In the far-flung villages of India, regular school attendance has been an ongoing challenge. It's made worse by COVID-19. Even reversing the progress made in many geographies. In a recent survey of a small government-run primary school in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, our School to School (S2S) initiative teams found that the parents' inability to afford stationery items (pen, pencil, rubber, tiffin box, school bag, shoes and other items) impacts their children's education and school attendance.
To tackle this, Goonj reached school kits including stationary etc. to the children. Some months later, these children reached out to their teacher with a unique problem. They said they kept losing their material and made a plea to the school to keep it safely, for their use. Together with the school teachers, we evolved the idea of a 'School Bank' that would work for every student.
Goonj immediately responded by reaching the first tranche of resources by reaching material like dictionaries, school bags, storybooks, stationery items into this unique bank. The Bank, run by two school elders, now takes a student's deposit of school material, bring it to the local Goonj office where they make entries of the taken materials.
We believe that this collective ownership of school material will lead to more students' accessing materials, reducing their parent's financial burden. Students will also learn the value of money and how to use materials responsibly.