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 15, 2016

LIFE IS TOUGH IN BIHAR FOR VILLAGE WOMEN

Sewing Machine owner in village
Sewing Machine owner in village

Hi Everyone,

Greetings to you from Bihar in India.

I am Mena a community worker employed by People First

The last two progress reports have been from the women themselves so I thought it be would helpfull this time to give some background information about women in Bihar..

Rural populations severely lack access to basic amenities such as water, electricity and sanitation. Even though water is abundant in this eastern state of India, there appears to be a differential in access to water facilities across social groups. Since managing the household chores is generally a woman’s task, not having easy access to water can create problems for women. Provision of electricity makes mobility of women safer and easier to some extent. Poor sanitary conditions expose women to disease and make them vulnerable to assaults. Efforts to provide these basic amenities, especially in rural areas, can help in improving the condition of women tremendously. 

Bihar reported the lowest female literacy rates in 2012 out of all the states and union territories in India. The average educational level of women in Bihar was lower than that of men, which was itself very low in comparison to other states in the country. Therefore, the literacy gap in Bihar is lower than states such as Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

The practice of giving food grains in lieu of wages was reported from Gaya, Madhepura, Nalanda and in a small measure from Rohtas. Women mostly reported that they were getting 4 kg of rice for transplanting and 3 kg of rice for weeding.

In the absence of male members of the family, women often faced barriers in both accessing credit and getting credit on favourable terms. The local moneylender was the main source of credit for women across all the tolas in the absence of male members in the family. While richer, landed women from upper caste households were often able to borrow money from relatives, friends and neighbours, the poorer women had to resort to the moneylender. Interest rates varied from 5–10 per cent per month and women from the poorer communities, like the Chamars, Paswans, Musahars and Mallahs, paid a higher interest rate. Paswan women in Khangaon told us that the regular interest rate paid by them is 6–7 per cent per month but, sometimes, out of helplessness, when money is urgently required, they end up paying 10 per cent. Even in the Brahmin Tola in Jitwarpur women complained, ‘We often have problems getting loan; it’s not easy.’ 

You can see from the above what a vital role the sewing centres play in providing a vital independent source of income for women, support and friendship and strength through unity..helping to break down caste barriers.

Thank you for your support for this project ,next report will be another perspectve from one of the village women,

Mena

PLEASE DO NOT FORGET SEPTEMBER 21st is BONUS DAY ON GLOBAL GIVING

Links:

Aug 17, 2016

Tears of Joy

Mother and Child in the village
Mother and Child in the village

Hi Everybody!

Welcome to the first update of our deep water pump appeal.

The rains have come it is the great Indian monsoon and the rains this year have been better than the previous few years which is great news for everyone.

Finding a really good source of deep clean water away from the rivers is quite a task. We want to thank Ellen and her friends in the Netherlands for donating enough to start boring for the first pump in the village Dadpur, a desperately poor community where a source of new clean water will bring huge benefits to the whole community especially to the women who have to fetch it and the children to whom a source of good clean water (we test it thoroughly) is so important.

After several false dry starts we are so happy to report we have now hit a deep underground reservoir of clean healthy water and the first pump should be up and running within the next month so please look out for the photos on our next GlobalGiving update and our Facebook page.

Here is what Divya a village woman (name changed) with four children has to say,

“Now we have to walk so far to fetch drinkable water, well even that water is not so clean. The burden the daily burden of carrying the pots on our heads especially in the summer is almost unbearable, when we saw the water finally gushing out from the ground right in our village we cried with joy, thank you so much for helping all of us”

Divya

 Thank you again 

$750 will provide a good source of clean water for a whole village

   

Links:

Aug 15, 2016

Education can change the world, thank you for changing mine beyond my dreams" from Pramod

Pramod
Pramod

Hello Everybody,

Time for another update.

I would first like to share with you an open letter written to the Chief Minister of Bihar by a concerned professor, and published in the Times of India.

