Monthly Archives: March 2012
A new academic year will begin from April 2nd 2012-13. We have mapped 265 new children out of school ,mostly over age and illiterate. The number of children will now become 601. So a great deal of work to be done,preparations have already begun, lists ,age groups, lesson plans and teaching aids ,classroom display ideas …everything is happening at many levels. Many small children will be put into the mainstream as they are now ready.
Been looking for a room near an area of very conservative families..they will not allow girls to study mostly but after nearly a year of skill training some change is visible and it is heartening to see some motivation to learn. But it has to be in the vicinity only …we are willing to provide a safe place to at least begin the process of school readiness.We find over 45 teenage girls and some young married women too who were semi literate and wanted to continue .
A CSR initiative brought a chance to revive our languishing plans for exploring drama and theatrical practise in the curriculum.Aradhika Sharma and Chakresh began classes twice a week and the children picked up very fast and in a very short time a small play was prepared as a participatory piece for a National Children’s Theater Festival in Patna called ‘KilKaari’ which btw means a childs laughter. In the process the children learnt the skill of emoting,becoming a team,communication,artistic temper !!Travelling to Patna ,watching other groups perform, performing on an actual stage before a large audience all has contributed to confidence and enrichmentskills .
March 8th Women’s Day was celebrated for a whole week.All the women in our different vocational training and self -help groups met and shared concerns about finding ways to a better life,more income,better health,educatin and equipping themselves. We sang songs and had a modest party. The surprise of the evening was the guard at the school gate(the local school being the venue of the event as it is vacant in the evening) who was listening to us .He requested to be allowed to sing and proceeded to sing very well,
a very touching song about female infanticide and female foeticide.
March brought the tail end of winter,a city bursting with flowers and Holi the festival of friendship,amity and madly drenching everyone with colored water,smearing gulal in vivid hues so everyone goes around looking like rainbow ragamuffins.
We celebrated it and the children who gave it a special buzz with their sheer joy,singing ,dancing and shouts of laughter
In the course of our surveys of low income clusters ,the large number of girls not going to school was a common problem we kept meeting .From the very beginning when we had only a few children ,a small area was set aside for the siblings.This practice helped many girls to bring their sibling along and study.The benefit was on 3 levels– access was not blocked for the girls themselves,the siblings were exposed to positive pre school environment and the mothers stopped preventing the girls and showed interest in vocational skills–this process rippled out and today we have over a 100 girls with 1 or 2 siblings ,the sibling center runs in 2 shifts so that in both sessions no child is left unattended.The free transport by our bus remains the most appreciated support.
There should be such a facility like the Anganwadi in every government run school because the governmnet is the largest education provider for the poor and underprivileged. Yet for years we are making policies aimed at the girl child and gender bias figures in seminars,posters,meetings and campaigns–so does school access and education for all—but there is no convergence of the two,in fact of of other related sectors too like child labor,health and urban poverty alleviation.If this small critical support is provided the government itself will gain effective outcomes in so many aspects–school enrolment,retention,gender deficit in school access,early learning and care for small children, boosting nutrition ,health and health and health awareness etc