The DeRuralization of India
India lives in her villages”. Is this true any more? Our cities are bursting at the seams due to unchecked migration from villages, largely due to lack of good education and employment opportunities at the grassroots level. Self-sufficiency is key, dependency on the chimera of a City of Gold is but a delusional mirage. We hope to bring this idea of being independent and standing on one’s own feet to the rural populace, even if in small measure initially.
We are in the process of identifying a few villages which are in dire need of aid to help the girl child achieve her dreams, dreams that are her birthright.
Your contribution will go a long way in helping young children, especially girls, not only in the villages we are already working in, but also in other parts of rural India.
It is observed that the common mindset of the rural population is to prefer to send boys to school, while girls are taught home-making skills to get them ready to be ‘married off’. Girls are not seen as needing to be independent. Thus girl dropouts are larger after the primary school stage. This is often compounded by the fact that school clusters that offer higher grades are most often less and farther away from homes and so parents find it not very safe sending girls that far away on their own.
- School Premises
- Teaching Faculty
What We do
Nature of Support
We identify villages to help out, starting with basic school facilities, premises, toilet blocks, drinking water, power, school accessories. We help repair, rebuild, supply and set up facilities. While we started with a focus on the girl child – Mulgi Shikli Pragati Zhali – we find that we need to widen our scope to boy children, and to the community too, to the extent possible.
We also plan to identify bright girl students with a view to sponsor their school and, at a later stage, college education.
Projects we Support
Saucam Foundation identified a school at Gursale, a small village around 60 kms away from Satara, in Maharashtra, India. Thanks to some large-hearted contributions from well-wishers we completed building toilet blocks for, not only the 300 girl children, but also for all the 700 students in school. We have built and handed over 12 toilets and 2 washrooms for use of the 300 girl and 400 boy students.
The Principal and staff at the Zilla Parishad Vivekananda Shiksan Sansthan-managed school are highly motivated to work for the betterment of the girl child and are making all efforts to ensure zero dropouts of the girl child. The impact on the community at large reinforced our belief that the efforts have to start at the child level for it to have an exponential impact on the community.
After successfully completing our maiden project at Gursale near Satara, we were looking for fresh avenues to fulfill our commitment to helping the poorest of the poor in rural India.
The challenge was staring us in our face in our own backyard! We identified Pale, a small adivasi village of 11 hamlets around 10 kms from Dahanu and 5 kms from Vangaon railway station on the Western Railway Line, Mumbai.
We have all been witness to the India growth story over the past decade but looking at the pathetic living conditions in this village so near Mumbai was depressing and heart-breaking. And so, we have already started working on trying to make a difference.
The medium-term objective at Pale is to bring about a change in the lives of the poor adivasis and we believe children are the best agents of change. We feel we should use these children as catalysts for uplifting their lives and that of their parents and the hamlets at large.
Here are some photographs of the school and the toilets at Pale hamlet near Dahanu.
The two school rooms
The school toilets that need repairing
The present drinking water source for the hamlet, about 1 km away
There’s a lot one can do and a lot is to be done, but for starters we have decided to start with providing water to the schools (the villages benefit through the same infrastructure), functional and clean toilets, and probably a solar panel to generate enough electricity to operate light bulbs and fans, without having to depend on the State Electricity Board.
We have been simultaneously working on providing for school notebooks, other stationery, pencils and slates for the children, and have successfully completed this part of the project. We intend to launch basic e-learning (in mother tongue) in all these schools. The smiles on the children’s faces while receiving the stationery and books, was reward enough for our souls, and incentives to our hearts to do more, to make their and our dreams really come true.
During our visit we also noticed that the schools lacked trained staff and we at Saucam would also like to sponsor salaries for additional local teachers who could impart basic computer education and soft-skills to the kids attending the Zilla Parishad schools.
We hope to be able to plan and organize, with support from local community leaders and government authorities, sensitization programs to get the villagers to understand the importance of education, hygiene, etc., for the upliftment of their living conditions holistically.