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A glimmer of hope for underprivileged children

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  19 July 2017 12:00 AM GMT

Ekal Vidyalaya network

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 18: Ekal Vidyalaya – meaning one village, one school and one teacher – is for dang sure to get education for all underprivileged children. This is a glimmer of hope for children who live in villages located in the back of behind. As many as 56,000 such schools are being run by Friends of Tribals Society (FTS) in the country, including 3,570 in Assam. The Northeast as a whole has as many as 4,290 such schools and 660 more such schools are going to be set up this year in the region.

Ekal Vidyalaya is a mission to bring underprivileged children to the classroom. There are many villages in the country, especially in the Northeast where there are no schools. If children from poor families in such villages are to go to schools, they have to go far off. They, however, do not have proper and cheaper connectivity to send their children to schools from their villages.

Ekal Vidyalayas provide education from Class I to Class III free of cost. The NGO runs its network of schools through generous dotions they get from public sector undertakings like ONGC, Oil India and other companies. They do not get anything from the government. They do not charge any fees either from the parents of students for the education they impart. The persons they pick as teachers for their schools are from the very villages where the schools are located. The medium of instruction for such schools is the very medium prevalent in the respective States and regions. In the BTAD in Assam the medium of instruction is Bodo while it is Assamese in rest of the State. Apart from bookish knowledge, the children in Ekal Vidyalayas are made go for co-curricular activities like games and sports and yoga. They have chosen some areas along the borders with Bangladesh, Myanmar and Chi for the setting up of such schools. Besides remoteness, insurgency has also spelt doom for the fate of many children in Assam. Ekal Vidyalayas are known for making children fit for admission into class IV in other schools being run under the State Education Departments. Apart from education, such schools do a lot for health and hygiene. They impart health education among the children, besides employing a gram sevika for five-ten villages. The gram sevikas educate the rural folk on health and hygiene and apply first aid when necessary. For serious cases they advise people to go for better treatment.

Apart from spreading education among children, such schools also play a vital role in spreading education on social reforms. They take classes on social reforms through kothas for adults in amghars or temples premises, that too, in the evening when most of parents prefer to go for binge drinking. According to Ekal Vidyalaya’s Guwahati Chapter president Pawan Kumar Agarwal, the timing of such classes is to prevent parents of such children from being addicted to liquor.

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