Thursday, October 20, 2022

Educate Girl Programme- Singarpur Survey Process


Kajal Goswami shares her field experience working under the Educate Girl programme of Edu leader. Kajal and Rajni were assigned with the task of collecting survey data from Singarpur. They set out to work at 10 in the morning and began by making a rough sketch or an overview map of the village, strategizing as there were about four wards in the village. However, these efforts proved to be futile as due to the geographical area that was greater than expected. To better grasp the features of the village they decided to call former edu leaders Abhishek and Neetu. Neetu suggested approaching ward members of the village as they could guide with the proceedings. They went to the house of a ward member and met Ruby Sharma who, while hesitant at first, was extremely impressed by the motives of Kajal and Rajni. She therefore decided to call up her Husband Murari Sharma. With skepticism, he asked questions about the utility of the survey and upon understanding the depth of the survey activities and the inclination, Edu-leaders were more than happy to guide them and support them in any which manner possible. Thus, the overview map was successfully created, and it turned out that Mr. Murari Sharma was also a teacher and educator himself. The survey team was beyond happy and motivated by the kindness of Mr. Sharma who expressed his willingness to participate in the survey and solve any issues or miscommunications that might arise during the following process of data collection. Thus, the first day of making a vision and action plan was fruitful and Kajal ended the day by talking to a few more locals residing in the area before returning.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

November Agenda at Chaugai


Rokhsar Afroz gives insights on the happenings of the cluster meetings that take place on a regular basis to discuss and present the viewpoints of the stakeholders in the Edu-leader community. The latest meeting occurred on 25th October in Government Middle School, Chaugai. The meeting kicked off at 10.30 in the morning with Ms. Sujata joined in as the Buddy of the meet. Roshkar was extremely happy to see a new face join in as the buddy, as a means to introduce them to the foundations of the activities so as to get them accustomed to the agenda. To introduce Zen environment and maximize productivity the meet started off with a meditation which while difficult to follow through for over five minutes gave a boost to the overall morale. Then there was a song rendition of Taar Ki Gaon Mein, Chanda Ki Chhaon Mein. The three main areas of focus that were carried forward from the previous meeting were the achievements, challenges ahead and the good that was being achieved every day. Short and long-term goals were discussed, and it was decided to curb underage drinking among the school students of the village by taking mitigation steps for the month of November.

The Action plan to achieve this included- Having open communication channels with the children to address their problems as well as get to the root cause of their indulgence in the activity. Discussing the topic of Alcoholism in Assembly to make them aware of the health risks associated as well as understand the parent involvement through dialogue with the student’s guardian.

The meeting ended with a fun game of Tiger, Wall and Gun which is very similar to Stone, Paper and Scissor with the victor claiming the highest score.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Cluster Meeting in Rampur Village

Edu leader Seema from Batch 6 of Neema village shares another instance of the Cluster meetings that take place regularly organized by the Panchayat Bhawan of Rampur village. All the 12 Edu-leaders who attended the meeting started off by sharing their experiences of the week and meditating to have an overall positive outlook before deep diving into the agenda. The meeting highlighted the importance of improving the cleanliness levels in schools as well as inculcating the principle of conserving water throughout the village. To keep up with the Smart goals of the previous meeting it was founded that Rampur village had improved in these domains by 80% and in Neema region by 85% with a cumulative improvement of 75%.

Before setting new Smart goals, the meet decided to complete the backlog tasks right from getting the door fixed in Neema school, arranging for carpets in Rampur school as well as fixing the floors in Aamas school. The Edu-leaders could also work on their own agenda for attaining the goals and present it for feedback. The meeting ended with a flourish with everybody looking forward to completing their tasks.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Edu-leader Naziya works to bring children back to school

Naziya, an Edu leader saves the day through her daily observations. Six months ago she noticed that four children had out of nowhere stopped coming to school. As days went by, this concerned her deeply and she decided to ask around among their classmates. This revealed that the children have moved to live in a locality named Parham, which was two kilometers away from where their school was located which meant they had to shift schools in the middle of the term due to the difficulty in commuting.

To check up on them Naziya contacted the parents who assured her that they were all for educating their daughters. However, they were anxious given that the Headmistress of the school had refused to give them a Transfer Certificate (TC) which meant that the girls wouldn’t be able to start in another school that was nearby any day soon.

