Humanity in general has always valued knowledge. Though helping a man by giving him fish has been appreciated, giving him the knowledge/know-how to catch his own fish has been appreciated better. In our own country there is a lot of optimism about the “Demographic Dividend” that we enjoy at the moment. There is constant talk of the potential that is waiting to be harnessed. But at the same time, we have gradually realized that to be able to effectively channelize the energies of the population if there is one thing that we need to provide, it is “Education.”
The scenario in India:
One of the two big challenges that the India of today faces, the other being healthcare, is education.
Though there has been considerable improvement, thanks to Governmental efforts, there is still a huge difference in terms of the quality and quantity between the urban and the rural parts of the country. And over the last few years it is this gap that Non Governmental Organizations have been actively trying to bridge. Along the same direction, Swami Vivekananda Indian Revival Movement (SVIRM) has taken up the program “Viveka Shikshana.”
About Viveka Shikshana:
Viveka Shikshana is centered around need to qualitatively complement the school learning that rural kids get in basic language, arithmetic and science. Our volunteers visit 2 villages close to Mysore, Rammanahalli and Hebbadihundi, and conduct lessons on the subjects mentioned above on a daily basis. The students,aged between 7 and 15, and are divided into groups based on their level of understanding of the subjects (instead of the class in which they study) and then they are taught the necessary concepts. The traditional curriculum apart, they are also being taught computers and are shown interesting videos about the lives of great men and women, science and technology etc to keep them inspired. That apart field trips to the nearby city of Mysore are organized so that the children get an exposure to the happenings there.
This is a small beginning and we intend to work on this program in the days to come. Our road-map for Viveka Shikshana is as below:
1) Ensuring that the children in the two villages study at least up to a degree/Diploma based on their interest.
2) Setting up a study hall cum library at both the villages, so that the kids have a place to sit and study.
3) Starting co-curricular hobbies like music, painting etc.
We hope to work on the same in the days to come