Location: Amlashole, West Bengal
Amount Supported: $6300
Chapters: JHU, Morgantown, Pittsburgh
Contact Person: Nishikant Deshmukh
Amlasole is a remote village in West Midnapore District of of West Bengal. Only the Munda and Sabar communities live in this village. The main source of livelihood is from agriculture for the Mundas and collecting forest produce by the Sabars. The average annual income of the village is Rs 8100 annually. Several people died of starvation in 2004.
There is a local primary school but the Sabar children are discriminated against hence do not attend. Due to extreme poverty the children have to work at a very young age. The medium of instruction in the school is also alien to the Sabar children.
Our partner Micro Centre for Community Development and Research (MCCDR) in 2004 setup Berabhenge (Across Barriers) - school for the most disadvantaged children of the village. While the state approved syllabus and the textbooks are being followed, some new methods using the local language, pictorial teaching aids etc. are being tried by the teachers, who are local residents. Some particulars about the said school are given below.
To make holistic and culturally sensitive education accessible to the tribal communities and make government entitlements accessible to the communities in an effort to counter devastating poverty.
IMPACT (as of 2013)
* 55 children (23 boys and 32 girls) have enrolled from Class I to IV.
* 4 local residents are the teachers.
* Since both Sabar and Munda children come to school it has helped in bringing the communities together.
* A crèche across the school allows older siblings to leave the young ones and attend school.
* Mid-day meal is provided at the school and the crèche.
*Construction of a residential hostel has begun.
*a computer facility is being brought in for comprehensive learning.
*solar power facilities for the school has been brought in as well as machinery and training in agricultural techniques to support the local production of "Sal leaf" and improve the villagers economic standing.
* At present 21 of MCCDR students (versus only 9 in 2011) of different ages are studying at various formal boarding schools.
Association of India's Development has been supporting this work since 2012 and the following activities are being facilitated because of that:
*Admission of students to schools outside Amlasole (the nearest is 32 kms away)
*increasing remuneration of the staff of the school (Present name: Kengora Adarsha Sikshayatan)
*improving nutritional value of the food (mid-day meal) given to the students and the inmates of the crèche