Neel Bagh Trust - Vikasana Rural Centre for Education

Project Brief: Vikasana is a rural centre for education that provides holistic and quality education to children of all ages from landless farmers of the neighbouring villages
Project Type: Alternative Education (description)
Primary Focus: children of migrant workers (description)

Secondary Focus: to go to formal school

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Seattle
Status: current / ongoing
Project Steward: Kesava Viswanathan
Project Partner(s):
Other Contacts: Latha Madaiah
Project Address: , Vikasana - Rural Centre for Education, Doddakallasandra P.O.,,Bangalore,
KARNATAKA  560062
Tel:
Stewarding Chapter: Seattle

Asha Stars, if any:

Jayashree Janardhan

Jan 2016SeattleUSD 3188
Dec 2014SeattleUSD 5980
Apr 2014SeattleUSD 2516
Dec 2014SeattleUSD 0
Nov 2011SeattleUSD 1310
Jul 2010SeattleUSD 1570
Dec 2009SeattleUSD 0
Jan 2008SeattleUSD 2200
Mar 2007SeattleUSD 1600
Sep 2005SeattleUSD 1600
Dec 2005SeattleUSD 1750
Dec 2002SeattleUSD 500
Dec 2001SeattleUSD 4000

Total = $26214

Vikasana is a rural centre for education that provides free education to children of all ages from landless farmers of the neighbouring villages. The children of migrated parents who cannot fit into other institutions also join the centre. Providing holistic and quality education, the class size is restricted to twenty five. Emphasis is laid on self learning. Vikasana also takes services of resourceful people in the field of crafts, health and cultural activities.

Some of the Aims and Objectives of Vikasana are:

Free Education
Giving holistic and quality education
Emphasis on Self Learning
Education for Peace
Bring an awareness of tree planting and maintaining ecological balance
Help students to choose the career after their education
Being a resources centre for non-formal education

Brief History
Vikasana was started under the inpiration of David Horsburgh's philosophy of learning. The teachers at Vikasana were deeply inspired by David's work. The basic philosophy is that anyone at any level could learn what one was interested in. There was no competition or comparison - a child could learn at his pace. Education means learning - it can be enjoyable. This opportunity should be given to children who have no access to system education, like village children. Thus emerged Vikasana, Vi-ka-sa-na is the correct pronunciation. It means blossoming, opening up, spreading. Vikasna wishes that Learning...Mind...Life should blossom , grow and spread.

Working of the Centre

The centre starts activities at 8:30 am. All the children are entrusted with duties like caring for the trees and cleaning the rooms, the surroundings, providing drinking water etc. Then the children assemble to attend singing. They sing songs in many languages such as Kannada, English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, French, German and Italian. Later they do Yoga specially designed for children. Academic classes and handicrafts finish at 5 pm. Lunch break is from 1 pm to 2 pm. Some children also stay back at the centre to do their homework. The centre provides accommodation and supper.

Examinations

The children who are interested in taking the government level exams at the 7th standard and S.S.L.C level are given the necessary help by way of coaching and enrolling them as private candidates in a govt. school. Those who do not wish to sit for such exams are encouraged to develop their talents. Help is also provided to them by other voluntary organizations such as Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi, Akruti and Mrichakatika in Bangalore. So far eight children have taken the S.S.L.C exam and are continuing their education at various levels. They keep in contact with the centre for further guidance. Two girls are employed as designers in pottery units. One girl is currently teaching at the centre

Method of Working

The children learn to read and write three languages. Other than subjects like Mathematics, Science and environmental studies, they learn handicrafts such as pottery , carpentry, sewing, origami, drawing, painting etc. Handicrafts is not only taught as a subject but is integrated into their daily process. Children make pots out of clay, they paint murals on the walls of the school, make pots and build kilns. They also sew bags and dresses for themselves, build and repair buildings, make tables and shelves for their classrooms. Children also grow flowers and vegetables. There is a library at the centre for children of all ages.

The children are encouraged and motivated and not to compete and compare. Hope is that children will learn through games and activities along with the books and materials.

Wednesday's are special days for the children. The children do cultural activities, conduct experiments in science and write the centre's newspaper.The centre also arranges field trips now and then to places of interest around Bangalore.

Resource Centre

This centre serves as a resource for the non-formal education. Many individuals an N.G.Os have utilised the services of Vikasana. Community reponse: Leila Pawar who donated land has been a great supporter of Vikasana. After watching the activities of the centre over a period of years, the community welcomes them and is keen to join the centre.

Future Plans

Impart knowledge in subjects such as primary health, first aid, prevention of illness. The centre with the help of a doctor plans to train women and children groups to carry on the work in their family and community.
Teenage support group. This group consisting of the ex-students, will support other needy women in their community in the fields of literacy, child-care, to acquire skills to support themselves. The Mahila Samakhya will take up the training of members of this group.
Help the handicapped in the community in forming a support group.
A set up consisting of a library and rooms for the teacher trainees.