Visit to Vikramgad on 30th Sept 2018 was to conduct medical camp at Nandelpada. We could not conduct the camp in this school in the month of August. Nandelpada is a very small place with extremely difficult access. During the rainy seasons, at times, only two wheeler or heavy vehicles can manage to reach there as the bridges are submerged under the water.
There are 41 kids in the school. They don’t have scarcity of water. Moreover, this is one of those villages, wherein the villagers grow vegetables apart from rice. Overall health of children was good. The kids have very short frame genetically in this area. Parents are not very knowledgeable or aware but are ready to change. While the kids did not have skin specific problems, they needed improvement in de-worming.
We also had embarked on a new initiative linked with the senior students (i.e. students from our schools and had moved to other seniors schools). We had identified 12 students from Janathepada, who were part of the junior school earlier. Most of them study in Vikramgad school, wherein there are 120 odd kids per class. As per the rules, these kids can’t fail till 8th standard, which means even if their fundamentals are very weak, they can move to next class. Once they move to the next class, there is no way they can correct the flaws in the fundamental understanding and even cope up with advanced studies of current standard. The situation becomes worse, when the 120 odd kids study in the same class. Neither teacher can give specific attention nor the shy kids have audacity to ask the questions. Many a times, the kids don’t know what to ask. To address this, we have arranged for tuition for these 12 kids at Janathepada. One lady teacher conducts classes in Maths and English for these kids. One of the kids is Eknath, the polio affected kids with disturbed childhood. At the minimum, if they can clear 12th Standard, they can become eligible for the government jobs. We had our first evaluation today, which was not very encouraging. These kids were away from us (SF team including teachers) for almost 6 years and did not open up easily. We need to focus a bit more on this to see whether this model works or we need to find alternate ways to guide them.
Vikramgad and Palghar are known for the famous Warli painting. There are not many artists in the region and also they are not able to look at it from commercial angle. Over a period of time, the new generation got distracted and moved away from this form of art. We have one artist from Janathepada whom we are encouraging, guiding and helping him to promote his work and possibly see how he can commercial this art to earn decent livelihood. We are encouraging younger generations to take up this art, however, this would be effective only if we are able to project it as commercial viable art form. We would feature this in our next few posts.