The Edu-leaders promptly decided to step in and talk to the Headmistress. However, given that the transfer was in the middle of the term and strict regulations had to be followed which meant ensuing complicated processing, the Headmaster stuck to the previous decision and refused to follow through with the TC. Nonetheless, Naziya refused to give up on the prospect of good education for these girls and kept thinking of numerous options that would give a positive output, when her attention fell on the address of the Headmistress who herself came from Parham.  But that didn’t pan out as she came by a two-wheeler with her son and couldn’t bring two more girls in the vehicle. However, she suggested the school cook, as she too lived in Parham. The edu-leaders decided to talk with her and she replied positively stating that she would bring the girls in with her to school every day. 

The parents were informed of the new development and were pleased to be able to send their daughters to school every day, given that they were already behind on a few weeks of schooling. They now go to school every day and the edu-leaders, especially Naziya are doing their best to get them back on the fast track to learning and all the efforts finally paid off.


Naziya is an edu-leader in Munger, Bihar. Shruthi works with Tata group. She is volunteering with i-Saksham to bring stories from the field to you.

Back To School

In a village named Sitarampur, there live two girls named Komal and Shivani who are now fourteen and thirteen years old respectively. A few years back they had to drop out of school before reaching sixth grade so as to undertake the management of household responsibilities. Both their families remained silent towards pushing their children to school due to the workload at home. The fathers of both the girls had themselves only completed primary education before immersing themselves in going to work and earning for the family. When the team approached the family to understand the situation behind the scenes, the parents revealed that while they had no issues with education itself it becomes a problem when there are several tasks at home that the mother itself is unable to handle which means the children are assigned tasks to support the family. Largely this means that school and education are put on the backburner. 

The team then proceeded to explain the merits of learning and the long-term returns that children who are educated accrue in the future. While the parents came to a general agreement they desired to send their daughter to school only if they themselves showed inclination towards education as they were unwilling to push their children into something undesired. The team then went on to have conversations with the children who immediately expressed interest but their enthusiasm was dampened with the worries of getting admissions given their three year gap and receiving a new transfer certificate from primary to middle school. 

Delighted by their eager response, the Edu-leader team reassured them that all the processes involved would be taken care of without hassle. They took both of them to meet the Principal of the Primary School who agreed to give them the Transfer Certificate. They then approached the Middle School and successfully got them enrolled there. The girls then promised that they would go to school everyday. But they didn’t have any uniforms ànd their parents readily agreed to get them new uniforms,bags,shoes and socks.

Two days later when their father brought them to meet the Edu-leader team, he confirmed that they now go to school regularly. The people in Komal’s village who had earlier said that Komal can’t and will never go back to school are astounded by her progress and conviction in returning to school. Komal and Shivani are now happier than ever and so are their parents.

           Given a chance, Everyone can move forward.

Credits: Shruthi works with the Tata group. She is volunteering with i-Saksham to bring stories from the field to you.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Seema's Journal - Key To Unleasing the Hero in Every Child


Seema Devi, an edu-leader from Gaya has put in a great deal of hard work in supporting the learning journey of the children of a school in her village in Bihar while learning and re-learning her own notions.Every day she ensures that her duties for the day are completed but she doesn't stop there. She meticulously plans the course for the next day to be on top of the game. Since the initial days at the fellowship, an idea struck her; to journal her time at school.

This gave her the space that she required to think freely and not be bound by the normal conventions of what was expected of her role as edu leader . This provided an avenue to process thoughts as she began bullet journaling by answering her questions such as-

  • What is the aim of today's class?
  • What does my job as an edu leader entail?
  • Did I succeed in delivering the objectives of the lesson for the day?
  • Was I able to successfully impart in the minds of the students what I set out to fulfill?
  • How are students responding to her ?

While collecting this information was challenging at times due to its qualitative nature, Seema manages with her keen observation skill and feedback from her students.

Upon continuing with the practice, her outlook on the process and her role as an edu leader gains a new dimension as she tries and succeeds in comprehending how any activity performed in the classroom has a deep impact in not just their minds but also their EQ and overall development.

This meant going the extra mile, to keep an eye on the pursuits of the students.

