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Case Studies


Sheela Daranga, teacher at the Residential Learning Camp

Sheela Daranga has been teaching at Seva Mandir’s Residential Learning Camp (RLC) since 2014. She has a B.A. and B.Ed. from Udaipur, but she comes from a rural hamlet far from the city. Her father has taught in a Shiksha Kendra (SK) and at the Camp. Sheela herself attended an SK and knows the value of a good education and how much difference a good teacher can make to children’s lives. When she first joined the RLC she found it difficult to teach Hindi to the children as they only used their local languages, but, with hard work and support from the other teachers,

she overcame this hurdle and now provides help and support to new teachers. She likes teaching Maths and Hindi in a creative way. She is also an avid sportsperson and likes to play Kabaddi and Kho-Kho with the girls in the evening. ‘These sports increase children’s decision making-skills,’ Sheela says.She credits her father with inspiring her to become a teacher. She loves her work and says that parents of children from previous camps still tell her how grateful they are that their children had a chance to be taught by her, since she transformed their lives with her creative and dedicated approach.


Reema Gamar, RLC  pupil

Reema is 11 and comes from a village in the most remote and deprived of the areas in which Seva Mandir works. She had studied up to 2nd grade, after which her parents asked her to stay home and do household work. Later, she started working as a labourer at a brick kiln in Gujarat, where she used to earn INR 150 (just over USD 2) a day. She worked there for a month and gave all her earnings to her mother, who, according to Reema, bought her clothes and a nose pin.

Reema’s parents learned about the camp from a Seva Mandir employee and agreed to send her. Reema enthusiastically says: ‘I have learned how to write my name, learned the names of fruits and animals, how to do addition, subtraction, arrange numbers in increasing-decreasing order, and also learnt some English words with their meanings. I have learned to use a computer at the camp, and now I can even paint using it!’  Reema says that at the camp she has learnt to wash her hands before eating, to brush her teeth, bathe inside a bathroom, use a toilet and not to defecate in the open. She is back for her second camp and would like to go to a school near her village once she has finished three camps.


A village community decides to start a school

In Raojibadla hamlet there is neither a government nor a private school. The Shiksha Kendra at Nayawas is very unusual in that it was managed by the community before being associated with Seva Mandir.

Veeram Chand and Shankar Lal, teachers who had been involved in Lok Jumbish (an innovation in grass-roots level management of primary education), decided a few years ago that, since the government schools closest to their village are more than 5 km away, they would do something to educate the children in their village. Parents living in Raojibadla and nearby hamlets fully supported them in their endeavour and a small space was given to the teachers. The community was very happy with the results of the efforts of the two teachers and more and more parents started sending their children to learn.

At the beginning of 2015, the community decided that to further improve the quality of education it would be best to associate themselves with Seva Mandir. After the centre was established as a Seva Mandir Shiksha Kendra enrolment went up from 60 to 98. The teachers could not accommodate students in the existing space and had to move one set of students to the shade of a tree to conduct the class. Seeing the difficulty that students and teachers were facing, the community, panchayat and the parents pooled money, labour and resources to build a new community centre to accommodate the large number of students.

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