Last week, around 150 children of a rural government school eagerly marched on a Saturday morning and rallied through their village (Kutail in Karnal district). Holding placards and chanting slogans, the children condemned the use of single plastic, uncleanliness and water pollution in their community. It was also the day when Varitra launched the first Bal Parishad (Child Council) in their school.
36 children nominated themselves for membership across four Child Committees – SAMBHAV (Environment), GOONJ (Cultural), MANTRA (Sports) and PRAVAH (Library). Named after Varitra’s collaborators, all the four committees shall strive towards strengthening student representation, participation, and decision-making in the school.
Samiksha is a migrant student from Nepal, has always been very active in sports and has represented her school at the State level. Today, she holds her Sports committee badge proudly and plans to participate in more sports events.
Nine-year-old Dev has recently become a part of the Library Management Committee in his school. Not only is he getting a chance to ensure the cleanliness and order of classrooms like the elders do. He also made a dustbin from waste material for the library.
Rural government schools hold low or no aspirational value for their children and their parents leading children to associate a sense of embarrassment and indifference with their school. Their entire school experience is spent in feeling inadequacy and constant comparison to those attending private schools. Varitra wishes to convert these schools into child-led and child-centric spaces and fill our rural students with a sense of pride in their schools.
By Team Varitra
Varitra Foundation envisions to empower people to carry out developmental initiatives in the field of education, women empowerment, rural development, environment, social protection, etc. in their communities for a large-scale impact and a better tomorrow. Varitra is a part of EduMentum’s Cohort ’20.