People First Educational Charitable Trust

People First aims to work closely with oppressed and disadvantaged communities and vulnerable individuals in breaking the centuries - old cycle of ignorance and oppression by providing opportunities for education. The trust believes the best way to achieve long - term positive social change is through education and we work in the areas of greatest need where no other education is available to the poor and oppressed. Our mission is the bringing of educational opportunity and to promote health and social rights to those to whom such opportunities have previously been denied due to poverty family circumstances or oppression. The Trust aims to work with the most marginalized me...
Sep 16, 2014

Pedal Power!

Pedal Power
Pedal Power

Dear Friends and Supporters ,

I am Deepak Kumar - Chairperson for People First and I hope this update finds all of you and your families well.  You certainly have responded so generously to our Green Riders appeal and I have pleasure in including pictures of  some new rickshaws being donated to  extremely poor families living below the poverty line.  

A chance to earn money for themselves brings with dignity and a sense of self worth, but they could not afford to buy a rickshaw for themselves ,and do not have the ability to get bank loans.  Hiring a rickshaw means an amount had to be paid daily to the rickshaw owner, irrespective of what they earned that particular day .

So thank you for improving the lives of these families and helping to lift them from abject poverty .

As one of the new owners said, "This will make a big difference , when you are on the margins and with the cost of everything increasing all the time, especially vegetables, every extra rupee we can earn for our family is so important. 
Thank you for helping us to improve our families income".
"We really really need it so much"

With Thanks again,

Deepak

Pedal Power 2!
Pedal Power 2!

Links:

Aug 20, 2014

Adukesun in Bihar

Ranjeet
Ranjeet

 

Hello Everyone.! I am Naresh, in charge of the education programme here at People First and it's time for a project update . I have asked Ranjeet one of our students, ( we have to change the name according to the rules because we cannot give personally identifiable information),  but what he has written in Hindi and translated is completely unedited.

Namaste. (Greetings)

My name is Ranjeet, I am 17 years old and I have a People First scholarship at Gaya College , and I am studying science.  I come for a village where People First has a school and they have educated me without any cost for me and my family for over 10 years. We are extremely poor, but with my education that will change. But I think you know that People First has this programme, I think you know how wonderful and successful the programme is, how it helps so many students like me to change their lives.

I want to tell you all just what the situation is here for poor students who have to rely in government education, unless like me they are very lucky, and others help them through the goodness of their hearts .

Here in Bihar the government recruited thousands of teachers to fill in the shortages particularly at primary schools  and here's what happened, we discussed this news article in our regular monthly  student meeting with Naresh Sir and others, Its from the BBC dated 15th July 2014.

When authorities in India's Bihar state began a mass recruitment of primary school teachers in 2003, many believed it would lead to an improvement in the quality of education.

Bihar's primary schools did not have enough teachers, so the new recruits were welcomed.

To fill in the hundreds of thousands of vacancies, the appointment rules were relaxed - the teachers were hired on presentation of degree certificates verified by the city or village council officials and they did not have to write any competitive examination.

Known as "contract teachers", these new recruits are paid just 25% of a regular teacher's salary of 40,000 rupees ($666; £389) a month.

More than a decade later, things look relatively better on paper - some 417,000 teachers, a majority of them (362,000) hired in the last decade, are employed with 73,000 primary schools.

But the reality is much grimmer: news washed up recently that more than 20,000 of the new recruits had forged their degree certificates to get their jobs. Authorities have already dismissed 779 teachers after investigation.

Senior education department official Ram Sharnagat told the BBC that they had received complaints against 52,000 teachers for submitting fake certificates.

"We will conduct a thorough probe and those who have forged their certificates will lose their jobs," state Education Minister Brishen Patel said.

Rising corruption

This is not the first time that such a scandal has hit school education in Bihar: some 15,000 teachers were dismissed in December 2008 for providing forged certificates.

That's not all. Education in Bihar is beset with several other problems too. Consider this:

  • Over 60,000 primary schools are running without full-time principals.
  • Last month, more than 50 principals in Kaimur district were suspended after they were found guilty of misappropriating funds meant for building classrooms.
  • Last year, more than 10,000 primary school teachers were dismissed after they failed a mandatory competency test. These teachers failed to name the president of India and the planet closest to sun, among other things, in the test.
  • In 2011, authorities detected two million "ghost" admissions in schools - students took admissions to more than one school to avail state benefits like free bicycles and uniforms.
  • Some 2,800 primary schools in Bihar don't have a single classroom, and 10% of the schools have only one classroom.
  • In July last year, 23 primary students died after consuming contaminated free mid-day meals.

No wonder, say experts, Bihar has the lowest literacy rate in India - 63% against the country's average of 74%. It also has a poor teacher-student ratio with one teacher for every 63 students, against the recommended national average of one teacher for 40 students.

Many of the schools have no classrooms

No wonder then that a primary school teacher in Samastipur district was caught on camera by a local news channel a few years ago telling students that there were 360 days in a year and that Patna - the capital of Bihar - was the Indian capital.

She also spelt January as Junuary, apple as Apil, and education as adukesun.

There's a lot more I could tell you, according the official auditor of the Indian government were sent false figures by the Bihar government in which they reported many more children were at school then there were actual children according to the very recent census, by a large margin.

My country is progressing.

Especially in other States. I am proud to be an Indian.

But please remember things are  often not as they are reported and the need for this programme sadly is as great as it has ever been. Thank you so much for your help, and please help spread the word about this life changing programme.

Your obedient student,

Ranjeet

 

Links:

Aug 13, 2014

Orphaned and Alone no more

Orphaned and Alone no more
Orphaned and Alone no more

Hello Everyone!,

This is Sunita ,director of Rescue Junction and the SIGNAL project, and it's time for an update. As you all know the project caters for girls at risk of abuse by providing shelter, food, education, vocational training and support to these vulnerable young women to enable then to have a new start in life. But here at Rescue Junction we admit girls of any age, ( including babies, who have been abandoned) and girls that have been orphaned.

One of our aims is to increase awareness within the local community about the plight of these girls and help us establish a network of protection for them. We work with the police and raid local brothels and we have found girls as young as twelve years of age. In these cases in conjunction with local authorities we always prosecute and bring those responsible for this abuse to Justice . Over 40 people are behind bars today as a result of these prosecutions. We need to establish there will be no safe haven, no escape from those who choose to abuse children.

There are three girls here who we have placed at our expense ( with the help of your donations) in residential school and who come to Rescue Junction for the holidays. Their mother died, and then a year later their father . The eldest girl ( then just 11 years old) ,Pramilla buried him with her own hands as there was no money for a cremation. In the days and weeks that followed the girls were at risk of starving before concerned villagers brought them to the local administration, who placed them in the only place available,  Rescue Junction. We need help to pay for their education and care., Every cent that we get from Global Giving goes to help children like Pramilla, Diya and  Shanti.(names changed for child protection reasons)

It costs $1000 to care and educate them for one whole year.

Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity

Wishing you all the best,

Sunita

Links:

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