Ekal Model For Social Change

This is a new video section which we are starting today. This is to bring in front of our viewers what Ekal has been doing for the last 30 years, for the overall development in rural Bharat, particularly in the education field. The first video being posted here is Ekal's 2019 film, which gives a brief on what is being done in the various verticals.

In the video the figures of Ekal One Teachers Schools given are of last year. As of 30th June Ekal is running 91,035 schools in as many villages. There are a total of 2,467,283 students (Girls - 1,235,010 and Boys - 1,232,273) taking advantage of education in Ekal. And this education is not restricted to students only - it is also imparting literacy among the parents too.

Given below is a small write up taken from the annual report of Ekal Abhiyan for the year 2017-18.

EKAL Model For Social Change

The foundation stone Ekal Vidyalaya

‘Ekal - a revolution at grassroots of Bharat’ - is a journey of social dreamers and visionaries who resolved to eliminate the disparities in the progress of Bharat and enable the fruits of development to reach the most deprived and neglected rural and tribal brethren. With the conviction that change for the better was possible, they believed that education can be that powerful tool to change the destiny of mankind residing at the fringes of Bharat. The birth of the magnanimous movement, one of its kinds, took place in 1988-89 as ‘Ekal Vidyalaya –One Teacher School’ in Gumla, Jharkhand. starting from 60 villages in the remote tribal Bharat, deprived of even the basic necessities of life such as roads, hospitals, schools, clean water, where even the Government had not managed to reach, Ekal pioneered its journey to empower the last man in the row but not merely as a provider but as a facilitator to bring about change through active participation of the local communities and enabling them to take ownership of their own development.

Ekal made it possible by making the target beneciaries partners in their own progress. The representatives of village community were organized into Gram Samiti to fully own, manage and control the functioning of Ekal Vidyalaya. The entire model was conceived to perfectly t into the local dynamics of a village– be it the place, time or the dialect chosen to run the Vidyalaya.

Ekal evolved into a people’s movement with the ripple effect of like-minded people joining hands for a common cause. But the most striking feature of Ekal is the strong force of volunteers starting from villages, expanding to cities within India and even spreading its wings to global Diaspora. Needless to say that Ekal is one of the largest grassroots movements in the world, owned, managed and driven by the largest pool of volunteers.

From Education to Integrated Village Development

Ekal started with the core idea of taking education at the doorstep of every child in the remotest of areas in tribal Bharat but gradually transformed into a model of social change. In addition to education, rural health, economic development, livelihoods and preservation of rich Indian cultural heritage also got embedded within Ekal model of holistic development.

Ekal Model for Social Change got inspired by the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda, principles of social harmony and equality of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, and village development model of Mahatma Gandhi.

The model comprises of four important components:

Ekal Vidyalaya:

The starting point of strategic intervention in Ekal Model is Ekal Vidyalaya- ‘One Teacher School’ to ensure functional literacy among all children and further link them to formal schooling. These schools provide free, nonformal education to the children in the age group of 6 to 14 years, operate for 2.5 hours to 3 hours a day, for about 22 days a month throughout the year. Teacher is essentially from the same village who teaches 25 to 30 students. The curriculum covers reading, writing, arithmetic, health and hygiene, local sports, handicrafts and Indian moral and cultural values.

Health, hygiene and cleanliness by Arogya Foundation:

Health issues like high mortality rate and nutritional anaemia attracted the attention of the Ekal while intervening on the educational issues in rural and tribal areas. In rst phase, the health awareness and education for prevention of diseases was started through Vidyalayas. Going forward, direct interventions got initiated in form of health camps, organised in each block where Ekal schools were run, twice a year catering various expert medical services to rural communities.Further special projects like Anaemia control were started to cater to focused health segments.

 Rural Development by Gramothan Foundation:

To enhance income of tribal and rural families and nd a sustainable solution to exodus from villages to cities in search of better opportunities, Gramothan came into existence to promote micro-rural entrepreneurship (MRE) and Gramothan Resource Centres (GRCs) were established as training cum resource centres for about 100 villages surrounding the centre. The main aim of these GRCs is to make village community economically self-reliant and develop villages as centres of economic activity. The idea is very similar to the idea of PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) promoted by Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and adopted by Government of India. The main focus remains on Knowledge, Electronics and Economic Connectivity to 100 villages.

Culture, Values & Indian Ethos by Shri Hari:

To safeguard tribal and rural villages from practising superstitions, caste inghtings, liquor addiction etc., weekly gatherings are held in villages with average participation in range of 40 to 60 adults. These are powerful tools of conveying several kinds of messages ranging from social harmony, pride for traditions, patriotism, de-addiction, Gram Swaraj, cow based organic farming, preserving natural resources, democratic process etc.

(The video is courtesy Ekal Abhiyan)

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