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Adharshila Learning Centre is a unique school for adivasi children in Madhya Pradesh that views education as a tool for liberation...and a place of fun.

The Adharshila Learning Centre was started in 1998 by the Veer Khajiya Naik Manav Vikas Pratishthan.

The children have an active role in running the school.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two Days With Eames Bhai

This post is about the visit of Eames Demetrios, a geographer at large.. He is a designer and also makes documentaries. The post has been written by children of Nile and Octopus groups at Adharshila - Imla, Chetana, Revali, Anil, Pushpendra, Sunil, Patidar, Madhosingh, Sarang, Mahesh, Krishna, Sunita, Suman, Lelsingh, Pavan.

On 16th November Eams Bhai came to our Learning Centre for two days from Los Angeles in North America. We met him for the first time. He came in a car from Indore.

He didn't speak Hindi. Eams Bhai spoke English very fast.

Eams Bhai brought pens and chocolates for us. On the first day he gave chocolates to children. The second day he gave pens to everybody. 'Eqlmundi Kirwela of Culev Larsze, Adharshila in Linear Sakad, MP. www.kcymearxphere.com ' - was engaved on the pens.

Eames Bhai told a long story in English which was translated for us by Amit Sir. The story was about Eqlmundi Kirwela of Culev Larsze. Eames Bhai had made this story. The story is based in South America and Adharshila.

The story is about an imaginary world called kcymearxphere. Culev Larsze rode on a saber toothed tiger. There was a brave girl named Segolin. Her pet lizard always sat on her shoulder.

In the story a tower was built in Sakad but later it was demolished. Culev Larsze goes to the Gods to stop the war between the believers and the non believers. The war was taking place in South America. The non believers were pushed to the Southern tip of S. America which was then separated by a sea by the Gods. But later on the war stopped due to Culev Larsze's intervention and every body was saved.

All the children liked the story. They were listening to the story very attentively. The story was very good.

Eams Bhai came to Adharshila to make it a part of his story, but he didn't write the whole story. To read further you have to go to the website - www.kcymearxphere.com.

On the second day he got five concrete slabs made in our Center. Three masons came from Sendhawa. All children helped in the work. Some children brought bricks, some concrete and others water and cement. Three slabs are on the boundary of the Center and two are in the middle. (The slabs represented the broken tower. )

He went to Sendhawa and bought oil paints for us. The children drew pictures of characters of the story on the slabs and Jaya Didi's house wall after listening to the story. They drew - Culev Larsze, Segolin, tower, lizard, bird, saber tooth tiger and the battle scene. Shewanta Didi and Dinesh Bhai wrote the story on the wall. First the children drew in their copies. When they showed the drawings to him he said, " awesome, coo(l)."

Eames Bhai had brought five cameras. He gave the camera to Ranjit Bhai, Prakash and Revali to take photos.

After the work finished all the children collected in the hall to sing and dance. Eams Bhai also came in the hall. He sang an English song - Boogie Woogie and the children danced to it. The children knew this song as some other visitors had taught them.

When Eames Bhai went back, all the children were sad.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Organic Tomatoes and Shit in a Bucket

Post your summary here
What's on in Adharshila - Organic tomatoes, Election campaign, music group, Greeting cards, Shitting in a bucket...

So what are tomatoes doing in this blog ? these days many of us are working on the organic tomato/brinjal plot. Though due to my kidney stones i will not be able to eat any of this but it is great to wee them grow. The plants are almost two months old now. The best plant has about 60 tomatoes on it. We are feeding them Jeevamrit, mulch, ash and cow urine., and spraying pesticide made of five to six different types of leaves. We have been inspired by the Sharma farm near Amravati.
We have made three songs on elections. Some children have volunteered to go with the AMS who are trying to motivate people to focus on peoples issues and people's politics - whatever that may mean. The children will sing songs in the campaign. One of the songs is engineered on Vinay and Charul's song - mere voton ko ye jaanne ka hak re ... by the way we met them and heard them at a Narmada Andolan rally in Khandawa, where our Jamuna, Revali, Imla, Balsingh, Rakesh, Sarang and of course myself sang in front of a 25,000 strong audience. this was a first time performance for us and we are bent upon doing it again. the school kachaat band is in great josh and practices for two hours almost daily.
we have also got music and dance teachers who come every sunday - bothe bengali.
Children are making greeting cards again this year. Though cards are not in fashion but we insist on making them to keep the thumb from degenerating and to generate funds for our educational tour.
Shitting in the bucket - This is the latest. In an impromptu discussion in the tomato farm, this topic of uzing our shit for fertilizer came up. we have been thinking about this for a long time. but it was always on the lines of bio gas plants. We got books and a CD on dry latrines. This was all too technical for our primitive minds. Then i was reminded of a person in Maharshtra whome i had visited. He used to keep the bucket near his bed to emphasise the point that shit doesnt smell if covered properly. And i told this story to everybody and pat on.. Patidar and Sunil picked it up and promptly inaugerated the bucket toilet. it's been a week now. Inspired b this one volunteer from PRAVAH has also started digging a pit to shit in the bucket - quite poetic !

