Thursday, May 20, 2010

A NEW LOOK AT EDUCATION


Gregory Almeida sdb
KAWANT, MAY 18, 2010: For a long time, we have been wondering why Kawant taluka has remained underdeveloped despite Don Bosco being present in this area for more than 25 years. We have now realized that there are two main factors that need to be addressed to bring about development:

1. A change of leadership
2. Practical exposure in education

A change of leadership is possible only if youngsters are trained to become sarpanchs, talatis, mamlatdars or work for government organizations that will transform the villages.

Second, education must include practical exposure. Students in schools and colleges should be taken to the villages to understand why development is not taking place and how they can help solve this problem. Perhaps there are government schemes that should be made to work; maybe they can educate their parents on these matters. Exposing children to the realities of village life will make their education more relevant.

To achieve this aim, Kawant Education Society organized a training-cum-exposure programme to enable children to understand and solve the issues in their own villages. On May 6, 2010, the standard Ten students of Don Bosco, Kawant attended a one-day workshop on the provisions of the NREGA. The next day, May 7, 2010, they returned to their villages to document the progress of the NREGA works, explain the Act to their parents and other workers, and interact with village functionaries regarding the implementation of the NREGA.

The students identified the problems related to the NREGA and also checked documents such as the job cards of workers. They learned that some government functionaries can be helpful while many others resent anyone checking or questioning their work. The entire exercise was also an opportunity for parents to learn something from their children and to understand the benefits of practical education.

Kawant Education Society firmly believes that students should be exposed to all the issues in rural areas, so that they can help their own people in their villages. Many schemes do not work because of lack of awareness and information. Creating awareness is the first step towards change in the rural areas. Let’s HOPE and begin the change from the bottom.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

GRAMSABHA AT INDARSINH KI CHOKI

Kamlesh Dodia
ALIRAJPUR, MAY 6, 2010: There was a special gramsabha held at Indarsinh ki Choki to commemorate the hundred and ninetieth birthday of Dr. Bhimrav Ambedkar on April 14, 2010. A hundred and one villagers along with Nodal officer Mr. Sisodiya, Cluster Resource Coordinator Mr. Vincent, a renowned sanyasi turned Sarpanch Mr. Chandarsinh Bhagat, Dt. Sarpanch Mr. Lalusinh, Panchayat Secretary Mr. Joharsinh, Mr. Kamlesh and Mr. Irshad from Don Bosco marked the day with their esteemed presence.

The Gramsabha was tactfully organized early in the morning for two reasons. The first one was to keep the villagers away from drinking ‘toddy’ or ‘mahuva’ (country liquor) and another one was to allow them to go to collect ‘mahuva’ in the afternoon as it was their livelihood. The strategy worked well and it turned out to be one of the best gramsabhas ever had in this village as the villagers unanimously approved all past resolutions. They also commonly agreed to all proposals made for overall growth and development of their village. They had a common consent to build a panchayat building, a school building, community hall and other development works such as shelf of project of NREGS, building RCC road etc.

Nodal officer Mr. Sisodiya appealed to the villagers to support their young and enthusiastic Sarpanch who has a dream to make his village one of the model villages in the entire district of Alirajpur. Cluster Coordinator, Mr. Vincent explained them about right to education and urged them to send their children regularly to school. Mr. Irshad Ahmed humorously showed them ways of killing two birds by throwing one stone in their own dialect namely earning their livelihood and creating local assets in their village by taking advantage of MGNREGS.
Mr. Kamlesh from Don Bosco ended his short speech encouraging them to increase the number of women present in gramsabha as no development work was ever possible without their presence.

Last but not least, the Sarpanch Mr. Chandarsinh thanked everyone for their support and cooperation and promised them to do his best to fulfill his awaiting dream.