|Realization of Right to Education at grass root: Pedagogy of oppressed|
|Monday, 03 August 2009|
Ms.Shruti Nagvanshi and Ms. Shabana Khan
Thedream of marginalized people in Belwa village of Varanasi, India to educatetheir children was fulfilled with the inauguration of school by the Elementaryeducation officer (BSA) Mr. Pradeep Kumar Pandey on 7th August, 2009 at 11:30AM and with the exceptional contribution of Mrs. Reshma Devi, local resident ofBelwa village. She donates her own land and JMN/PVCHR born the expense of theregistry of the land. The inaugural session was witnessed with the key staff ofPVCHR, Ms. Loreine B. dela Cruz (Lou), Chairperson of Balay, Philippines andMs. Frauke Bergmann, interns from Germany and many teachers from nearbyGovernment school and respected people of the village.
Beforethis Government school, as a go-stop activity Jan Mitra Nyas/Peoples' VigilanceCommittee on Human Rights (PVCHR) establish autonomous centre known as"Sant Kabir Jan Mitra Kendra" on 27th July, 1997 to educate 200children of the Karkha, Barepur, Hatiya and Natan and 116 boys and 101 girls startsgetting the education. The centre was financially supported by Child Right andYou (CRY), Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT), Raj Dulari Foundation, Sweden andlibrary with the support of ASHA as direct support to children. At the sametime, PVCHR organized the peoples' centric advocacy and campaign for right ofeducation at grass root level which is supported by VOP and AHRC.
On3rd September, 2002 villagers demands with the administration to open oneprimary school. The Assistant Elementary education officer in the letterno/71-72/2002-2003 dated 6 May 2002 and dated 24 February 03 on duty S.D.I. andon 21 March 2003 BRC co-ordinator visit the area. In the report he stated 211children were present in the school and this ghetto was marginalized with theeducation due to the politically biased enmity.
Childrenorganized 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 Pindratehsil and report their demand to SDM Pindra. SDM misbehaved with the children and ordered lathi charge on thechildren and the villagers. Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi convener of the PVCHR wasdetained under section 151and he was release after 4 hours. Three others activist were charged under107/16 for the legal proceeding.
TheChildren of the Belwa village are uncensoring themselves through the childrenassembly (Bal Panchayat) known as "Sant Kabir Child "through thestreet play, child magazine Bachho Ki Duniya and pen friendship with thechildren 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 openthe school, as he used to engage Mushars people as a bonded labour in the hisbrick kiln factory. Mr. Gehru Musahar and Mr. Bothu Musahar were released frombonded labour with the support of the PVCHR; in this case Mr. Tripathi wassentenced to pay fine for resorting to bonded labour in his brick kilns undersection 374 of IPC crime no. 1 April 2002.
Thestruggle for the Rights in the Belwa village was sturdy. Several times PVCHRactivist received threatening phone calls to stop human rights work "ifyou raise the issue of starvation and hunger death then you must bekilled", and that the staff of PVCHR would be charged with falseaccusations in order to discredit the organisation and force it to close down.
PVCHRhad initiated several activities in Belwa village and several other villageswithin Uttar Pradesh, with an intention to empower the lower caste communitiesto make better use of the recent change in the state administration favouringthe lower caste communities in the state and in India.
ThePVCHR, along with the AHRC and other national and local human rightsorganisations, organised folk-schools in these villages, starting from Belwa.The PVCHR also invited the district administration as well as officials fromthe Uttar Pradesh State Commission for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe toparticipate in these sessions. The member of the Commission Mr. RajbahadurYadav participated in one of these sessions held at Belwa on 21 May 2007.
Inthe meanwhile the PVCHR also promoted establishment of community centers inthese villages, of which the community centre in Belwa was inaugurated by thethen DM Mr. Nithin Gokarnan,which is used for meeting of community as well asICDS center at Musahar ghetto and PPC center of SDTT-JMN at Patel ghetto.
Throughour services, grass root campaign and peoples' advocacy at local-global level,the Belwa village is the model village as the child right centric, vibrantdemocratic society against torture and organized violence, which startedsustain initiative for the fulfillment of the justice, fraternity and the ruleof law. Its influenced the marginalized at the blocks and tehsil to uncensorand fight for their rights same as a stone is thrown in the pond it shows theripple effect. We are remebering the quote of Robert F. Kennedy in 1966 atSouth Africa "We all struggle to transcend the cruelties and the folliesof mankind. That struggle will not be won by standing aloof and pointing afinger; it will be won by action, by those who commit their every resource ofmind and body to the education and improvement and help of their fellowperson."
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