"Information is the currency of democracy.” The origin and the exact meaning of this quote may be debatable, but the fact that an informed public is essential to true democracy is beyond dispute. The Right to Information Act (RTI), passed in 2005, is a powerful tool the public can wield to stay informed, and to demand answers.
AID's partner Trust for Reaching the Unreached has been working on the issues of education and health, for decades in the tribal region of Panchmahal in Gujarat. The high school in Shivrajpur is not easily accessible to tribal communities because of the difficult terrain.
Listen to AID volunteers Asti Bhatt and Pavan Vaidyanathan, who in July 2014 visited the Trust for Reaching the Unreached (TRU), in the Panch Mahals district of rural Gujarat.
Kailashben and Bhikiben are two friends from the Agariya community, the traditional saltmakers of India. After their 12th grade, Rs 2500 per semester stood between them and their desire to continue their education. Organizers from Janpath talked to the Principal to get 50% sponsorship while AID supported the rest.
Three years later both Kailashben and Bhikiben called and said now they want to pursue an MA and BEd.
AID's partner Trust for Reaching the Unreached has been working on the
issues of education and health, for decades in the tribal region of
Panchmahal in Gujarat. The high school in Shivrajpur is not easily
accessible to tribal communities because of the difficult terrain. Girls
are further deprived because they are discriminated against and made to
do household work instead. To address this, TRU started a hostel
facility for girls right next to the high school with the intention of
providing supplementary education in a supportive environment. The Girls
Education Project (GEP), run by TRU assists girls from tribal areas to
attend high school. Located in Shivrajpur, Panchmahal district, Gujarat.
A visit to Center for Development / Kadam Education Initiative projects
Umang Kumar, an AID volunteer in Boston, writes about his visit to the Kadam Educational Initiative projects in Ahmedabad.
In a city like Ahmedabad, a longtime commercial hub of India and currently the focus of a lot of “development” work, one might miss those areas like Citizen Nagar, Ganeshnagar-Piplaj and Khodiyanagar tucked away from our eyes. Yet, Jyoti, Jagruti and Sonal live there and dream big; Sajedaben, Savitaben and Rajni struggle for the resident's rights and Ashiyana, Rehnuma and Muskan explore the world of computers and dream of becoming doctors and engineers some day...
For generations, the Agariya's have been making salt in the extreme desert conditions of the Rann during the dry season (8 months per year) when the water drains away and the salt marsh turns in to a desert.
Utthan envisions a society that imbibes and ensures the values of gender justice, equality, peace and happiness in practice. Utthan’s mission is to initiate gender sensitive processes of empowerment amongst the most vulnerable communities, through a process of building conscientiousness and organizing around their major issues.
Agariyas are the traditional salt-making community in Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) who toil hard in extreme desert conditions for 10 months/year to make organic salt. Due to non-recognition by the government as traditional saltmakers, provision of basic amenities like water, electricity, medicals services and sanitation is very poor. Lack of schools makes education a distant dream. This project currently supported by AID-Buffalo (Rs 2 lakhs), spearheaded by the NGO Janpath supports two grassroot field level workers who work with the Agariya community to ensure they get necessary recognition and access to basic amenities. Very few groups are working in this area to provide support and facilitate the empowerment of Agariyas.