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15 Sep 2020

Nand - Committed to providing a quality education


The provision of quality and accessible education has long been a challenge for the rural and tribal populations of southern Rajasthan. Even when schools are available, many children must stay at home to help support their families, be it by managing livestock and caring for younger siblings. So, when a child is enrolled into a school, it is vital that they are encouraged to stay.

In one remote village situated in the heart of the undulating Aravali mountain range, Nand has been teaching in one of Seva Mandir's Shiksha Kendras for more than 12 years. He has been dedicated to ensuring that all children in the area are able to receive a quality primary education that gives them the tools and knowledge they need to improve their lives.

When the Covid-19 lockdown began, the community saw a large number of migrants returning home after losing their daily-wage jobs in distant cities. Suddenly, a means of income had been cut off for many families whilst also finding themselves with an extra mouth to feed. The temporary closure of schools was in effect, and children were now back to managing livestock, caring for younger siblings and collecting water, amongst other work.

Fully aware of the situation, Nand could see the importance of making sure that during this time, children would still be able to learn.

During the lockdown, Nand maintained connection with all of the parents. He used his smartphone to create recordings of poems, stories and messages of encouragement to share with the children and his fellow instructors.

Even as the lockdown was lifted, Shiksha Kendras remained closed to protect the children from the virus. Resolute, Nand conducted home visits for all of his students to give them school work they could complete at home, whilst encouraging parents to help their children.

On International Literacy Day 2020, Nand visited the children and played games, sang songs and recited poems and stories with them.

‘The teachers are keeping our children engaged, but they are desperate for the Shiksha Kendras to reopen,' explains Khatu, a parent of one of the children in Nand's Shiksha Kendra.

As the Covid-19 crisis continues to develop, Seva Mandir is monitoring the situation closely, creating lesson plans that can be delivered remotely and staying in constant connection with children and their families.

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