[Watch/Read] School For Grannies’ In India
Education is a never ending process. There are times when we find solace in it, it guides us in situations where we don’t know what the next step is and that is why IT matters. India has 72.99% literacy rate from recent statistics. This being said it is important that it is imparted to each and every one of us. Even the elderly who missed an opportunity at having an education. Taking up this initiative to teach for adults Yogendra Bangar and Motiram Dalal Charitable Trust came up with an innovative idea of opening “AajiBaichi Shala” (GrandMother’s School). Started on International Women’s Day 2016 has around 28 students at present. Located in Phangane Thane this is school for grandmothers. This is open two hours in a day and the uniform is Pink Sarees. Students age from 60 and all the way upto 90. The villagers never protested about this initiative rather they were excited for this and gave a thumbs up for this unique effort. Speaking from heart Ramabai Ganpat Chandelle says that she is like a ripe fruit which might fall of the branch anytime but that won’t stop her from learning and she doesn’t want to die an illiterate. Another student says that she is excited because she gets to learn from her grandchildren and they all study together which makes her happy in her old days. This school not only helps in education but also gives literacy a new definition where they are taught the art of hand woven quilts and paper bags. Initiatives like these have surrounded our nation from the past. One such is a school in Tilonia India which opened its gates in 1972. Named it as Barefoot College started by young post graduate Sanjit “Bunker” Roy. This school is all that a grandma needs. They do not provide certificates neither they need Masters or PhDs to find solutions to common problems. It started with small programs like finding a solution to roofs that are leaking to sprouting a land which could not be taught of having any plants. There were ladies who started making pressure cookers that used solar power. This as said by Bunker is the most sophisticated cooker created by them. Then came the revolutionary solar power lit homes. It first started in Tilona where the grandmas were trained through sign language to create such amazing technologies. Later spread to many different places all over India, Afghanistan, Africa. There are schools at night were they are taught about politics, how to manage a whole party. Just like it is done in schools these days. This school gave life to grandmas and many more ladies which were illiterate. But after this even the literates are far behind them. As rightly said by Bunker – Look for solutions, but look for them within you, because there are solutions, you just got to listen to the world and the people on the ground.