Bundelkhand SHIKSHA ABHIYAN
Centre for Alternative Dalit Media adopted Bundelkhand in 2010 for its educational interventions. Spread into 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Bundelkhand lies between the Indo-Gangetic Plain to the north and the Vindhya Range to the south. There was a time when it had dense forests, but It is now distinguished by barren land, sparse vegetation and patchy forest areas. Bundelkhand region often face severe drought problems. As per the Metrological Department of India, the area is a drought prone and on an average it gets rain for 52 days. As a result, agriculture has reduced, food security has aggravated, migration has increased, affecting overall well being of the vulnerable groups such as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Economically weaker sections.
In 2010, Centre for Alternative Dalit Media began its work for Improving Access of Education in Bundelkhand through Bundelkhand Shiksha Abhiyan (Bundelkhand Education Campaign). The Project aimed to support the vulnerable communities to monitor the Government Schools and encouraged them to resist caste and gender based discrimination in school to ensure that both, boys and girls, have equal access to quality education. It also aimed to create an enabling environment in Bundelkhand work together towards building an empowered, vibrant and educated society. It aimed at strengthening the Community Based Organizations led by Dalit Communities by promoting convergence of different schemes of elementary education and related services. The project was successfully run from 1st August 2010 to 31st March 2015, with offices in eight locations, namely Jhansi, Jalaun, Banda, Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh; and Chattarpur, Panna and Sagar in Madhya Pradesh.
Bundelkhand Shiksha Abhiyan improved leadership of Socially Excluded (SC and ST) men and women, which was evident in formation of units of Rashtriya Dalit MahaSabha (RDRF) at Gram Panchayat level, 17 at block level and 8 units in the district level with 17221 motivated members. The leaders of RDM emerged as a strong voice, advocating for the due rights and entitlements of Socially Excluded communities in the region. It demanded for the fair utilization of Bundelkhand Special Package meant for the development of Bundelkhand.
The quality of education in government school improved in more than 393 schools (for approximately 126000 children) of the project area and most of the school became Right to Education Act compliance in many dimensions. The students and teacher ratio in the school has improved due to the appointment of new teachers by both Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Government. The learning skill improvement of the school children is evidenced in the form of better performance of the students. The testimony of the students from the socially excluded (SC and ST) communities revealed that the caste and gender based discrimination in the schools has reduced. Corporate punishment was completely wiped out from the schools due to regular school visits by the members of Village Dalit Education Committee.
Due to continuous engagement with government officials and elected representatives, governance system became accountable and now effectively responds to the complaints and queries of socially excluded communities. The officials of the Education Department became proactive and regularly conducting the monitoring visits to schools. Our intervention contributed to bridging the gaps between the communities and the government by conducting interface meetings and regular representations to government.
Bundelkhand Shiksha Abhiyan benefitted a large number of beneficiaries directly and indirectly in multiple ways. Bundelkhand Shiksha Abhiyan benefitted four Lakhs Sixty Eight Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty Eight (468858) persons. These included One Hundred Ninety One Thousand and Eighty Four (191084) adult male and One Hundred Fifty One Thousand and One Hundred Seventy (151170) adult female. It also benefitted Sixty Two Thousand Six Hundred and Thirty Three (62633) child male and Sixty Three Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy One (63 971) child female.
The project was supported through Civil Society Challenge Fund.
External Evalution Reports
Bundelkhand Shiksa Abhiyan project was evaluated twice by the external agencies. These reports are available with the organisation.
Project completion report
As a project, Bundelkhand Shiksha Abhiyan ended in March 2015. Project Completion Report could be accessed on request.