Sakar Foundation managed by the staff members of CGS Group, Mr. Hiten & Mr. Bhavish Bhuta recently conducted a very valuable program in the villages of
Surat & Bardoli District. One of the popular program of Sakar Foundation for education sector is "Shining Scholar." -
Shining Scholar program is designed to develop important life-skills such as responsibility, commitment, clarity of thought, decision making and communication for the
children in the age group of 8 to 14.
Shining Scholar Program in Saroli:
Saroli is a small village in the Taluka Chorasi. The total population of the village is 5000 people. Shri. B. N. Patel was one of the resident of this village before
emigrating to America. Mr. B. N. Patel is a well-wisher and friend of CGS Group & Sakar Foundation. Although he is in America, he has deep love for his village, he actively
supported the efforts to conduct the Shining Scholar program in his village.
Saroli Village School:
Saroli Village School is typical village school administered by the Govt. Of Gujarat. The school has about 300 students.
The program was conducted by CGS Group CEO and Sakar Foundation's lead mentor Mr. Hiten Bhuta on Friday, 8th Jan 2010.
- Most parents of the kids coming to this school work as labourers. Their daily income in Rs. 50/- or around US $ 1.2
Most kids right from the age of 8 onwards have following daily schedule:
- They get-up at 6:00 a.m. Clean the house. Support mother in preparing food or to get ready to go to her work as daily laborers. All girls above the age of 8, have
complete responsibility to prepare food and keep the house clean. The kids usually walk anywhere from 30 minutes to 60 minutes to come to the school.
- Once they reach school at around 11:00 or so, they handle various responsibilities in the school like cleaning the classrooms, windows, doors, working in garden and
other regular cleaning and maintainance work.
- There are no benches or chairs. Kids seat on the floor to learn.
- There is only one teacher per class. The same teacher will teach all the subjects. The teachers and principals are deeply committed to do their best in the most limited
resources they have.
- As per Govt of Gujarat's policy, the school does not charge any fees to the students. The students are provided rice and vegetables in the afternoon by Govt.
Most students report that they get severe physical beating as punshiment for not doing work at home in school.
- Alcholosim is wide-spread and common amongst parents. Most students live in shanty without any proper housing, sanitation, water or other basic facilities.
All kids watch Television either at their home or at someone else's place. Detective, thriller Television serial "CID" was the most watched program by kids.
- The school has library with books but most students are not empowered to read or learn from library.
Shining Scholar Program:
- Shining Scholar program for this kids was aimed at creating a sense of hope, possibility, power and enthusiasm for the kids. The program was conducted by Hiten Bhuta.
- The program had many interesting and fun games along with deeply inspirational message that inspite of all advertisities the kids have the power to create a new future for
themselves and their life.
- Sakar Foundation provided free writing ped, workbook, pen and encouragement to students. Mr. Bhuta also interacted with all teachers and acknowledged them for effectively
doing their work.
Kids response to the challenges:
- It was amazing to see the kid's interest, commitment and passion in learning new ideas and new ways of looking at their life.
- Most kids did not have any complaint with regards to their circumstances except the physical beating part. They reported that physical beating was too painful to handle.
- Kids were excited to learn and fully participated in the program.
- At the end of the program, all students created a specific goal for their career. Some of the most common career choices for students were - Teacher, Doctor, Police and
Cricketer. Obviously, these are the only role-models they have.
- All students created a new relationship with books and library. They promised to regularly read good and inspiring books from library instead of watching TV.
Program Photographs: Click here for viewing images
Program Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwNNipmLqmM
The school principal - Mr. Vinaykant and other teachers such as Nirmala, Kamlesh and Manisha keenly paricipated in the program.