Annual Report 2001 – 2002
Adharshila Learning Centre
WHAT WE HAD PLANNED TO DO
This year we will finish four years of schooling. We had six groups this year. Five at the primary level one of which has given the 5th class board exam. The eldest group is preparing for the 10th exam to be given in 2004.
We landed here on the 10th june. The school started for the teachers on this date. As usual when we come here our primary concern is not education it is the infrastructure. Water? Electricity? Farm? Constuction? The farm had already been taken care of by Motiram bhai and Taka bhai who had sown whatever they thought fit. Unluckily we had to reap what they had sown and that was hardly anything… we are realising now when the children are collecting the farm produce. The main product is grass for the cow.. vow ! yes we have a cow this year and that is the best thing we have recruited so far. You wont believe this but she is giving us six litres of pure milk daily and if you have any inkling of dairying youll say man that’s great for a cow. The cow is pure desi Malwi breed in all probablility. It is a forced donation from the Go Sewa Samiti, Sendhwa. The credit for getting her goes to Jayashree who did the fighting part and to Kashiram bhai, Sohan, Dharla, Jairam and Taka bhai who trekked 30 k.m. while bringing her. the children got milk products of about 600litres this year amounting to atleast 6000/- on a very conservative estimate.
Getting back to the farm.. we got about 70 kg of daal besides the grass. The vegetable garden is getting better daily with late rains helping us. Lets see.. we’ve started eating tomatoes and beans and some bhindi.the children are bathing near the veg. plots to conserve water. After a lot of lobbyingwith the local MLA we were able to get three phase connection and a 5 hp submersible motor in our tubewell in december. After the tubewell the children are getting greens almost daily.
The year started with an unusual problem of the mess staff quitting suddenly. We realised that these were basically threats for increasing the monthly stipend. We talked to the children and teachers and it was decided that we should’nt give in to the threats. Not a question of money but of threats.
We have a new teacher who is much more enthusiastic about Kheti wadi than any of us and is actually worried about the low productivity. That’s a good sign. We have engaged a couple for cooking and farming who will stay on the campus. We are hoping that things will get better. This year the rains are a lot better. The trees have started to make their presence felt especially after the tubewell. Though not as much as we would have liked them to. Jayashree was desperate to add color to Adharshila and this she did by planting a lot of zeenia, holihox and other flowers. Yes we did see color. It is a great feeling for all those who were with us on the first day “….. on a barren piece of land, the wind whistling an abandoned tune….not a blade of grass…only a dream.” Hey report writing is not that bad a thing… it feels nice to rewind and see ourselves growing, faltering, learning ….(now you know how reports become bad things for the readers.)
The last year had ended with a strong demand from the parents to get proper terrazo flooring instead of themud flooring. We too were frustrated by the termite attacks every night. So be it.. we’ve got the floor of the main hall and our home tiled. The roof of one house was changed from tiles to asbestos due to dust and rain. The wood and tiles from this are being used to make a verandah in front of the main hall. A temporary cowshed ws made by the teachers and students.
1. Jhabua Trip
Nine children and on teacher of The Amazon group went to visit the villages of Alirajpur tehsil of the Jhabua district. They trecked abot 100 kms on this tour. They were able to see the forest conservation work done by the people through local organisation - the Khedut Mazdoor Chetna Sangath – in Kakraana, Attha, Vakner, and Khudamba villages. In Kakrana we styed in a school run by the organisations activists – Rani Kajal Jeevanshala. In all these villages they listened to the story of struggles led by the people in the past 20 years aginst exploitation by the forest and other departments. The children also stayed a night in Jalsindhi village and listend to their story of their struggle against the Sardovar Sarovar Dam.
They also spent a night at a rehabilitation site in Gujrat and finally went to see the Sardar Sarovar Dam. They were amazed to see such a structure and raised a lot of disturbing questions about submergence. They also faced the dilemma of their own increasing demand for electricity for agriculture and the problems of big dams.
We boated across to Doomkhedi village in Maharashtra from Jalsindhi and saw a small hydel project producing electricity for about eight households.
2. Kasravad to Baba Amte’s Ashram for a programme of the Narmada Bachao Andolan.
3. 23 children of the Kaveri group and two teachers went to see the water conservation work of an NGO – Samparkgram – in north Jhabua. This was a four day tour. They visited the villages and saw the work done bythe villagers. They also visited a night school and talked to children. Then they went to a nearby railway station to see a train for the first time in their lives.
They also went to the Rani Kajal Jeevan Shala.
4. Visits to houses of the beej group by the beej group children and their teacher in the the adjoining villages of Kunjari and Chatli to get parent feed back and improve parent- teacher contact. Children also went to the village school and sang songs and made friends with the children there.