As her Eureka moment was possible only because of her newfound passion for journalling, Seema goes on to pass this knowledge trail to fellow edu leaders who are equally fascinated by their newfound recognition of the infinite details in their students' behavior and psychology.

To ensure the modus operandi was kept alive, regular dialog with other edu leaders was started to keep up the banter. On one such occasion, Seema recollects that she had been in touch with a fellow edu leader for over a week and on engaging in talks about their on-the-job experience it took her and others over a day to understand the experiences of the predecessor that helped them all make useful inferences.

Upon further review of the journal, the personality traits of the students became more and more evident, more so than would have been possible had the edu leaders merely relied on their communication skills and not jotted down their interactions with every student, which further strengthened her belief on penning down one's impressions and purpose after clocking out.

She also throws in caution that while it is important to jot down your activities, it mustn't be done to prove a point to a superior, guilt trapping a fellow educator by projecting superiority, making a pretense by displaying false claims or using it as a means to offhandedly project job not done. Instead, it should be undertaken with due diligence knowing that each student deserves your attention and while it might be difficult for those edu leaders who have a larger class population, one can always learn through experimenting for oneself and adopting best practices.

She concludes by stating that-

When I started working as an Edu-leader I was only aware of myself - what I did in class, what I did outside class, and how I had prepared for the day. But now I am becoming more and more conscious – of the vital role of the child. After all, the learner is the child and his function is the most important.

Credits: Seema is an edu-leader in Gaya, Bihar. Shruthi works with Tata group. She is volunteering with i-Saksham to bring stories from the field to you.

Meet Danish, the curious green warrior in Munger, Bihar

Edu-leader Babita went on with her day, as usual, especially given that it was the beginning of a productive week undertaking the task of observing the ongoing classes and came to check in on a class handled by edu-leader Sama when she encountered a little boy and her interaction with him fascinated her beyond belief. It is in the simplicity of everyday life and the mundane things of nature that children find joy and this awareness itself is beautiful.

As Babita entered the class buzzing with activity, her attention immediately fell on a little boy looking outside at the corn fields that were located behind the premises of the school and there in his hand was a corn stalk that he had gripped tightly so as to not let go.

She slowly went up to him and asked him to introduce himself. He courteously replied that his name was Danish. Having realized that Babita had noticed the corn stalk in his hand asked her if she knew what the item in his hand was. Babita, to assess the depth of his understanding, faked surprise and asked him to tell her what the flowering plant in his hand was.

Upon completing class observation, Babita decides to ask edu-leader Sama, who is more experienced in handling these kids, about Danish’s intrigue. Sama explains that he is a student in grade four and is involved in Story Writing Activities. Any story that he creates and narrates has elements of plants and trees in them. He never misses a chance to learn more about the green life around him. To learn more about Dhanish’s engrossment in this subject, Babita met up with his mother, who elaborates on his interest with enthusiasm stating that not only does he enjoy gathering information on plants and trees but in fact, he cherishes planting them and enjoys watching them grow from scratch. In his house, he had an area separated solely to grow flowering plants and fruits. 

In an age where deforestation due to excess human consumption has caused problems of severe environmental degradation, to see a fourth grader not just show interest in planting seeds for tomorrow as a theory but show involvement and get to work without any external push is a wonderful sight to behold. Babita was convinced that the future of India looked greener in hands of such young citizens of tomorrow.

Credits: Babita is a peer-mentor to edu-leaders in Munger. She shared this experience. Shruthi works with Tata group and is volunteering with i-Saksham.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

शिक्षा के बारे में बापू के विचार : प्रियंका

 शिक्षा के बारे में बापू के विचार

महात्मा गाँधी जी के अनुरूप विद्यालय, घर का ही विस्तार होना चाहिए। यदि सर्वोत्तम परिणाम प्राप्त करना है, तो एक बच्चा घर और विद्यालय में जो संस्कार सीखता है, उनके बीच सामंजस्य होना चाहिए। एक नयी भाषा के माध्यम से शिक्षा उस सामंजस्य को तोड़ देती है जो एक बच्चे के लिए उसके शुरुआती सीखने के सफर में मौजूद होने चाहिए। 

