Education
 India
Project #4140

A Silent Revolution - Helping the helpless

by SHOSHIT SEVA SANGH
Vetted

Shoshit Samadhan Kendra, the fully free English medium residential school, for the poor the poorest of the poor, observed its 10th Foundation on July 16, 2016. The Governor of the state of Bihar was the Chief Guest and the function was attended by a large number of special invitees as well as parents and guardians of the students, many of them had come from distant villages. The quality of education imparted by SSK was reflected in a truly scintillating performance by the students on the Foundation Day. The students enacted Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’. Their acting, diction and rendering of the dialogue was truly amazing. A student of class IX gave an excellent performance as ‘Hamlet’. His rendering of the famous soliloquy ‘to be or not to be’ was truly brilliant.  Equally, amazing was the performance of the play in Hindi called ‘Shudra’. It was a highly erudite and a philosophical dialogue between the great Chanakya and the Archaryas (Professors) of Taxila (world famous university in ancient India) who were opposing the rise of Chandragupta Maurya as the king emperor of India because of his low caste. The student who acted as Chanakya gave an excellent performance. He spoke with passion and great conviction. This student has lost his mother in the most tragic circumstances and his father is a landless agricultural labourer. His life story is indeed heart-rending. Both the above mentioned students joined SSK in class I. The performances of the students in both the play would without any doubt do proud to the best of the schools in India.  There were song -dance performances by the students including one by the primary students of the school. The cultural presentation was widely appreciated.

60 students were admitted to SSK at the commencement of the current academic year in May 2016. All the admissions were in pre-school class and the boys were from remote and distant villages in various districts of Bihar. The total number of students in SSK is now 400. A sports teacher has been  appointed and games including cricket, volley-ball, basket-ball etc. are held daily. Inter-house competitions are organized. Efforts were made to develop the school campus and increase the facilities in the computer, physics and chemistry laboratories. 

Shoshit Samadhan Kendra is operated by Shoshit Seva Sangh, an NGO formed with the objective of providing quality education to the children of the musahar(or “rat-eater”) community of Bihar. The musahars have lived in abysmal poverty for centuries, with a population estimated to be four to five million. Most of the musahars are landless labourers, and many even bonded labourers. The vast majority of them are caught in a debt-trap, finding it impossible to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

 

Attempting to turn the tide of history may seem like an impossible task, but the school is dedicated to empowering its students by providing them with quality education. Relying on the reservation system in institutions of higher learning, each of the students at the school is being prepared for higher studies with a view to making a quantum jump in life, leap-frogging from the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder, to become catalysts of change for their community.

 

This year’s class X Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) examination results have more than validated Shoshit Seva Sangh’s model of achieving transformative change through education. Of the 15 students, all being first generation learners, who appeared for the board examinations, eight received more than 90%, five received more than 80%, and the remaining two students received more than 75%.

 

With more than fifty per cent of its students scoring in excess of 90% in the CBSE examinations, Shoshit Samadhan Kendra, perhaps, has outperformed not only many government schools, but also many private schools in the country. All the students of SSK took the Board examinations in the English medium.

 

This exceptional outcome is a testament to the dedication of the teachers and staff at the school, the tireless efforts of the trustees of Shoshit Seva Sangh, and the support of countless donors and benefactors. Above all, it is the culmination of many hours of hard work on the part of the students themselves and a consequence of the faith reposed by their parents in Shoshit Seva Sangh.

26th January, the Republic Day of India was celebrated at the school, Shoshit Samadhan Kendra. The flag hoisting ceremony were held at the school. The students participated in a collective PT display followed by a march past. As in the past, officials of the Patna office of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation (HSBC) participated in the celebrations and distributed refreshments to the students.  

 

The construction of badminton, basket-ball and volley-ball courts were completed in January and the students of the school actively participate in these games. Sports assembly are now held prior to the commencement of the game at which all the students assembled in their house uniforms before proceeding for games. 

The last quarter of 2015 was eventful at Shoshit Samadhan Kendra, the fully free English medium residential school run by Shoshit Seva Sangh for the poorest of the poor.