5. The Yamuna group children went atop the Reechada Boyeda hill temple.
6. 50 resident students visited four villages – homes of our students- Jhiri jaamli, Surani, Langdi Moohdi, Panjriya. Basically this was a trip to have their fill of the goodies of the new crop that they were missing staying in the ashram. On the side they the surveyed about 10 houses in each village. The children went to the village Patel’s house tio ask the history of the village. At night they collected the villagers and children and sang songs. In some villages the played a kabadi match.
7. The Kaveri group visited the govt ashram in Bhoorapaani village about 5 k.m. from our school. There also the children sang songs and talked to the children about their schools and the activities that they do.
8. Excavation Site, Budhgaon. All the school children went to see step well being excavated at Budhgaon about 5 km. From the school. Children also helped in the excavation and brought some bones and pottery pieces from there. They had a long discussion with the Sadhus who austensibly dreamt of this step well.
Two trainings were held – four days each. One at the becinning of the session in May 2001 and 0ne in midsession in November 2001.
Baal Diwas a Baal Mela was organised on the 11th November.
ATTENTED FUNCTIONS/ MEETINGS
Id Milan in Sendhwa
The School, Krishnamurthy foundation, Chennai
1. Shri Pranjal Shrotri a dramatist from Indore conducted a 4 day drama worksop. 12 chidren participated in the workshop. He taught them various techniques related to drama and also prepared three short plays.
2. Shri Amit Bhatnagar conducted a drama workshop. In this workshop drama was used to discuss the problems and conflicts faced by the adolecent chldren. The children discussed the issues and narrated there experiences. Based on these the scenes were constructed. Later on the scenes were joined to make a full 20 minute play. There was no preconceived script. The play was made by improvisation. Math Workshop
3. A half day math workshop was conducted by Shri Ravi Bhatia of Delhi (A graduate from IIM Ahmedabad). Ther were abot 40 children in this workshop. He enthused the children with interesting maths tricks and puzzles. Origami Workshop
4. Shri Kailash from Ujjain had come with the Eklavya, Dewas team. He taught the children various items of origami. The caps were a great hit. The children were coming to school wearing these caps for almost a month. The children in turn taught these items to their friends in the village and also to the children of Rani Kajal Jeevan Shala, a school run by tribals in the Jhabua district.
5. The Eklavya Dewas team showed the children simple science experiments using junk material. The children also performed these experiments. They also demonstrated thesein the Annual Function.
Social Science Workshops
6. This was also conducted by the Eklavya, Dewas team. They asked the children to respond to some chapters of the social science books prepared by them. A visually impared person Sri Ram and Shri Arvind conducted this workshop.
CONSTRUCTION On the demand of the parents and termites we got the floor of the school hall and our own home tiled.
A tedmporary cow shed was made by the teachers and students. An iron cage is being made for the school poultry.
Old Mac Donald had a farm
The cow is providing the children with about 6 –7 litres of milk every day, in return the children look after her and clean her room.
We are desperately trying to save the 15 odd hens and about 40 chicks from. All the village dogs have started collecting in the school premises. What motivating power!! We have visitors too- snkes, scorpions, frogs insects, a cat, rats-huge…..
One hall, two teachers quarters, a mess and a store, an office cum library and an octagonal classroom. A hand pump a cowshed and some shade from a few trees makes Adharshila quite a livable place inspite of termites, snakes, scorpions and a very erratic electric supply about 10 km. from the Sendhwa town.
A new teacher and a couple have joined the school this year. One teacher who had deserted us for a lucrative job has come back disillusioned from the industrialised india. Another teacher left us after six months – he did not want to take up any responsibility in the ashram. Some children have also left us. A new class of small children – the beej group has joine us.
9. The beej group was taken to the village river. A day was spent there. The children drew whatever they saw. Those who could write , wrote the names of things they saw. Discussion about water, rains and related topics took place in the class after the trip for the week.
In the science class the Brahmputra group chioldren recorded the daily rainfall of the season through a rain gauge.
The Kaveri group science class started this year by collecting questions from the children. The children raised very interesting questions ranging from why does not fall while spinning ? from where does the electricity come? Where do clouds go? Why does a bulb glow ? discussion was held with the children about the possible answers without giving importance towhat is the correct answer. Answers to these questions were given to the extent the children could understand the topic.
A lot of discussion these days is taking place about the american war – on whose side should we be?
The morning assembly has been started this year in which children read out important news events: some students give a talk on a topic of their interest and some sing a song or narrate a story. Each week a different class is givern the responsibility to conduct the assembly.
Every Thursday a baal sabha is conducted to give the children a chance to perform in front of the school.
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