HTI's Training Manager, Sujit Bavachakar reports on his 50th Hamare Bus Ki Baat Hai (HBKBH) program.
"Raju has to kill a bus!" driver Sanju Bhai innocently says this over the mike, causing the group of bus drivers and attendants (over 110 of them) to erupt in a loud burst of laughter. They have just finished playing ‘Chinese Whispers’. The message started out as, "Shortly school holidays will begin, let's plan a picnic."
Once they settle down into their seats, I debrief them using the game just played as an example of how communication can go horribly wrong.
This is part of the HBKBH program that HTI conducts in schools across 140 cities. Held in association with QED Events Management for Tata Motors, HBKBH is conducted in 11 languages - today it's Marathi at Podar International School, Pune. I'm accompanied by my able co-trainers Manisha Khamgaonkar and Deepak Amritkar.
The HBKBH program is aimed at improving the soft skills of school bus drivers and attendants. They deal with children daily but don’t always know how to handle them properly or interact with their parents.
During our sessions we introduce drivers and bus attendants to Tata Motors and the motivation behind this awareness programme. A screening of a video clip related to their daily work is followed by group games and skit presentations.
Besides being fun, the games are an effective method of learning. Attitude Towards Accidents are tackled via the game, ‘Call the Name, Toss the Ball’. Awareness about Responsibility is developed through the ‘Grab the Bottle’ game. Complaint Handling is simplified through a drama. Two participants perform a 2-minute skit on how they handled complaints the previous day. One plays the role of the parent and the other, the bus attendant. For effective management of complaints we share the Complaint Handling formula.
More learning via role play follows as Etiquette and Manners are imparted through a skit in which some participants act as children and one plays the bus attendant and another, the bus driver. They present two situations displaying bad and good etiquette and manners.
I have done over 50 HBKBH programs and I still enjoy doing them. It is heartening to see participants get involved in and enjoy the games, skits and learning thoroughly. At the end of all sessions, they thank us warmly, sharing how they are grateful to have learnt how to talk to children and parents. They also feel confident of caring for the kids, encouraging them and handling them correctly. The prizes and chocolates that are distributed at the end have them smiling as broadly as the kids they interact with!
I love doing the program simply because improving the country one small corner at a time... yeh toh hamare bus ki baat hai!