 

The half-yearly semester examinations were held in the first half of September. The overall results were encouraging and the students who obtained first three position in the class were given prizes for their performance by the Chairman of SSS. The prize  was T-shirt with ‘Topper’ printed at the back and this was greatly appreciated by the students.

 

‘Gray Matters’ an organization based in Hyderabad had done an assessment of the academic standard of Shoshit Samadhan Kendra in September, 2015. ‘Gray Matters’ have assessed over 1000 schools in Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and this organization is supported by the Australian Council for Educational Research, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and The Teacher Foundation. ‘Gray Matters’ submitted their reports on SSK. It’s a lengthy report but attached are few graphs on the learning outcomes as assessed by Gray Matters in four subjects, namely, English, Maths, Science and General Ability. The report indicates that the standard of academic achievement / performance of the students of SSK was not only distinctly better than the national average, but also significantly better than the average performance of schools assessed by ‘Gray Matters’.

 

Diwali the festival of lights in India was celebrated with great enthusiasm by the students particularly the small children in the primary school. They enjoyed fire-works which many of them had not seen before. The faculty fully participated in the celebrations.

62 new children joined the school, Shoshit Samadhan Kendra at the commencement of the current academic year in June 2015. Some of the students had been victims of child labour working in factories for making glass bangles, knives etc. in as far away places as Hyderabad. The children mostly belong to Gaya and Nalanda districts of Bihar. They have been rescued by an NGO called ‘Justice & Care’ with headquarters at Bangalore. All the rescued children also belong to the musahar community. Most of the children admitted at the school were from various districts of Bihar. The focus was recruiting children from remote villages in the most backward districts of the state. For these children it was beginning of a new life of hope and opportunity.   

July is the special month for the school as on the 16th of this month the school observed its 9th Foundation Day. The students of the school put-up a grand cultural performance which included one act plays and song / dance performances. The students of the senior school enacted the court scene of Shakespeare’s play ‘Merchant of Venice’ . They also did scene from Mahabharat – Yaksh-Yudhisthir dialogue which has great philosophical  content. The younger children shown their prowess in dance. Mr. Y.M. Deosthalee, Chairman & Managing Director of L&T Finance Ltd., Mumbai,  was the Chief Guest and among several VIPs present there was a representative from multinationals such as IL&FS and HSBC. Senior functionaries of Justice & Care, a UK based NGO, were also present. Parents of the students from far and wide have come to watch their children perform on stage.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed with Riverside School, a leading school of the country based in Ahmadabad and Shoshit Seva Sangh which runs SSK to upgrade the teaching skills of the teachers at SSK. In pursuance of this Agreement to faculty members of the Riverside School were at SSK for a week conducting workshops and interacting with the teachers in the first half of July 2015. New teaching methods sharing of ideas and methodology  of cooperation between Riverside and SSK were the features of the workshop. 

Independence Day on August 15, 2015, was celebrated at the school with great enthusiasm by the students and the faculty. The Chief Guest of the occasion was Chairman of the Bihar State Electricity Board, Shri Pratyay Amrit, IAS. As usual members of the Patna branch of HSBC were present on the occasion and distributed refreshments to the students.

Shri Jitendra Dev Pandey ‘Vidyarthi’ joined SSK as Project Leader. He comes with a rich experience of working with communities and youth in Rajasthan as a Gandhi Fellow and Programme Leader. He holds a degree in Hindi, a masters in Journalism and has worked in theatre before. He will be focusing on the psycho-social development of students and being the interface between the community and school.

A feature on Shoshit Seva Sangh and its Founder-Chairman, J.K. Sinha, was telecast on a leading English Television Channel of India - Times Now under their programme ‘Amazing Indians’. This was telecast at prime-time on Saturday, August 29 and Sunday, August 30, 2015. The youtube link is - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9d9-YyUiWIU

 

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Organization Information

SHOSHIT SEVA SANGH

Location: Patna, Bihar - India
Website: http:/​/​www.sssfoundation.org
Project Leader:
Jyotininvas Kumar
Sinha
Patna, Bihar India

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