As a child, Dr. S.B.Misra walked 24 kilometres to and back from school in remote Uttar Pradesh, with a dream to educate the children in his region so that they would not have to undertake that long walk every day.
Four decades into its seminal work, the Indian Village School or Bharatiya Gramin Vidyalaya today reaches nearly 700 students in one of the most feudal and backward pockets of the country, an outcome of the single minded dedication of two incredible people. Yet, the resources or support available to the organization are still very minimal.
Consider this. There is no High School in a radius of about 400 square kilometres. The nearest railway station is 12 kms away; the nearest post offices are 7 kms away in district Lucknow and 4 km in district Barabanki. Nearest bank and police station are at 8 kms away. Roads and electricity have only recently arrived.
Most of the villagers do farming but the yield is poor. Main crops are wheat, paddy, cane sugar (now decreasing in area). Mentha is the cash crop but water logging poses a major hurdle for this crop. Dairy farming is not favoured now but a few farmers, generally OBC, sell buffalo milk. There are no industries and employment potential is negligible except spade-work under NREGA.
Amidst this, BGV has 700 students from Class I to Class X and 17 teachers, surviving the greatest odds, fighting to manifest the right to basic education especially for girls and the truly underprivileged.
If you can, help the school. We urgently need winter essentials for the children, who often come wearing just flimsy shirts in the searing winters.
-- Going forward, we want to build a knowledge centre where they can watch BBC and IGNOU videos -- and movies.
-- We are trying to create India's first professionally run rural newpaper, managed entirely by the rural students but using software used in newsrooms around the world.
-- We are trying to set up a rural call centre/information centre to provide widely needed information to villagers, as well as give employment to the rural "white collar" youth. This is a model we feel can be replicated across India.
-- We have already a pilot project running to create rural computer teachers even as we provide computer education to rural children.
If you'd like to help, please mail Dr. S.B. Misra directly at sbmisra@... and join his efforts.
Believe us, you can make a difference. And it will make you a happier person to have helped someone.
All of us at BGV
Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.