जो लोग मातृभाषा के साथ इस रिश्ते को तोड़ते हैं, वे लोगों के दुश्मन होते हैं, भले ही उनके इरादे नेक हों। इस शिक्षा प्रणाली का स्वेच्छा से शिकार होना उतना ही अच्छा है जितना कि अपनी माताओं के प्रति अपने कर्तव्य के प्रति विश्वासघात।

विदेशी पद्धति की शिक्षा द्वारा किया गया नुकसान यहीं नहीं रुकता; यह बहुत आगे जाता है। 

इसने शिक्षित वर्गों और जनता के बीच एक खाई पैदा कर दी है। लोग हमें अपने से अलग प्राणी के रूप में देखते हैं।

गाँधी जी कहते हैं कि जिस तरह से अंग्रेजी शिक्षा दी गयी है, उसने अंग्रेजी पढ़े लिखे भारतीयों को कमजोर कर दिया है, इसने भारतीय छात्रों की ऊर्जा शक्ति पर भारी दबाव डाला है और हमें नकलची बना दिया है। स्थानीय भाषाओं को विस्थापित करने की प्रक्रिया ब्रिटिश संबंध में सबसे दुखद अध्यायों में से एक रही है।

(Source: महात्मा गाँधी के चयनित कार्य, वॉल्यूम 5, सत्य की आवाज)

नई तालीम के माध्यम से बापू ने दर्शाया है कि किस तरह हम अपने बच्चों का सर्वांगीण विकास अपने गाँव समाज की बातों, क्रियाओं को सीखकर कर सकते हैं। अपने आसपास के क्षेत्र में होने वाली शारीरिक गतिविधि का सम्पूर्ण बोध तथा अपने समाज, वातावरण का महत्व बच्चों को पता हो यही गुण बापू के अनुसार किसी भी व्यक्ति को सक्षम बनाने में सही साबित होंगे। 

बहुत सारे लोग आज मानते हैं कि नई तालीम एक पुरानी शिक्षा पद्धति है। गाँधी जी के विचार बीसवीं सदी तक ठीक हैं उन्होंने गांवों के विकास के बारे अनेकों बात कही है। आज के समाज मे नई तालीम कैसे लाभप्रद होगी? आज हम ऐसे परिवेश हैं, जहां अमीर और अमीर होता जा रहा है और गरीब और गरीब। इसका संतुलन बिठाना किसका काम है? 

हम आज आपको इसी विचार के साथ छोड़ते है कि क्या यही शिक्षा हम अपने बच्चों को देना चाहते हैं, जो हमने प्राप्त की है या हमें गांधी जी के विचारों पर विचार करने की आवश्यकता 21वीं सदी में भी है?

Saturday, January 15, 2022

रंगों की दुनियाँ : काजल गोस्वामी

मेरी कक्षा में एक बच्चों का कोना है जिसमें बच्चे अपनी मनपसंद और मर्जी के चित्र स्वयं बनाकर लगा सकते हैं। आज मैं जब बच्चों को पढ़ा रही थी तो बीच में मैंने बच्चों से रंगों के बारे में पूछा लेकिन उन्हें रंगों के नाम के सबरे में ज्यादा नहीं पता था। 

फिर मैंने बच्चों से पूछा कि आप लोग क्या सारे रंग पहचानते हैं? तो बच्चों ने बताया कि नहीं दीदी हमें रंग का नाम नहीं पता है तो मैंने सोचा क्यों ना बच्चों के साथ एक छोटी सी गतिविधि करवाई जाये जिसमें कि बच्चे थोड़े से रंगों के बारे में जाने और और उनका मनोरंजक भी हो जाये।

तब मेरे मन में ख्याल आया, “क्यों ना हम रंगों का बाजार बनाए”!

जहाँ पर सभी रंग दिखते हों- लाल, पीला, हरा, नीला, गुलाबी, सफेद और काला। तो मैंने बारी-बारी से बच्चों को कहा बच्चों अपने पास उपस्थित सारे रंग निकाल लीजिए। 

आज हम रंगों का बाजार सब मिलकर बनाएंगे तो मैंने बच्चों को अपनी मनपसंद एक एक रंग चुनने को कहा और उनको मैंने कहा कि वह एक पन्ने पर उस रंग को पूरे में भरे और साथ में उसका नाम भी बताएं। 

