Tuesday, August 21, 2007
IDEA First Fellowship Distribution: Report from Sandip Naik
It was a cool and rainy day of July 3, 2007 when I and Dr R. N. Syag along with visited Eklera village of Dewas district in state of M.P. The village is approximately 135 km from the district head quarter and falls under Khategaon block. We had taken a SUV from Bhopal and started in the early morning, the road was full of ranges of hills and dense forest. I had a long chat with Dr Syag about the perspectives of education, role of community and how children can be tapped for higher education considering constrains of their family background, financial strata and their own interests of enhancing skills and competencies. When we reached Eklera, it was about 11 AM and we were given a warm welcome by the children, parents and some influential persons of the village like ex Sarpanch (Village Head). The children were very enthusiastic about the fellowship and wanted to know more about it. We started discussing about the present scenario and the role of parents in enhancing educational competencies of the children. They all started with the role of effective school which was certainly lacking there in the village, most of the children were enrolled in the school but assurance of quality education was not there hence they were worried and because of this some of the children had taken admissions in the vicinity and had gone for good education in the private schools. We also had a small discussion with the children and asked them to use the fellowship in a positive manner. Some of the children were left out and were not given as they did not pass the last exams. But we will assured that IDEA will not only focus on the fellowships but also try to do some sort of interventions in a systematic way so that all the infrastructure and other educational facilities can be improved. One thought was to start a children's hobby club in the village, where in Samavesh (an NGO working in the area for rural development) staff was agreed upon to start a Chakmak (synonym of science club) club in the village. The fellowship was distributed to 20 children and it was given away by the woman panch and other persons of the village. We also visited the school of the village and had a long chat with the teachers and community. The staff assured us that they will personally guide these children and will keep on appraising us about their progress. We had nice lunch at Pawan's home and came back. On the way we also met a girl Laxmi who is interested to study but due to financial problems she is unable to cope up. Only thing how long IDEA and others can help these less privileged children, why cant government think of certain schemes which are really beneficial for the poor children!!!!!!!