I know you are all so busy but if you could take the time to read it the article shows the need for our scholarship programme. We wish things were better and students in Bihar got more care, we can only hope for improvements in the education sector in the years ahead.

Here is the letter,

Dear Nitish Kumar Ji,

I am a proud Bihari and really feel privileged to be so. But it personally hurts when I find the state in which Bihar finds itself today. When you first took over the reins, your statesmanship had raised the expectations of every Bihari. People had looked for real change, particularly in your second stint.


But a lot of things have since gone wrong in the state under your watch. For now, I would like to focus on Bihar’s crumbling education system.

There has been a steady slide in the education system of Bihar, once home to world’s ancient universities like Nalanda, so much so that the state has become a laughing stock.


While studying at Havard University last year, I felt disgraced when The New York Times carried a picture of people clinging on to the windows of an examination centre in Bihar to help the candidates. Had the system been delivering quality education, students and their relatives would not have resorted to such shameful means.


After that picture of ignominy, I had expected your government to act and take education reforms seriously. But that was not to be. Instead, the ‘topper scam’ came to light this year.
Recently, I visited Katihar, my hometown which I love more than any place on earth. My curiosity to find the state of government schools and colleges took me to Maheshwari Academy, which used to be one of the best schools in the district during my childhood.


The visit made me more despondent. Surrounded by tall grass and bushes, it appeared like a haunted building. The campus has completely lost its charm. Suddenly, I saw a marble stone on the science block, which pointed out that you had inaugurated it in 2007. But it looked more like an abandoned building.


Interestingly, bang opposite this block is the office of the district education officer. I wondered whether the DEO’s gaze had ever fallen on the building. What I gathered about the school later was more shocking. There are only ten teachers for about eleven hundred secondary school-level students and no regular teachers for higher secondary classes. There have been no new appointments in last two years and students pay to bring in retired teachers who prepare them for the Board exams.


Bihar still lags behind in pupil-to-teacher ratio (PTR) with 1 teacher for every 51 students against the national average of 26. Moreover, in government schools, most teachers are under-qualified with only 44% having a professional degree. Compare this with the national average of 80%. No wonder, only half of the students manage to clear the Class X board examination.


Sir, you are the one who showed light to thousands of girls by providing them bicycles to attend school, a move that reduced the dropout rate. But over a third of the schools still lack toilets for girls. How do you expect girls to spend long hours in school without such basic facilities? Mere increase in number of students is not enough. It’s the quality of learning that lies at the core of an education system.

Over two lakh classrooms need to be built to provide space for students. Cramped, poorly ventilated classes cannot enhance the experience of learning. If your government could build record stretches of roads and improve supply of electricity during the first two terms, what prevents you from changing the face of education in the state? It’s so ironical. I used to study with kerosene lanterns because of poor power supply but schools were comparatively better and now students enjoy better power supply but quality of schools have deteriorated.

How do you think Bihar can bridge the rich-poor divide with government schools in such deplorable state? How can change happen when bright students leave the state? Education has to be a much bigger agenda for governance and needs much deeper involvement.

I would urge you to make education your first priority if your government is serious about harnessing the potential of Biharis. A better education system integrated with life skills is the crying need of the hour.
Sir, involve parents in the school committees and encourage parent-teacher engagement. Public schools are beyond the means of majority of our young boys and girls who have tremendous potential. They too have a dream. Please help them realise it for themselves and the state.

And now something from one of our sponsored students, Pramod.

Namaste,

"My name is Pramod (name changed). I want to thank you all so much for helping students like me achieve my dreams. I am now studying for my competitive examinations for Banking which if I am successful give me a career I could only dream of before People First sponsored my college education. I came up through the village schools run by People First .  

Mt family are poor farmers I am the first in my whole family to receive a full education, let alone go to college.

Education can change the world, thank you for changing mine beyond my dreams”.

Pramod

Links:

 
   

donate now:

Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.