मुझे कुछ बच्चों का नाम नहीं पता था तो मैंने उन्हें बताया कि इसी तरह एक-एक बच्चे ने अपना रंगों का बाजार बनाया और हमारे बाजार में सभी प्रकार के रंग थे। इस गतिविधि से मैं यह समझ पाई कि जब हम बच्चों को कुछ करने के लिए प्रोत्साहित करते हैं तो बच्चे उससे सीखते हैं और उसे याद रखते हैं और इसलिए आज का अनुभव मेरे लिए बहुत खास रहा।

Friday, January 14, 2022

स्त्री (कविता) : प्रिया कुमारी


स्त्री माँ है, स्त्री बेटी है। 
स्त्री ही बहन है, स्त्री देवी है। 

 स्त्री धन है, स्त्री मन है,,
 स्त्री ही लक्ष्मी है, स्त्री कर्म है।

 स्त्री में ही पूरा संसार है, 
 स्त्री से विना कोई कहानी नहीं है। 

 स्त्री धर्म है ,स्त्री ही कर्म है, 
 स्त्री केे सम्मान भी पुण्य है। 

 स्त्री राग है वो ही बिराग है, 
स्त्री सुलझी हुई एक किताब है। 

 स्त्री प्रेम है वो ही कोर्ध भी है। 
स्त्री से ही जीवन भी हैं। 

 स्त्री ही सुख है ,स्त्री ही दुख है,
स्त्री ही सहनशीलता का मुरत भी। 

 स्त्री की सम्मान ही सबकी सम्मान हैं,
स्त्री का अपमान ही जग का अपमान है।

तुम रुकना नहीं चलते जाना (कविता) : तानिया

तुम रुकना नहीं चलते जाना

माना की मुश्किल बहुत है 
 पर तुम रुकना नहीं चलते जाना 
 मुश्किल को आसान करते जाना 

माना की ये कठिन है 
 पर तुम डरना नहीं चलते जाना 
 डर को मात देते जाना 

माना की जोश है 
पर पर तुम होश मत गवाना चलते जाना 
परिस्थितियां कैसी भी हो मत घबराना 
खुद को मजबूत बनाते जाना 

माना की रास्ते लंबे है 
पर तुम थकना नहीं चलते जाना 
 मंजिल की चाह में बढ़ते जाना 

 माना की हुनर कम है 
 पर अपनी हर अनुभवे से सीखते जाता 
 नई हुनर को बुनते जाना 

 माना की असफलता का कोई समय नही 
 पर हर एक छोटी सफलता को मनाना 
 सफलता जब न मिले तो उसे और बेहतर कर 
 खुद निखरते जाना 

 माना की मुश्किल बहुत है 
 पर तुम रुकना नहीं चलते जाना 
 मुश्किल को आसान करते जाना.

कविता "दुनिया" : श्रवण


आज सुबह यूं छत पर बैठे, सुनी दूर से आती वंदना की धुन

एक बड़ी सी निजी स्कूल के अहाते, कोई तान रहा था बुन 

मन ने सोचा, क्या होता होगा? 

जब ठीक सड़क के उस पार बने दूसरे विद्यालय का कोई बच्चा इसे सुनता होगा 

तान रोज वो भी तो कोई बुनता होगा? 

क्या होता होगा जब वो सुनता होगा यह आवाजें विश्वास से भरी 

शायद सोचता होगा, सड़क के बस उस पार है एक दुनिया बड़ी 

कुछ धोखा हुआ तुमसे, जिसकी इमारतें हो चीखती खड़ी!

पूछता खुद से, क्या करूँ जो उस पार चला जाऊं 

अपने सपनों की एक नई दुनिया बसा पाऊँ 

काले जूते, बढियाँ टाई लगा मैं भी क्यूँ न इठलाऊँ!


वहाँ, जहाँ खाली कमरे मुझे घूरते न हो 

विद्या के नाम, बस सरस्वती की मूर्ती न हो 

जहां मैं पढ़ सकूं, बढ़ सकूं, बुलंदियों की सीढ़ी चढ़ सकूं 

खुद की नियती को बदल सकूं, 

जोर लगा जो सड़क के उसपार मैं उछल सकूं!

