Second Front – After 14 Years
14 years after starting of Parivaar in Bengal, we have in 2017 started work in a new geography of MP. Here the immediate plan over next one year is to start 10 centres, each of around 100 to 200 children in selected pockets of deprivation and malnourishment in Districts of Madhya Pradesh where Day Boarding (Education cum Meal Programs) for children in the age-group of 4 to 14 will be started. These centres are being named ‘Sri Ramakrishna Vivekananda Seva Kutir’.
The location of these centres is :
- Navada, District Dewas, M.P. :
Our first Kutir has been started in April ’17 at our land on banks of Narmada in village Navada. Here children from nearby villages are coming (some from more distant villages are being brought by vehicles we have hired). About 150 children in the age-group of 5 to 11 are attending the Navada centre. They arrive at 8 am when they are given breakfast with milk, then classes follow till 1 pm, following which they are served lunch with roti, sabzi, rice and dal. They are then dropped back between 2 and 3 pm.
We witnessed a completely new situation here with villagers objecting to children from lowest castes sitting with those from upper castes while partaking of the meals. We made it clear that it will be this only. We now feel, more strongly than before, that even a simple act of dining together right from childhood can go a long way in a more integrated society.
2. Eklera, District Dewas, M.P.
The second Kutir has been started on 1st September ’17 at village Eklera and is servicing nearby 5 villages which are predominantly adivasi (tribal) and in severe deprivation. Here already 175 children are attending ( a vehicle is being hired to ferry from distant villages). The space has been offered by the community.
3. Barakhamba, District Sehore, M.P.
From Feb ’18, we have started our 4th Meal cum Education Centre (Sri Ramakrishna Vivekananda Seva Kutir) in a village Devpura in Sehore district in MP with an initial number of 80 children. This is a village inhabited by Korku adivasis and in forests of the Vidhya range. Children suffer from severe malnourishment and anemia. This Kutir runs in two shifts from 7:30 am to 10:30 am where breakfast and milk is served, and then 4pm to 8pm where after play and studies dinner is served comprising roti, sabzi, dal and rice. A korku adivasi family itself has offered its village home of a few rooms and courtyard as the venue.
4. Chhipaner, District Sehore, M.P.
From Feb ’18, we have started our 5th Meal cum Education Centre (Sri Ramakrishna Vivekananda Seva Kutir) in the village Chhipaner on the banks of Narmada in Sehore district in MP with an initial number of 100 children. The children are mostly from very deprived schedules castes communities and kevat (boatmen) community. This Kutir runs from 7:30 am to 2pm and along with learning, children are served with breakfast and lunch comprising roti, sabzi, dal and rice. The venue for this has been provided by the local communiy.
MP has the worst record as far as child malnourishment is concerned (with 60% children being malnourished), with 28 thousand children in age-group of 0-6 dying last year alone. We have done field-work across the whole district and have identified 10-12 more pockets where we will start similar centres (we need not buy land but will get space from communities or on nominal rent).
This is also helping towards deeper field-engagement in the district as we are building up our main residential institution at village Sandalpur in Dewas district- Nivedita Vidyapeeth (to commemorate Sister Nivedita’s 150th birth anniversary) which is at present under construction and will be modelled on lines of Parivaar’s residential institutions in Bengal. Spread over an area of 6 acres it is expected to be operation in later part of 2018. Children from all these impoverished areas and adivasi districts in Western and Central MP will admitted into Nivedita Vidyapeeth.