So long.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Shikshan Samwaad

Shikshan Samwaad
3rd – 4th – 5th March 2008
Adharshila Learning Centre
Venue : Village Sakad, P.O. : Chatli, Via Sendhawa, District Badwani, Madhya Pradesh.

Dear friends

This year the Adharshila Learning Centre is completing ten years. We started working with children after working in an adivasi organisation for about fifteen years. The main aim of starting this experimental journey, was to see, what role can education play in people’s struggles and movements for social and political change.

During our work in the sangathan we experienced that the educated section always stayed away from the struggle. Most of the time their role was to oppose the struggle and not just stand aloof. We realized that during the 12 – 15 years of schooling they learnt to look down upon their society and became totally alienated from their people and society. In these years the system teaches them to leave whatever is theirs - clothes, language, knowledge, values etc. and dawn a new attire – they are told that this is the way to become civilized. There are very few exceptions whose hearts and head remain in the right place even after long years of schooling.

Can anything different be done in education ? Can the youth while studying, or after studying, contribute to the work of social change or is the role of education only to help them join the mainstream ? And is this the only way out for the poor ? While starting Adharshila, there were many questions like these in our minds.

Should the peoples’ organizations concerns about the issues of education be limited to demands for making govt. schools run more efficiently and making the govt. system more strong? Or can we go beyond this and start thinking about strategies of transferring the thoughts and ideas born out of struggle, to the next generation ?

Every economic and political system designs an education system to serve it’s interests. What is the design for education of children in the minds of people / organisations who are engaged in struggles for a more just and equal society ? Can education play a role in realizing the dream of a just, humane and more egalitarian society, a new human being ? Or will the market eat up all the educated ?

We have organised a three day dialogue on education - Shikshan Samwaad – to understand, in depth, the linkages of education and social/political change and the emergent possibilities for groups involved in people’s struggles.

The sessions have been broadly divided in the following manner. This is not final. You can give suggestions as soon as you get this.

· The first day will go in understanding the viewpoint and work, regarding children and youth, of the various social/ political movements of the past, in India and elsewhere – Dalit, Gandhian, Socialist and the left movements. We are trying to call people involved in these movements or people who have studied these.

· The second and third days will be devoted to understanding, what role can education play in the long term struggle of social/ political change. In these sessions the main players will be the leaders of the various struggling groups/ organisations.

· If it is felt that there is a need to take up education as a proactive agenda, then the concluding sessions will be devoted to thinking of various strategies to do this and ways to deal with the various challenges that confront us in doing this.

So friends, come prepared to battle with questions related to education, for three days. You can bring documents, posters, pamphlets, books, films or anything which you would like to share with others.

We request and insist at the same time that you please take time off from your busy schedule for this dialogue, and spend time with us from 3rd to 5th March. We request you to reach here by 2nd evening. Feel free to inform and bring other interested people with you.

Please inform us by phone of email.

Adharshila Learning Centre, Badwani, M.P.
Adivasi Mukti Sangathan, Badwani, M.P.
Manthan Learning Centre, Rajasthan
Sobran Smruti Shikshapeeth, Jharkhand
Rani Kajal JeevanShala, Jhabua, M.P.
SRUTI, Delhi

Contact –
Jayashree – Amit at 09425981606 or email at adharshila.learningcentre@gmail.com

Arvind Anjum at 09431113667 Devendra – Sudhi at 09413103171
Bijoy - 09425364761 Kemat Singh – 09424005490
Rohit Jain – 011 26964946