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Reena, The Manager of Home and Panchayati Samiti: Priyanka Kaushik

The Manager of Home and Panchayati Samiti

An army personnel’s wife, a mother, a teacher, and an edu-leader -Reena easily juggles all these roles. She is a native of village Nariyana in Jamui district, Bihar. Along with her fellowship, she has been a member of the Panchayat Samiti of her village since 2017. She has three children and her eldest daughter is studying in class 5. 

Panchayat Samiti’s important functions are agriculture, land improvement, watershed development, social and farm forestry, and technical and vocational education. As part of her role, Reena has to visit block offices, solve the community’s problems and help in the implementation of public policies. The reason she joined this fellowship was that the cause is very close to her heart. She shared that she always wanted to be a teacher – she even has a B.Ed. degree. The fellowship sessions, particularly the learning circle session, gave her theoretical knowledge of government schemes like MGNREGA, Pradhan Mantri Indira Awas Yojana, filling the forms for AADHAR card and other government schemes. She thanks her family and in-laws for providing the required support to pursue this intense two-year fellowship.

The school in her community Nariyana already has a sufficient number of teachers so she went to a school in the nearby village Singaritad to teach students. There she got immense support from the headmaster and teachers. They gave her a free hand and she was able to use her pedagogy skills to teach – such as teaching with storytelling, real-life examples, phonics, and reciting poems. 

To persuade her students to maintain cleanliness, hygiene, and a positive environment, she started sweeping the school’s floor. This continued for just three days because the teachers and headmaster were not in favor of her doing this. It worked and the students started taking care of hygiene and the cleanliness of the school premises. 

A community woman (in the middle with her three children) sharing her children’s progress with Reena (extreme right)

A girl named Sonam Kumari, studying in 5th standard would complete her homework before the entire class. She became a role model for other students. When Reena made her the monitor of the class, there was competition among the students to do more, learn more, and practice more. 

When teaching English, Reena would teach common words using actions, such as eat, sleep, run, repeat, cry and smile. Students would practice these at home. The parents of one of the students, Rakesh Kumar, made a special visit to the school to share their happiness with the teacher – they were proud to hear their child speak a word in English. 

Reena is thankful to her mentor Smriti who helped her study English and Mathematics in the buddy talk sessions conducted during the fellowship. Buddy talk is a process designed to strengthen the buddy (mentor) and edu-leader’s relationship while tracking the progress of the ongoing processes, such as recent learning, achievements, incidents that were rare, fears, dreams, wishes, and any support they need from their buddies. 

Reena shared that it wasn’t a cakewalk for her to complete the fellowship; there were days when she had to get ready and prepare for meetings for both i-Saksham and Panchayat Samiti. Fortunately, her family, especially her mother-in-law supported her throughout the journey – Reena owes her for all the support. Her husband has been supportive since the time they got married. Reena had studied till class 10th, but her husband encouraged her to study further. She completed her 12th in 2009. As she wanted to become a teacher, she completed her graduation and B.Ed. in the year 2018 after having children. Currently, she is preparing for the teacher eligibility test CTET. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Babita, Taking Education To The Last Mile: Priyanka Kaushik

Babita, who is in the last phase of her fellowship, has impacted the community to such an extent that new edu-leaders look up to her when they talk about leadership skills, being courageous, and implementing change at the grassroots level. 

Babita’s teaching center was based in the community, while her peers were teaching in schools. Her experience of teaching in a community center reminds us that instead of force-fitting learning into the already-stressed day in a child’s life, why couldn’t school come home? Not only could this help reduce the burden and stress of both the parents and children, but it will also help create a learning environment for children in their homes and community.

This opportunity helped Babita break her preconceived notions about the local community and their daily lifestyle. She would think that people in villages don’t want to provide education and opportunities to their girls and women. She is proved right when her mother has to listen to taunts from other women when Babita comes home late by even half an hour. It would take a lot of effort and courage from many girls to improve the community’s mindset.  

Her journey started from looking for a space in the community to teach students who were out of school for two reasons – one, the schools were closed due to Covid-19, and second, some students had to do household chores with their family members.

Manish Goswami (Community Representative)

“Babita (who is an Edu-leader at i-Saksham) is making every effort in the education sector and empowering the community to be cognizant of the ground reality. Pandemic is going to have a lasting impact, especially for communities that are already marginalized. It is therefore imperative that we create solutions that can reach the last mile and Babita is one of our community leaders who is said to be successful in doing this.”

