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A Support System For Underprivileged Children

Piramal Foundation
March 06, 2019

I was born in the small town of Jalalabad, Uttar Pradesh. All my life, I have always been struggling to get the quality education. Joining Miranda house, Delhi for pursuing Masters of Social Work in Counseling changed the game. It was during this time when an incident helped me discover my passion. One day when I had gone out with my friends, I had thrown a plate of Noodles in the dustbin, and then something happened that changed everything. A boy came running towards the dustbin, picked up the plate and started eating the food which was left out on the plate. That was the time when I decided I will become a support system for such children and also help them grow through education. Post this, I decided to join Goonj where I started working towards my lifelong dream of becoming a support system for underprivileged children. I also acquired core competencies such as teamwork, collaborative work, and critical thinking skills during my tenure at Goonj. After discussed with my mentor, Anshu Gupta, I decided to join Gandhi fellowship to get grass root level understanding of problems prevailing in rural India. This has been one of the best platforms which helped me improve my skills and also helped me the inner game of village development.

I completed my fellowship from Chikhaldara block, Amravati district, Maharashtra. Chikhaldara is a very beautiful place with natural greenery and fresh air but has so many issues too. In one of my villages, I had to form a youth group to deal with infrastructure, water supply in the village while working with 10 youth I came to know about problems like unemployment, lack of general knowledge, and computer skills which are much needed for a reputed job.

During my fellowship, I also got an opportunity to run a public system project on ”Women Leadership Development Program- Viruddhi” in two of the underdeveloped villages of Chikhaldara, Maharashtra where I worked towards developing the entrepreneurial skills among tribal women. By collaborating with Jeevan Vikas Sanstha, I also helped them hone their marketing and sales skills by helping them produce and market different products such as incense sticks, soap, and pickle. Furthermore, by collaborating with Goonj, I have successfully set up a center of tailoring covering 10 nearby villages for selling clothes with the help of tribal people. Here I learnt if you want to impact more people you have to be united. By collaboration  you can achieve impossible things and that give you feeling of I am possible.

 

Second initiative that encouraged me is to establishment of computer lab. Badnapur is one of my villages, where my objective was to form a youth group to deal with infrastructure, water supply and other basic necessities of the village. While working with 10 youth I came to know about problems like unemployment, lack of general knowledge, and computer skills which are much needed in today’s world. Apart from the youth perspective if talk about the whole Melghat region there are a lot of challenges like lack of resources, transportation, water supply, network/online computer facility and no medical facilities, that makes people go a long way away to do their MNREGA money status update, to link their Aadhaar card, and to do many micro or macro level tasks. The big challenge was that the parents bring their children with them when they go out of the village, it led very low attendance in Badnapur school. All issues are interconnected.

Consulting with school staff, the youth of the village and community members came to an idea of a Computer lab . By the help of Goonj organization and Gram Panchayat, we inaugurated ‘COMPUTER LAB’ in the  Panchayat Samithi Office which was in the school premises.

To get the idea into action and results, we designed a class which includes optimum level computer operations, surfing, and basics of computer applications and skills. 74 students are being taught in this class and 1500 people of 6 nearby villages come here and check their updates and do online transactions.

The success of the idea is, a Cluster Head (Kendra Pramukh) Mr, Dahikar sir got a chance to hone his skills. This is the first school in Melghat region which has an active community lab, and Mr. Dahikar knows to operate a computer and he does all his task online,  motivates other teachers, cluster heads to do the same.

Lastly, Gandhi fellowship helped me hone the skills of cooperation, collaboration, and conflict resolution.  

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