Education is essential for any community to develop and grow. Kanya Kelvani Program is being run in Mundra in partnership with the government of Gujarat. The program aims to increase enrollment of children especially girls in primary schools, reduce drop outs, and ignite interest in students.In order to empower the future generation through value added computer-aided literacy, Sujaan Project, is being run. 5 computer learning centers have been set up in schools in partnership with ‘Hole in the Wall’ initiative. Heena Anil Sevak,- 32 years old, Tunda village Distribution of Education Kits Parent of child beneficiary
“There was always a dearth in obtaining books for children in the village. Many times, parents would find it difficult to buy books and other stationary due to monetary constraints. We were always dependent on someone in the village to donate books to us. That has changed due to CGPL. The kits distributed by CGPL contains a school bag with attractive and essential stationary like a color box, lunch box, slate, pencils, chalks and books. Every year CGPL picks up a social theme related to environment conservation, energy conservation, education etc… and highlights these on the bags, which creates a positive awareness among the children and they then pass on the same message to their neighbors, at home with parents, and the community at large. The education kit has been successful in promoting children’s learning, improving teaching practices, improving attendance and maintaining a child’s interest in school and education. Children from poorer households have benefited from this scheme the most, since now they can attend school being at par with other children and possessing the same books and stationary as them. This keeps them motivated and interested. Their parents also have a lesser burden on being able to afford their children’s education. Now they need not spend their last rupee on sending their children to school. This has been made possible with this impactful and benevolent kit distribution program in schools.”
Shirin, Student, – 16 years old, Tragadi village Adolescent Girls Learning Centre (AGLC)
“Education is not given any importance in our village. I wanted to study post my 8th standard but wasn’t allowed to as the higher education school was in the next village. The Adolescent girls learning center (AGLC) was set up by CGPL a year ago under the UTKARSH program. The program enrolls drop out girls between the ages of 12-18 years. We were a total of 30 students, who came for the classes held for 3 hours, daily. We were taught sewing, agarbatti making, basic English, mathematical tables, basic mathematic calculations, mehendi, embroidery, interactive games, hygiene and were extended knowledge on home science. Before joining this centre I used to struggle with reading and writing but the class has increased my fluency in reading and writing, faster and better. I can also read some English text now. I am now confident in calculations when I am required to buy vegetables or other household things. The classes were an outlet for girls to get out of the house. Before, we were confined to work in the house and weren’t allowed to move out. Attending the AGLC was fun and I had some place to look forward to every day and meet my friends, who I made, through this program. The AGLC has given me a new sense of freedom and independence which I never imagined I could have.”
Manjula Danicha,- 41years old, Nana Bhadiya village Adolescent Girls Learning Centre (AGLC), Teacher
“Ek chokri hoshiyar hoye to biji 4 loko ne hoshiyar kari de’ (One smart girl, can teach and influence four other girls). Setting up the AGLC is a good initiative since there is mutual learning among all the girls and the smart ones can take the lead to teach and influence the other girls. I have been a teacher at the AGLC since the past one 1 year and am also a Mid Day Meal ‘sanchalak’ (worker). Girl’s education was not given any importance in the village where AGLC is implemented. Some of the girls have gone to school previously but their knowledge is very limited. Only 10-12% of the girls in the village get any primary education and hardly anyone is sent for higher education. The activities undertaken at the AGLC were story writing, reading, English classes, basic mathematics on how to do day to day budgeting and payments, interactions and games, sewing and other vocational and personality development trainings. The main benefit of the program was that this gave them the platform to move out and interact with other girls of their age, thereby increasing their exposure and learning. The introverts and shy girls are now more confident and have made many companions at the AGLC. Discipline, self development, etiquettes and communication skills has been inculcated through this program. Most of the girls belong to the Muslim community and from different sub castes where they never interacted or spoke to each other. In the beginning, at the class they wouldn’t sit with each other but slowly they started to talk and worked in teams for different activities thus cutting out caste barriers. Playing games and regular exercises gave them some physical exercise which they never had an opportunity to, since they usually sat at home and did embroidery work only. We also organized dance competitions which gave an opportunity to the girls to showcase their talent and explore different talents amongst them. The hygiene class gave them a better understanding on their bodies and how to take care of themselves.
With the inception of CGPL there has been a change in the education scenario with activities like AGLC, computer classes and others.. I am always able to communicate needs and ideas through the CR CGPL facilitators. I think the AGLC is an important intervention undertaken by CGPL and should be continued. CGPL has focused on increasing the number of girls enrolled and involved in the project. Recently there have been many conversations on combining this education with more income generation and vocational trainings to increase the value addition of the program for the girls. There is so much promise to what CGPL is doing for our community.”
Hardip Sinh, – 13 years old, Tunda village Sujaan Project
“Multi Media computers have been installed outside our classrooms in schools. Students can access and use this facility. These were installed a year and a half ago. Through these computers we get a better understanding of the topic at hand and it gives us more practical knowledge and examples than just reading theory. My interest in coming to school and learning has highly increased with the use of computers in the course. Enrollments have also increased in the school since every kid these days wants to learn how to use computers and feel excited to be able to learn on computers. I use the computer for translating work from Gujarati to English, use the dictionary installed in it, to find meanings of new English words I learn in class, read about the different Gujarati writers and about science projects. I am interested in painting so I regularly search for different paintings online and paint those, which has led to me winning awards in painting competitions. It is easier to learn through such Information and Communication Technology (ICT) methods, and I can go back to the computer and re check what I learnt, which helps in exploring more details on the topics I am interested in. I truly feel that this program has opened new horizons. It has given us new direction in pursuing an education which will equip us to get better jobs. We can now learn much more than was previously possible in traditional education systems in our school.”
