Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Changing perceptions – Changing mindsets

The outskirts of Bherda village of Rajkot district's Vakaner block had a permanent settlement of around 15 Saraniyaa families. There were 28 children between the school-going ages when VSSM first got in-touch with them. These children were unable to access school because of lack of documents, school principal's perception and parents nomadic living. VSSM initiated a bridge school in the settlement yet the issue of children not receiving continuous education persisted because of parents migrations. The children had to accompany the parents, as there was nobody to take care of them back home.

VSSM and parents tried working out an effective solution to this issue. After a series of consultations it was agreed children will stay back in the settlement as parents migrate, an elderly couple will remain to take care of the children, parents will contribute for one meal, VSSM will support another and mid-day-meal will suffice as lunch.

With the solution in hand, the Principal was approached for enrolling the children once they are were adjusted to school environment through the Bridge Schools. Inspite of our requests the Principal refused admission citing same old reasons.  It took us six months to convince him but now his perception for these kids have changed completely. He finds them to be the well-behaved and intelligent children compered to others in school.