Lighting lives through school kits – Rejoicing Bru children in Khakchangpara refugee camp, in Panisagar, Tripura. [From Left-Vipan Kumar Mongia, Nishant Aggarwal and Sanjay Hegde(clapping with joy :)].
Remember that time of the year, when the air is filled with the scent of spring. When the fear of the final results is over and the excitement of a new session is at its peak. It’s in those times that we all have fond memories of the freshly bought books, the glossy covers and the clean pages of a new notebook, the colourful pens and of course a nice, comfortable stylish bag to carry all of these to school and show them off to our classmates. Wasn’t it a great feeling back then? The smell of the fresh pages, the joy in learning and reading those chapters from a new book, the bliss in making those notebooks attain the greatest levels of perfection through our neatly scribbled notes and meticulously underlined, coloured texts.

But there are children in unfortunate circumstances, often driven by poverty, violence, societal ills and most victims of fate, that remain devoid of these simple joys and facilities that other children enjoy and that we enjoyed in our childhood. Sometimes in the absence of money, sometimes in the absence of guardians or parents, these children lose the most precious years of their lives, which should have been spent in a school, learning and exploring.

In order to bring this joy of learning to the little ones, Sewa International from time to time has been organizing school kit distribution program throughout its area of operation.

Children in Chunar, Mirzapur, taking a step towards education

Why A School Kit?

While the idea of the distribution of a school kit might seem trivial and insignificant to many but the latent benefits of this simple gesture are many.

  • It instills a sense of attending a formal institution for education in the children. They are able to understand and perceive the seriousness of the simple act of waking up every day, getting dressed and attending a formal school.
  • Even in the presence of the Right To Free Education for the underprivileged children, it’s often the inability of the parents to afford even basic books and notebooks for the child to write upon, that children drop out of school in large numbers. It has been observed many times that a child feels ashamed and stigmatized for not having a bag or good notebooks to write upon, while their classmates have access to these facilities
  • For a small child, it’s a herculean task to even remember the names of his subjects, leave apart remembering to bring books of the same. A school bag helps them carry their stuff and bring it to school.
  • The simple act of owning something exclusive as a school bag makes them more confident about themselves. It also makes them learn how to take care of their belongings.
  • Having a set of books and stationary helps the child to develop more engagement in the subject and has also seen to improve the learning outcomes of the class. A child’s retention and understanding is enhanced with the use of pictorial information, colours and other innovative learning techniques. All of this requires a basic set of school supplies.
  • This formalization of education also helps in getting the parents to become more serious about their child’s education and also ensuring their regular attendance. A mother getting her child ready for the school in the morning forms a very special memory for both of them and especially for the child’s emotional development as this shows their parent’s encouragement towards them going to school.

OUR ENDEAVORS

In all our efforts for service and rehabilitation in different areas affected either by disaster or by conflict, we at Sewa International have always put children at the forefront while developing plans and policies. We understand that after a segment of the population has suffered from any catastrophe or calamity, it’s only the next generation that holds the key to their resurgence and a bright future. From building makeshift schools in Tripura to getting the disabled into the mainstream education scenario, Sewa International has always worked towards establishing these little ones as important stakeholders in any development or welfare activity. Sewa International has been distributing school kits in Tripura, Siliguri, and Varanasi.

School kids of Ashapara refugee camp, Tripura, expressing their happiness with the new gift they got!!

Children from the Bru tribe being distributed School Kits for a better learning experience

  • Tripura – In the refugee camps of Ashapara and Naisinghpara in North Tripura, where Sewa is running 8 and 7 Sewa Learning Centres(SLC) respectively, the centre students were suffering due to lack of basic stationery items like pencils as well as didn’t have any bag to carry their copies and books around. After getting the feedback from our Tutors at the centres, Sewa decided to provide School Kits, which comprised of a school bag, a fully equipped pencil box and a pack of notebooks, sufficient for the full year. 400 such kits were distributed in the Ashapara & Naisinghpara Camps in our 15 SLCs, and in a dilapidated SSA school in Khakchangpara camp in the presence of the visiting Sewa International team comprising of Shri Sanjay Hegde (Treasurer & Trustee, Sewa International) and Shri Nishant Aggarwal (CEO, Sewa International) on 6th Oct 2017. 

 

School Kit distribution drive in Siliguri and adjoining areas of West Bengal
  • Siliguri and North Bengal / Sikkim – A total of 780 bags were distributed throughout the areas of Siliguri, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong. About 5000 notebooks were used in this process which were locally purchased. The bag comprised of notebooks, a pencil box comprising of essential items needed by students throughout the academic year.
Read India Read Kashi – A step towards literacy and education in Kashi
  • Ramnagar ( Kashi, UP) – Under its project READ INDIA READ KASHI, Sewa International distributed 320 free school kits to the children throughout our 6 free Sewa Learning Centres in the area

A total of 1500 school kits were distributed in these places. The parents of these children also attended these events and were very happy to see their children taking a step towards their bright future. Our accomplishment and inspiration come from the hundreds of warm, smiling happy faces that lit upon receiving this gift of education.

Plan for 2018-19

Enthused by the amazing response and feedback of the local Sewa teams, SISGO from Oman has decided to increase their contributions more than 4 times this year to around 6000 school kits which would be available for Sewa International projects world-wide(including Nepal). This is indeed a great moment for us to celebrate and thank our donors for their generous contribution.