annals of education. Sanjay was born on 19 December 1967 in Jalna. His father was then a headmaster of CTMK School. In 1984, Sanjay passed his class 10 exams. Sanjay was an average student, but he was an in- dustrious person. After matriculation, he set up a small Kirana store in his home. In 1987, a family crisis had forced the Tikariyas to move to Chikli. In 1991, they returned to Jalna. This was the most challenging period for the Tikariyas. In 1992, Sanjay applied for the position of a lab assistant at CTMK School. After attending the interview and duly following the recruitment process, Sanjay got the job. Thereafter, Sanjay took the exams as a private candidate and obtained a degree in BA and MA. Sanjay did not draw much attention while he worked as a lab assistant from 1992–2006. However, during the academic year of 2006–07, his life took a new turn. His achievements were highly appreciated, and his work received countrywide recognition. The science faculty presented their science projects at the annual science
  • 3. Jalna Icons / 132 exhibition. For the first time, lab assistants were given a chance to present their science projects in the 2006 science exhibition. Sanjay participated in the science exhibition and gave a demonstration of his projects titled ‘Majhi Chotishi Prayogshala’ (My Mini-laboratory) for which he was awarded the first prize. After receiving this news, the chief officer of Jalna’s Zilla Parishad, Dr Nipun Vinayak im- mediately wrote a congratulatory letter to Sanjay and expressed his interest to view Sanjay’s projects. Sanjay responded to Dr Nipun’s request and showed him the projects at his Zilla Parishad office. Thoroughly impressed with Sanjay’s wonderful projects, Dr Nipun promptly organised a training programme for all science teachers and issued an ordinance that all schools should set up a model laboratory similar to the one set up by Sanjay. None other than lab assistant Sanjay Tikariya was supposed to train the teachers! This was a thrilling experience for Sanjay. Soon, Sanjay became the most talked-about person in Jalna City for his achievements. Sanjay’s portable mini-lab was actually a compact kit consist- ing of apparatuses and materials to set up hundred different science projects. The most striking feature of this kit was it consisted of everyday, throwaway household objects and did not use anything expensive. Sanjay’s inventiveness can be judged from one of his experiences. The school’s science teacher, Shri Vidyasagar once in- structed Sanjay to arrange the separation funnel experiment. Sanjay inadvertently broke the funnel. He walked over to Shri Vidyasagar’s class to inform him about the mishap. However, before Sanjay could utter a word, Shri Vidyasagar assumed that Sanjay had set up the apparatus. Sanjay did not want to disappoint Shri Vidyasagar and left without saying a word. While he sat on the school’s staircase, he thought over the problem. Soon, he came up with an idea. Without wasting more time, he rushed towards the laboratory and rummaged the fa- cility until he found an old saline container. He shaped a funnel
  • 4. Jalna Icons / 133 from the container by carefully cutting it and arranged the project. Shri Vidyasagar managed to demonstrate the experiment with an ef- fective, albeit crude, apparatus. From this episode, Sanjay came up with the novel idea of a ‘Khatpat Peti’ – a utility box that contained many different objects and resources that students could use for cre- ating their own science projects. For this unique initiative, Sanjay gives the credit to Shri Vidyasagar who inspired him. Sanjay tells that anyone can create interesting science projects on shoestring budgets. This had always been the basic premise for all his projects. Winning the first prize at Yavatmal’s science exhi- bition greatly boosted his confidence. After revealing the secrets of his lab to the teachers of Jalna District at the behest of Dr Nipun, Sanjay was invited to Satara to conduct his lab workshop for nearly 1200 teachers! There he met Bharat Jagtap, who was fascinated by Sanjay’s ideas. Shri Jagtap advised Sanjay to meet Pune’s NCERT director Shri Anil Bedge. After Sanjay arrived at Pune’s NCERT for his scheduled appointment with Shri Bedge, he managed to impress Shri Bedge with his ideas to such an extent that their two-minute meeting stretched for more than two hours. Shri Bedge straight away called Aurangabad’s deputy director Laxmikant Pandey and immediately handed over the appointment letter for an ‘Expert Guide’ to Sanjay. Accordingly, he was invited as an expert guide for a teacher-training programme organized by NCERT. Thereafter, on Sundays, he imparted free training to teachers by traveling to nearly twenty-six districts of Maharashtra. In the following year, Sanjay displayed his science projects at Akkalkuwa’s science exhibition and won the second prize. In 2009, Sanjay got the rare honour of conducting training at Mumbai’s Homi Bhabha National Institute that is affiliated with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. Sanjay was also given the opportunity to attend an international seminar at Singapore by the secretary of CASTME (Commonwealth Association of Science, Technology, and Mathematics Educators) Dr Agarkar. This seven-day Singapore tour, which kicked off on 16 November 2010, was granted to Sanjay for his contribution to the academic field. Sanjay often experimented and came up with fresh ideas and pre- sented his new projects at various exhibitions. At Parbhani’s science
  • 5. Jalna Icons / 134 fair, he presented one of his most innovative creations¬–the ‘Prayog Manav’. In this robotic kit, he compiled all the necessary apparatuses and material to set up 200 different geography-related projects! The unique feature of this kit was that it included the audio recordings of the procedures for all the projects, which could be played at the touch of a button. The recordings could accurately guide children to set up the projects on their own. Another of his creations is the ‘Jadooee Ganiti Fala’ (Magic Maths Board) – a small box kit that cleared all the mathematical concepts from class 1 to class 4. Sanjay has created this activity-oriented educational kit based on his deep understanding of child psychology. Sanjay’s innovativeness is not limited simply to competition- related projects. He has also set up several interesting projects in the school’s lab. In an airtight container, he and some students had planted a small sapling, which has grown and survived without air or water over the past four months. Tiny insects have made the jar their home. His other science project includes filtered water mixed with a drop of gutter water, which is now full of algae. This is the result of many stages of an organic cycle. Although Sanjay does not have in-depth scientific knowledge about it, this project is very relevant for students to study. There is also a real human skull in the school’s lab. The school’s speciality is that it allows students to enter the lab during recess after taking permission from their teachers. Sanjay ex- presses his heartfelt gratitude to the co-operation received from the school’s administration for all his endeavours. Sanjay unfailingly mentions the great confidence that the school’s administration has shown in him. In fact, he was given the responsibility to finalize the lab’s interior design and setup. The students here regularly perform new experiments. They have complete access to the lab. The projects, models, drawings, and charts developed by the students are visibly displayed. Some fundamental science projects are permanently displayed so that teachers can promptly demonstrate them to the students. Sanjay Tikariya’s efforts and his commitment to work are praiseworthy. More information of this prodigy and his projects can be found on his website. In the near future, Sanjay plans to set up a Tikariya Science Vi-
  • 6. Jalna Icons / 135 sion Centre (TSV). Sanjay plans to install many exhibits, which will cover all scientific concepts, at his proposed TSV Centre. Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s Shri Vijayanna Borade has allocated a two-acre plot at Kharpudi for Sanjay’s TSV Centre. Sanjay also has the solid support of Shri Sunil Raithata for his ambitious project. Nearly 300 people have extended their co-operation to Sanjay for his project. Once Sanjay’s dream project is realized, it will be the epitome of Sanjay’s contribution to the academic world and inevitably, a major source of pride for Jalna! Sanjay Tikariya CTMK Gujarati School, Bus Stand Rows, Jalna ….....