Academic session this year started with visit to Janathepada. We had started our journey with Janathepada in 2012. In terms of the infrastructure, quality of the teaching, general health and hygiene, the school has shown remarkable improvement. We could see additional support in the form of Laptop, printer, Overhead projector and sound system, which was provided by the Gram Panchayat. Despite of all the positive, the school strength is still around 30. There are many schools in and around Janathepada, which results in low density in each school.
While the objective was to meet the new batch and kick off the session, we also ended up meeting the old students and were shocked to hear their side of the story. Eknath (polio affected) and his sisters Alka and Harshada stay next to the school. Their parents are constantly under the influence of alcohol and neglect kids. The kids were under tremendous depression. However, the sisters came out of it during our association with the schools in last 3-4 years. We were given to understand that Eknath, who is in class 10th at Vikramgadh, can’t go to school since he does not have money to take a travel pass for local bus. Eknath takes care of his sisters despite of him being under severe depression. We arranged for his travel to Vikramgadh for the studies. Additionally, we would try to connect with his school teachers to provide him extra support. Once he completes higher education and able to secure a job, he can help his sisters much better future. We would keep close watch on his progress with the help of the teachers.
Our common meeting was attended by the teachers from all the schools. Apart from distributing the notebooks, medicines and money, we worked out the action items for initial period of this academic year. Since most of the schools don’t have adequate teaching staff, they felt that it would be better to provide workbook to the kids, which can help them independently learn and practice the subjects. It would probably be the biggest project in terms of volume and cost. We thanks Shakilam Foundation for sponsoring this year’s notebooks for all our schools.