Friday, July 31, 2009

Realization of Right to Education at grass root: Pedagogy of oppressed

Realization of Right to Education at grass root: Pedagogy of oppressed


 Ms. Shruti Nagvanshi and Ms. Shabana Khan



The dream of marginalized people in Belwa village of Varanasi, India to educate their children was fulfilled with the inauguration of school by the Elementary education officer (BSA) Mr. Pradeep Kumar Pandey on 7th August, 2009 at 11:30 AM and with the exceptional contribution of Mrs. Reshma Devi, local resident of Belwa village. She donates her own land and JMN/PVCHR born the expense of the registry of the land. The inaugural session was witnessed with the key staff of PVCHR, Ms. Loreine B. dela Cruz (Lou), Chairperson of Balay, Philippines and Ms. Frauke Bergmann, interns from Germany and many teachers from nearby Government school and respected people of the village.


Before this Government school, as a go-stop activity Jan Mitra Nyas/Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) establish autonomous centre known as "Sant Kabir Jan Mitra Kendra" on 27th July, 1997 to educate 200 children of the Karkha, Barepur, Hatiya and Natan and 116 boys and 101 girls starts getting the education. The centre was financially supported by Child Right and You (CRY), Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT), Raj Dulari Foundation, Sweden and library with the support of ASHA as direct support to children. At the same time, PVCHR organized the peoples' centric advocacy and campaign for right of education at grass root level which is supported by VOP and AHRC. 


On 3rd September, 2002 villagers demands with the administration to open one primary school. The Assistant Elementary education officer in the letter no/71-72/2002-2003 dated 6 May 2002 and dated 24 February 03 on duty S.D.I. and on 21 March 2003 BRC co-ordinator visit the area. In the report he stated 211 children were present in the school and this ghetto was marginalized with the education due to the politically biased enmity.

Children organized child parliament in front of the district head quarter on 8th August, 2003 and demands for school in their area. On 26th August, 2003 tehsil diwas (day) 250 children walk 5 km from the Sant Kabir Jan Mitra Kendra to the Pindra tehsil and report their demand to SDM Pindra.   SDM misbehaved with the children and ordered lathi charge on the children and the villagers. Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi convener of the PVCHR was detained under section 151and he was release after 4 hours.  Three others activist were charged under 107/16 for the legal proceeding.


The Children of the Belwa village are uncensoring themselves through the children assembly (Bal Panchayat) known as "Sant Kabir Child "through the street play, child magazine Bachho Ki Duniya and pen friendship with the children of the Gottengen High School, Remscheid Germany with the help of Ms. Helma Ritscher, Chairperson Indo-German Society of Remscheid, Germany.


Mr. Rajendra Tiwari, present village head of Belwa village does not covet to open the school, as he used to engage Mushars people as a bonded labour in the his brick kiln factory. Mr. Gehru Musahar and Mr. Bothu Musahar were released from bonded labour with the support of the PVCHR; in this case Mr. Tripathi was sentenced to pay fine for resorting to bonded labour in his brick kilns under section 374 of IPC crime no. 1 April 2002.


The struggle for the Rights in the Belwa village was sturdy. Several times PVCHR activist received threatening phone calls to stop human rights work "if you raise the issue of starvation and hunger death then you must be killed", and that the staff of PVCHR would be charged with false accusations in order to discredit the organisation and force it to close down.


PVCHR had initiated several activities in Belwa village and several other villages within Uttar Pradesh, with an intention to empower the lower caste communities to make better use of the recent change in the state administration favouring the lower caste communities in the state and in India.


The PVCHR, along with the AHRC and other national and local human rights organisations, organised folk-schools in these villages, starting from Belwa. The PVCHR also invited the district administration as well as officials from the Uttar Pradesh State Commission for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe to participate in these sessions. The member of the Commission Mr. Rajbahadur Yadav participated in one of these sessions held at Belwa on 21 May 2007.


In the meanwhile the PVCHR also promoted establishment of community centers in these villages, of which the community centre in Belwa was inaugurated by the then DM Mr. Nithin Gokarnan,which is used for meeting of community as well as ICDS center at Musahar ghetto and PPC center of SDTT-JMN at Patel ghetto.


Through our services, grass root campaign and peoples' advocacy at local-global level, the Belwa village is the model village as the child right centric, vibrant democratic society against torture and organized violence, which started sustain initiative for the fulfillment of the justice, fraternity and the rule of law. Its influenced the marginalized at the blocks and tehsil to uncensor and fight for their rights same as a stone is thrown in the pond it shows the ripple effect. We are remebering the quote of Robert F. Kennedy in 1966 at South Africa "We all struggle to transcend the cruelties and the follies of mankind. That struggle will not be won by standing aloof and pointing a finger; it will be won by action, by those who commit their every resource of mind and body to the education and improvement and help of their fellow person."


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Realization of Right to Education at grass root: Pedagogy of oppressed

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