Bhoomika - Youth Dreams (Bilana)

Project Brief: Orissa is one of the most economically challenged states in India. Asha for Education, LA has been working toward improving the Government schools.
Project Type: Formal Schools (description)
Primary Focus: other (description)

Secondary Focus: other

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Athens
Status: current / ongoing
Project Steward: Deepak Nayak
Project Partner(s): Bhisma Rath
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , Headmaster, Bholanath M. E. School,P. O. : Jayapur, Via : Guamal,Itagari,
ORISSA 
Tel:
Stewarding Chapter: Athens

Asha Stars, if any:

Ashish Gupta

Janakiraman G

Mukund Padmanabhan

Rama Divakaruni

Jun 2013AthensUSD 3976
Dec 2011Los AngelesUSD 4000
Jan 2010Los AngelesUSD 0
Dec 2008Los AngelesUSD 3000
Dec 2007Los AngelesUSD 2050
Dec 2006Los AngelesUSD 2050
Dec 2005Los AngelesUSD 2050
Dec 2005Los AngelesUSD 2050
Dec 2003Los AngelesUSD 2050
Dec 2002Los AngelesUSD 4990
Dec 2001Los AngelesUSD 5800
Dec 2001SeattleUSD 4000
Dec 2000Los AngelesUSD 1800
Dec 1999Los AngelesUSD 1500
Dec 1997Los AngelesUSD 1500
Dec 1996Los AngelesUSD 1200
Dec 1995Los AngelesUSD 1200
Dec 1994Los AngelesUSD 1200
Dec 1993Los AngelesUSD 2000

Total = $46416

Orissa is one of the most economically challenged states in India. Asha for Education, LA has been working toward improving the Government schools at Bilana, Rahania Sahi, Itagadi, Tulashipur and Kubera, five villages in Bhadrak district, a rural area 100km north of Bhubaneswar. Situated in an area with no electricity, the schools provide a valuable service to the community. Some of these schools have been operating since the turn of the last century.
This project was brought to Asha's attention by Dr. Deepak Nayak who grew up in Bhadrak. When Asha LA volunteers first visited these schools in 1993, the schools had dilapidated black boards, very few teaching aids, and only two teachers instructing all six grades. The first contribution of $800 provided for new black-boards, chairs, desks, benches, books, world maps, paper, and other basic utilities for the 560 children.

The schools also faced a severe shortage of teachers. With overpopulation and understaffing the teacher to student ratio was around 1 to 100. Usually, one teacher was hired by the government to handle 5 grades at Rs 3000 ($100) per month (in 1993). Asha-LA has hired 6 additional teachers thereby doubling the number of teachers. It must be noted that the unemployed graduates from the villages competed for these new posts though the salary was only Rs 600 ($20) per month. Two of these teachers are women and they seem to have the best rapport with the children. Deepak Nayak's mother, who was a respected head of the village, helped with on-site management.

One of the students being assisted with a special scholarship is Sanjulata Jena. She was the first woman to ever pass the 10th grade from her so-called lower caste community. She has also been provided with a bicycle and encouraged to take up higher education instead of sewing. Ever since Asha-LA got involved, these villages have come alive with renewed vitality.

In 1999, Asha LA started book-banks in these schools. Each school bought 10-20 sets of text books (1-5 grades) and the poorest children borrow these for free. At the end of the year, they return the books to the school and these books become the property of the schools. This cost approximately Rs 18000. In 2000, Asha-LA provided the salaries for 7 teachers (Rs. 800 per month per teacher, $1800 per year) and teaching aids such as chalk, black-boards, maps, science instruments, stools, tables, etc. ($200).

In 2001 and 2002, Asha for Education assisted in the construction of the Itagari M. E. school. The construction was necessary because the class room was in a bad shape with leaky roofs. The total funds required were $7200. Asha-Seattle contributed $4000 towards the construction and Asha-LA pipped in with the rest of the $3200. The Itagari M. E. school was inaugurated on January 26, 2003. You can find the reports on the school construction here.

Asha LA is currently raising funds for Asha Academy.
Asha for Education funds have been used for paying teachers' salaries, purchasing school supplies, and construction of classrooms at five government schools.