Bhavanaben, – 41 years old, Tragadi village Anganwadi worker
“Anganwadis in a village are extremely important since they exist to provide care for newborn babies, ensure that all children below the age of 6 are immunized, provide prenatal care for pregnant women and ensure that they are immunized against tetanus. In addition to this it must also provide post natal care to nursing mothers and provide supplementary nutrition to children below the age of 6 as well as nursing and pregnant women. Anganwadis also need to work towards providing preschool education to children who are between 3 to 5 years old. CGPL has constantly consulted and supported the infrastructure of the Anganwadi in this village. I have been working as an Anganwadi worker from the last 9 years and have seen the positive transformation of the anganwadi since CGPL has been in the area. CGPL has made swings which the children love and before this they used to just sit inside the class but now with the swings they have an opportunity for outdoor activity. We were given cupboards which are extremely useful, kids were given education kits, essentials like chairs and tables have also been provided and about 15 malnourished kids were given a nutrition kit for 3 months. Looking at such facilities the parents understand the importance of sending their kids to the anganwadi and thus these investments have increased the student intakes. We provide sukhdi shira (nutritious indian food) at the anganwadi to cater to malnutrition in mothers and children. With VRTI, CGPL organized a ‘Rasoi’(kitchen) contest in the anganwadi where parents from the village were taught different ways to make the same sukhdi and sera in a delicious way so as to get the children to like and eat the food and increase the nutrition levels of children. After teaching them, a competition was held among the parents to see who makes the most delicious and nutritious sukhdi and sera. This is just one example of the many innovative ideas and projects CGPL has undertaken in the area”.
Krishnaben, teacher, – 30 years old, Mota Kandagara Teacher’s Training
“I have been a teacher for 11 years in government schools and currently am a teacher at the Mota Kandagra government school. CGPL has added tremendous professional value to me since they organized a teacher’s training workshop which taught me better methods of teaching, discussed issues faced in education and provided solutions for the same. The training also increased my knowledge on management, research and administration related topics. A total of 60 teachers of seven schools belonging to the Mota Kandagara village clusters attended the training. Information sharing among the teachers on a common platform was the most important benefit of the program. Schools have improved due to collaborations with companies. Funds and grants for investments in education were limited to the Government but this new involvement has lead to positive change and is working like a catalyst for filling the gap in the existing system. Children now find school more attractive with new books, new tools and advanced technology, teaching methods and celebrating important days and events. There will be serious changes with growth and industrialization in the area. People in the area are more confident, have better roads and transport systems, more dreams and bigger aspirations and the area is much safer and accessible than earlier. 5 years ago it was impossible to get home at 7pm, now the area is safe and transport is readily available here. There is so much that CGPL has done for our village community like education kits have been distributed under the Kanya kelavni – Pravesh utsav, RO plants have been set up, computer learning stations have been put in place in schools, picture exhibitions and prizes are distributed at events as part of reward and recognition. Lectures for home safety, disaster management, environment awareness etc are also organized for people in the community to be educated, empowered and supported”.
Dharmesh Putta, – 27 years old, Gundiyali School Infrastructure, Teacher
“I have always felt that community infrastructure in education and livelihoods needs improvement. CGPL has aided this requirement. Many efforts have also been made by CGPL in health and sanitation for the school. Earlier there was only a boy’s toilet in the school. Under the infrastructure program, CGPL is constructing a girl’s toilet which has lead to more enrollments and assisted us in minimizing the dropout rates of girls. Under the rural energy program, CGPL has installed a ‘gobar’ gas (biogas) plant in the school which is now preparing mid day meals. Earlier, our school had a chulha (cow dung stove) which led to lots of pollution, eye problems due to smoke and the helpers were less in number. The ‘gobar’ gas stove now leads to a cleaner environment at lesser costs. A prayer hall has been made in the school last month which ensures that prayers are held in the premises in spite of the weather being rainy, hot or cold. This has also provided extra covered space to the children to sit, read, work, interact etc. An RO plant has also been set up by CGPL. By this, the water quality has improved and better safe drinking water is available for children. Development for me means that everyone should be educated and empowered, self reliant, capable and employed. CGPL is in this direction through all their interventions and will surely ensure holistic and all round development in the area”
Mukesh Chavda, Nanabhadiya -CGPL’s presence in the area, Principal
“The Sujaan project computers are a blessing in this area for education advancement. This project has the ability to provide remote and underprivileged communities access to previously unavailable ICT resources. . I have been in Nanabhadiya for 12 years and feel that CGPL has helped create employment in the area and allowed people to set up animal husbandry professions in their homes. CGPL has always been in dialogue with us for participatory educational approach for the community. We are deprived of technology and infrastructure in education but with CGPL we now see tremendous scope and potential for an increase in these essential facilities.