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Asha's Response and Comment on EAD

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  • arkitect95
    Dear Arkitects and their friends Though the right person to answer Shanti s question is Shaheen, but I would like to put my own thought. My response to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 18, 2004
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      Dear Arkitects and their friends

      Though the right person to answer Shanti's question is Shaheen, but
      I would like to put my own thought. My response to Shanti's concern
      is base on the following three statements of Ark Foundation.

      1.OUR DREAM
      Our dream is to see that each and every child has access to a quality
      education, a healthy life and a society free of exploitation and

      The mission of Ark Foundation is to empower people by equipping them
      with knowledge, so that they can improve their socio-economic status,
      and participate meaningfully in the development of society. Ark will
      try to inculcate a sense of courage, dedication and confidence into
      the people.
      Spoon feeding creates dependency. It is always better to give, says a
      Chinese saying, a fishing technique to a hungry man than a fish. And
      above all, right to live in dignity is a basic human right. The best
      way to help those who are disenfranchised live a dignified life is
      through creation of Social Capital. It includes formation of self
      help groups, vocational training and local resource management
      education, all of which form the backbone of Ark’s programmes.


      If one reads these statements, he/she can get the answer of
      questions raised by Shanti. Though she raised many questions but the
      question related to planning of resource mobilization in "Strategy"
      column of the Education At Doorstep is very important.

      It is not that Ark Foundation does not have resource mobilization
      planning otherwise it would not have been successfully running a
      High School in Kataila village (UP). There may be some planning which
      either Shaheen is not able to explain us or never thought of giving
      it that much important to make it a part of ARK’s newsletter. But I
      think he should come with those plans and programmes which are
      running the school since 1995 and that too without "funding".

      It is very clear from this-"to empower people by equipping them with
      knowledge". I am giving my thought and my personal understanding
      hence my own interpretation. What I gather from ARK experience is
      that they are able to empower villagers through equipping them with
      knowledge. Her we should understand the 'knowledge' Shaheen very
      often talks about. This knowledge is nothing to with academic
      discussion or philosophical discourses on the university campuses or
      in intellectual gatherings. This 'knowledge' is, as my little
      understanding says, a knowledge of people, local people- which is
      time tested techniques or mechanics. Like the knowledge of artisans,
      potters, weavers, farmers, ironsmiths to quote a few.

      All the local people of his village contributes in running the
      school. It is very important to give a proper shape to their
      knowledge and a platform (outlets) for their products. Holistic
      approach. There are enough resource in villages to run and manage a
      successful development programme. The only thing is how to find a
      market for the local product and how to create a viable outlet for
      their products.

      This 'knowledge' teaches people about the proper management of local
      products, community assets for a good and healthy life. It is we can
      say that it is not giving fish but fishing technique that is proper
      utilization of locally available infrastructure.

      The best part is that ARK is not just talking about it but at the
      same time practicing it in Kataila village. though its newsletters
      and emails, we know very well that how arkitects are educating youths
      of Kataila to run a school and a library.

      In its last newsletter Shaheen mentioned about the establishment of
      a library in the village. where is the requirement of money. After
      learning this news I thought even I can do it but it is here the
      different lies between me (if not many of us) and he. He has already
      implemented it. Now we know that how easy is to establish a library
      and that too without 'funding'.

      I think we should start documenting such small but important
      experiences of grass root workers and find out whether it can be
      given a form to be replicated in other villages.

      There is no doubt, as Vishwa said in the his mail, that wee should
      encourage such grass root workers. It is very important as they are
      making real change in their respective fields. We should documents
      all the experiences, both failed and successful, of these groups.
      Like the foundation of the library in Kataila. Going home to home
      for collection of old books and putting them in room and asking one
      of the students/teachers to manage the library. It is very easy and
      practical but never struck me.

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