Greetings from Seva Mandir.
In 2000, Seva Mandir launched its first Residential Learning Camp (also known as Camp) at the Kaya Training Facility, to give hundreds of out-of-school children a chance to learn and get a foothold into the mainstream education system. Many of these children are unable to go to school because they work as migrant laborers or they tend to their family farms. They come from some of the most impoverished and rural tribal communities in India. In our work area, there are many economic incentives that discourage children from enrolling in schools. The purpose of Seva Mandir’s education program is to give children access to a good quality education while also strengthening the value of education in the communities we work in.
Eight-year old Khuma was among the first students at the Camp in 2000. “While coming through the Training Centre of Seva Mandir gate for the first time I felt nervous. I wasn’t sure why I was here”, he recalled. He remembered how he overcame his initial anxiety at the 25-day camp and eventually made friends with children from other villages.
Nobody could have guessed that 13 years later Khuma would return to this center as a teacher at the Camp. He began his schooling at a Seva Mandir non-formal education center in 1998. He was then recruited to enroll in the first Camp at Kaya, which he now remembers fondly. After the camp, Khuma enrolled in a nearby government school, but maintained his connection with Seva Mandir by becoming active in the local Youth Resource Center.
As the first person in his family to receive an education, his commitment never wavered. In an area where most children never make it through primary school, Khuma, the son of a poor farmer, graduated from secondary school in 2011. He was then recruited to work at a shop in Mumbai, but feeling dissatisfied with the pace and strain of urban living, he left after two months to pursue a college education and work towards a better future.
Soon after returning from Mumbai, Khuma was approached by a Seva Mandir zone worker who asked him if he was interested in working as a teacher for Seva Mandir. When we asked him about why he took the offer he said, “I benefited a lot from Seva Mandir, I have taken [their] help every time in my life. I will never turn down any job from Seva Mandir”.
His eyes swelled then swelled with pride, “I got offers from other NGOs, but I declined them. I will only work for Seva Mandir”, he said.
At the Camp, Khuma is quite the hero. He laughed when he recounted the disbelief and astonishment when, on the first day of the camp, he revealed to all the children that he is a former Camp student himself. To these new first-generation learners, he serves as a living role model who can relate to these students better than anyone.
Khuma’s story is an example for the 10,000 first generation students in our schools, and speaks to the deeper change we are nurturing across 700 villages, including a demand for quality education and a commitment to public service.
Once again thank you so much for your continuous support to our program.
Today I want to share with you the story of Radha, a child from one of our education centre and also a video of our education program.
Radha joined Seva Mandir’s Shiksha Kendra (Education Centre) in Basiwada hamlet in July 2008 and completed her education in July 2012. After finishing level 3 from Seva Mandir’s Shiksha Kendra with eight other girls, she was keen to join government school in class VI.
Principal of the local government school denied them admission since the education structure of the Shiksha Kendra was different from that of government. Radha and her friends wanted to continue their education so they pursued Seva Mandir staff for help and support.
Seva Mandir team led by Mr. Mangilal helped Radha and her friends with the school admission. They explained the principal that the education program of Seva Mandir is approved by Government. They also explained the Principal that as per Right to Education Act, which ‘makes provisions for a non-admitted child to be admitted to an age appropriate class,’ every school is liable to follow it.
Radha proved her talent and mantel when she stood first in class VI by scoring 60% marks.
Before joining Shiksha Kendra, Radha used to work in her family fields. Today she dreams of becoming a teacher and educate girls like herself for a bright future.
Also, here is a video link on our Education Program- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmoAGNd1lQQ
Thank you for your support.
Thank you all for your contribution to Seva Mandir's Education Programme. Your contribution enables Seva Mandir to provide quality education to many tribal children.
Here is a quick update on the the Shiksha Kendra programme.
Currently there are 175 Shiksha Kendras catering to more than 6000 children of which 44% are girls. Seva Mandir continues to push for girl education and the case study below is an example of this.
