An Initiative By Nitya Sarthi Foundation
Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives honing tribal talent defines the work of Nitya Sarthi Foundation led by Jayesh Kirange, director of a finance company and a professor in finance subjects.
While working on a CSR project in the tribal villages in the Vikramgadh and Wada taluka of Palghar district in Maharashtra State, the poverty and lack of educational infrastructure struck him hard and ignited the spark of a welfare drive for the upliftment of tribals in the region through a ‘We Teach We Learn’ initiative.
He led a band of like-inspired volunteers to re-do a dilapidated school building in use in one of the villages. He transformed the mud structure school to an ultra-modern concrete structure with traditional Warli paintings adorning the walls with pride.
The seeds of Nitya Sarthi were sown. He discovered that students did not get good or fair teaching in the schools here as compared to their city counterparts.
Jayesh decided to launch a pilot project of taking some bright X standard students from four schools and guide them in Science, Mathematics and English subjects at a 30-days special coaching programme during the summer vacation this year at a building on Parsik Hill in Belapur, Navi Mumbai, magnanimously offered by the owners for the noble cause.
Surmounting initial hiccups like the students getting homesick staying away from home on vast open lands, health issues and convincing them to stay on to realize future dreams of professional careers, Jayesh’s team of nearly 60 volunteers were determined to make the first batch of 43 students, (out of the 50 that were brought here) that stayed back to complete the coaching programme from the most backward community in Palghar district, more brighter and smarter.
The one-month vacation batch will be repeated during the Diwali vacation for further coaching, stated Jayesh, who expressed confidence that these select students from 2 schools in Vikramgadh and 2 schools in Wada will score at least 10 per cent more marks in their Board examination.
There will be a new X standard batch every year. These children are introduced to yoga and meditation sessions and motivational talks, career counseling, spoken English and personality development as part of the holistic educational up-gradation programme.
Jayesh Kirange expressed that these students could become role models for more tribal students in the region. He calls upon interested volunteers to join his initiative so that more students could be taken up for upgrading their academic excellence. He voiced a desire to include sexually abused children in the said initiative.
The Nitya Sarthi Foundation also helped to dig and construct a well and lay a 1.5kms. pipeline to reach water to the Kundyachapada village in Vikramgadh, where women had to walk uphill and downhill covering 1.5kms. three or four times daily to fetch water for daily needs. The villagers pooled in their efforts through ‘shramdan’ for this project and also erected solar panels to generate electricity to pump water uphill to a 5000 lts. capacity water tank and then to 11 stand posts with 22 taps to serve 150 families of the village housing a population of 800 people.
Though the Foundation has not sought government assistance, as the registration of the Foundation is under process, the government could support such successfully implemented initiatives for the welfare of tribals across the State.
The dismissal of bureaucrats by the Modi government without retirement benefits should serve as a warning signal to those bureaucrats responsible and accountable for denying or misappropriating welfare provisions for the weakest sections of the society and should be investigated, nabbed and penalized adequately as a deterrent against such neglect and denial.