Don't let COVID19 infringe their Right to Education. | Milaap
Don't let COVID19 infringe their Right to Education.
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    Rashi Agarwal

    from Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh

Know the problem

Mihipurwa block of Bahraich Uttar Pradesh, bordering Nepal, comprises of 104 villages and most of them are situated in dense forest regions. The treacherous geographical and the preserved ecological aspects of this region have made it largely inaccessible to technology and modernization. The impact of this remoteness has attained utmost significance in the recent times when everything, from schools to offices, has moved online.
High rates of migration, unemployment and poverty has forced many kids to leave schools and resort to streets in search of menial ways of earning and feeding the family. Limited accessibility to smart phones, mobile network and even electricity may cause the resource deprived kids here to drop out or not to get enrolled in schools, post pandemic. All this will ultimately leave the community with faint possibilities of leading a dignified life beyond obscurity.

What we intend to do

To keep the first generational learners connected to school and inclined towards education, we initiated Panchlight campaign in June this year. Here, a group of maximum 6-8 students is taught by a volunteer from the village itself at an easily accessible center. These volunteers are college students, recent graduates or teachers of private schools who lost their jobs amidst the COVID19 crisis. All volunteers and students are provided with stationery, masks and sanitizers using the funds raised. Competitions and extra-curricular activities are conducted on days of historical importance, and better performing students are awarded; this encourages them to pursue their hobbies and keeps their interest in studies intact.

"Bachhon ki sankhya kam ho gayi hai. Hum puchhte hain ki padhne kyun nahi aate to bolte hain ki sir ji copy bhar gayi hai, pencil khatam ho gayi hai, kaise padhen?", says Gopi who teaches at Chahalwa village of Mihinpurwa. This necessitates regular supply of stationery.

Currently, 18 volunteers are teaching around 350 students in 2 out of 14 blocks of Bahraich: Mihinpurwa and Fakharpur. But over the past six months we have realized that impracticability of online education is widespread and extending this campaign beyond Mihinpurwa can help more children to resume their studies. So, now we are aiming to launch Panchlight in second phase -beginning 1st January- for a period of 45 days. The objective would be to recover the learning lost during the period of absence of any form of education and to take the learning of each student in language and mathematics at least one level up(on the 10-level assessment scale that we have designed). In this second phase, the focus will be on students till class 5th and the campaign shall run throughout the Bahraich district: given the availability of volunteers and the presence of needy children.

How we use the funds

Each center strictly follows the precautionary measures including- physical distancing, use of masks, hand sanitization before and after the classes. These schools thus, also serves as a platform to aware and educate the communities on the myths and facts around the COVID19. Basic stationery is provided to each student and to each volunteer to support learning and teaching.
Specifically the funds will be utilized to:
  • Provide each student with a stationary kit, costing 100 rupees each. 
  • Provide each volunteer with a rolling black-board, chalk-box, duster, pens, registers and supportive teaching material, all costing around 150 rupees for each volunteer.
  • Distribute masks and sanitizers to the students and volunteers.
  • Transport stationery from Bahraich city to different locations.
  • Cover the incentives provided to volunteer, including travelling cost and phone bills.
  • Print forms, certificates, assessment sheets etc.
  • Award students who perform comparatively better in assessments or those who are regular in classes.

To know more...

All updates about the campaign and a glimpse of the work done so far can be found at our facebook page. Also, we would be grateful to receive any suggestions or guidance which can maximize the impact of efforts being made; you may write to us at Please reach out for any query.

Help us to kindle interests and nurture dreams where technology still can't reach.

Thanks and regards,
Rashi Agarwal
Omkar Tiwari
Directors, Panchlight.

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