Meena and Seva Mandir's struggle
Meena Kumari (name changed to maintain privacy of person) 13 years of age, belongs to a poor family that mostly depends on wages for household income. However, her strong will to study is what has kept her moving forward in life.
It was in 2012, that Seva Mandir first came in contact with Meena’s family. Meena’s three elder sisters and her, never had an opportunity to go to school as their parents were never convinced as to how it would help them in the future.
Seva Mandir officials had to try hard, to convince the parents to send their daughters to school . The biggest challenge was to make their mother understand the importance of Seva Mandir‘s Shiksha Kendras .
The parents were also told that the basic stationary such as bags, notebooks and pencils, would all be provided by the Shiksha Kenra. However, the parents were still extremely reluctant to send their children to school.
Following several discussions, the parents said that they were ready to send their three girls to school provided that Meena, the youngest sibling, would stay at home and do all the household chores. Hearing this, Meena started crying as she too wanted to go to school.
Further negotiations took place with the parents and after several efforts being put in, it was decided that the four girls would go to school and that Seva Mandir would help with the cost of sending Meena to school.
Menna is currently in 3rd grade and now she can read and write as well as do simple mathematical calculations.“ I have come a long way”, she says when asked about her journey.
Thank you for your continued support to our project 'Send a Child in India to School for a Year'.
With your support we are about to begin a new year and are excited about the hopes and challenges it will bring. And at this yearend, we would like to share with you the experience of a child who study at our non formal education centre, so that you come to know how exactly YOUR support is creating real change.
Here is the experience from a girl named Anita:
“My name is Anita and I am 9 years old. My father is Ishwar Lal ji and he works in the fields and as a laborer. My mother’s name is Sheila Devi and I have 2 brothers. My younger brother and I study in Seva Mandir’s Shiksha Kendra (Non Formal Education Center) in Kotala. My elder brother Suresh Kumar has also passed out from Seva Mandir’s Shiksha Kendra and is now studying in class 7 in a non-government school. The distance from my home to Seva Mandir’s School and to the government school is the same, but we come to study in Seva Mandir’s School because teachers beat children in the government school and demand for various things which we have to bring. But there is no pressure on us in our Seva Mandir School. We are independent here and can concentrate on our studies – and we have fun. The teacher of our school is very nice. He uses various innovative teaching methods to teach us. We love the way he teaches us. We have a big water tank at our school and we get drinking water from here.”
So that was the experience of Anita. We are able to make these progresses because of YOU. Once again thank you so much for your continued support.
Greetings from Seva Mandir!
Hope you are well. I like to introduce myself to you. I am Atul Lekhra. I have joined Seva Mandir early this year and I will now be communicating with you through these project reports. I am glad to be a part of this program and look forward to talking to you about all these wonderful projects you are supporting.
Today I want to share with you story of Joshi Lal from Kham village.
Joshi Lal, 10 years old boy lives in Kham village of Kotra Block. He always wished to be in school, especially seeing his friends attending one. His inability to hear and speak held him back, though he had registered his desire with his father many times. His father never felt encouraged as he wasn’t sure if anyone in the government school would be able to deal with a child with special needs, nor he had the resources to support his son’s education. One day Joshi Lal couldn’t hold himself back and went to a Seva Mandir supported Shiksha Kendra (SK) in Dhana hamlet, 5 kms from his house. He got himself enrolled and started attending it regularly. Though in the beginning the instructor had difficulties in communicating with Joshi, through actions and gestures he eventually began to communicate with Joshi. Slowly Joshi Lal learnt how to write and began to solve simple addition and subtraction problems. Being at SK is the best time of the day for Joshi. He plays games (Sitoliya a traditional Indian game) with his friends. Besides his regular attendance, Joshi also made sure that his two brothers also come to the centre regularly. The loving relationship between the instructor and Joshi is an evidence of the joyful environment Seva Mandir’s SKs are creating in their classes.
Much of this success is also due to your untiring support. It is a great partnership and we hope to continue having you by our side. We really appreciate the trust you have shown in us. Please do let us know if you have any questions.
Thank you again.
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