Image from first Parent Teacher Meeting (PTM) in the community  

Babita started with a class of 5 children in September 2019 and by April 2021, her community classroom had 40 students! This was a result of daily door-to-door meetings with the parents of the children. During the lockdown, she was able to teach 10 students through mobile phones. The rest of the students studied with the help of worksheets and TLMs. Currently, there are 20 students in her classroom and some students moved to their ancestral homes – this indeed is an inspiration for other edu-leaders. 

Babita, teaching community students on her center 

Babita, teaching students through Teaching Learning Materials (TLMs)

Community students showcasing their drawings

Teaching in the community center was not limited to the center itself. Babita would visit the community after classes to check on the children who had missed their classes. 

One student, Gauri, would often skip classes to pick wood from the jungle. Her grandmother told Babita that firewood is essential to cook food, so Gauri could not come to class every day. 

An idea hit Babita’s mind: why couldn’t she help them in enrolling for the PM Ujjwala Yojana that provides LPG connections to women in this community? After understanding the procedure of getting LPG connections, she convinced a few parents of her children to apply for it. Within a month that family got an LPG connection! Then the whole community started looking for this government scheme’s benefits. Gauri’s attendance is regular now. 

The second-year curriculum of the fellowship gave a push to Babita, in which the edu-leaders are taught about government schemes. It was a point in the fellowship that gave her clarity about the proper implementation of policies on the ground. After conducting surveys around government schemes, Babita found that there was a lack of awareness among people, primarily due to illiteracy.

She believes that there is a need for better coordination among private entities, community institutions, civil society, and NGOs to improve the reach, transparency, quality, and effectiveness of a scheme till the last mile beneficiary.

Currently, Babita is pursuing her graduation and wants to become a civil servant. Meeting women in village organizations, helping team members during sessions, and regularly attending webinars and seminars provided by i-Saksham pushes her further in the direction of her dream.  

Monday, January 10, 2022

Meet our Alumna Up-Sarpanch, Kiran : Aditi

 Meet our Alumna Up-Sarpanch, Kiran (Batch-2)

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently" - Maya Angelou.


Our edu-leader Kiran was a typical shy girl from a small village in Bihar. Like most girls in Bihar, she was married at a young age, as soon as she finished high school. After marriage, she decided to pick up where she left and completed her graduation. She was introduced to the i-Saksham fellowship program by a former edu-leader. Soon she joined the program with a motive to make a difference and continue her learning. 

Kiran, i-Saksham Fellowship Alumna, Batch 2 who is now Up-Sarpanch of Village Kathor

Kiran was an edu-leader from Batch 2 cohort of the fellowship program. When she joined the program in 2018, she felt like giving up because of her marital status. She had to fight to gain societal acceptance as she was creating her own path, unlike other married women.  

From the start of her fellowship, she showed exemplary courage to give back to society. In the last quarter of 2021, she raised her voice against baal vivah or child marriage in her village, as she found that due to the pandemic the frequency of early marriages had increased. 


Today, Kiran is all set to lead her community as she has been elected as the Up-Sarpanch of Panchayat Mehgama, block Dharhara, district Munger, Bihar. 


When we chatted with Kiran, she expressed her feeling of pride on reaching this level. 

“I was the usual gaon ki ladki [village girl] who would not go anywhere, not talk to anyone outside. After the fellowship, things changed. Now I can talk to anyone without any hesitation or fear. I learnt how to use a mobile phone and become tech-savvy. I must add that my level of confidence has increased a lot. Just yesterday I attended the aam sabha meeting and I spoke so confidently. 

When I took the oath for up-sarpanch, I felt so proud and that I can do something now. I’m looking forward to doing something for my village in the next 5 years that I will be holding this position.”


Kiran believes that her village needs more development, particularly in education. She wants to continue fighting early marriage and the low level of education among girls in her village. She sees how people in her village don't value education. She wants to change that and wants all children to study. As she puts it, “all the bahu beti [daughters-in-law and daughters] of our village should study. I am also one, I have studied and I’m making a change.” 


It was Kiran’s determination that made her win the Up-Sarpanch elections. Her consistent steps are a brilliant example of active citizenship towards educating her community. 


We congratulate Kiran for her exemplary accomplishment; she is now all set to put her principles into practice.