Project Pehchaan is an initiative by PARAS India in the Bundelkhand region of North Indian states of U.P. and M.P. Through this program, we give education to deprived children of the marginalised communities since 2008. The areas we cover include Jhansi, Lalitpur, Tikamgarh, Datia, Mahoba, Jalaun,Shivpuri and Niwari.
Reports tell us that the highest number of out of school children, i.e. 13%, is from the state of Uttar Pradesh. In case of Bundelkhand region of U.P. more than half the population of the region is without any literacy skills. The literacy rate of Bundelkhand is three times lower than the national average. Only one-third of the females in the region are literate. These people would remain out of inclusive development and fall into a perpetual cycle of poverty if no steps are taken.
We work along with the community, and have active participation from the women and adolescent girls in the region. There are various activities that we are working on like sports, dance, storytelling, debates, poetry, so that we are able to retain and engage children. Activities also help them to unleash their potential and make for a holistic learning experience. We are constantly surprised by the level of enthusiasm and also the artistic ability of the children.
Pre-schooling is also a part of our activity where we are working as crèche and also orienting very young kids towards education. The adolescent committee of girls and women also make use of our facility, as a platform for engaging with others and finding common solution through consultation and discussions.
PARAS India reach out to the maximum number of people in this region, and we work mostly with Sahariya tribe. In the beginning we started our campaign with another tribe in the region,Kanjar tribes. Most of the men in the community are involved in illicit trade of liquor and other petty crimes. The children belonging to the Kanjar Tribes are mostly ostracized and usually drop out of the schools. Through our door to door campaigns and community seminar, we were able to instill interest in the parents and enthusiasm in the children.
We conduct regular classes, organize Computer Literacy programs, Extra-curricular activities, Kishori Group Meetings, Library facility, Book-Reading Activity, Exposure Visits, Parents-Teachers Meeting, Screening of Inspirational movies etc.
Incidents of child marriages have visibly decreased in the area as a result of our intervention.
Mainstreaming of students in the school who earlier were not enrolled in the school
Higher level of self confidence can be seen in the students
Improvement in the decision making skills of children
Awareness among parents has increased manifold as they want their kids to enroll for higher studies.
Parents have shown confidence in their wards as a result of PARAS’s efforts that their children could also study like others belonging to privileged section. This will bring societal parity among the regions.
As our efforts have been sustainable and is showing grassroot level results, support and encouragement from the community is also increasing.
Increased participation of Girls and women in social activities.