VEDIC RURAL MISSION (VRM) is an NGO formed by a group of individuals who have devoted themselves to work for the upliftment of the rural people of Purulia mainly in the educational fields.
The NGO is formed to give a cohesive and concrete structure to their social developmental works in which they were engaged individually for many years so that it can create a force to give thrust to the living standard of the people of Purulia and its surroundings. As education is the key to real development anywhere in the world, VRM has made educational development its main focus to lead the district towards such development as will stand on the ground of solid basics.
To do this the members of the NGO has made a collective study of the experiences of each individual member and came to the following conclusion:
Project – Purulia was always known as one of the poorest and most underdeveloped districts in our country. According to our collective experiences and the data we have, its status is still the same. But there is one perceptible change which we consider is a ray of hope for the district and the NGO has launched itself to capitalize on that one change to harbinger a change in the educational, economic, and overall social developmental status of the district.
There was a time when the people of Purulia didn’t think much of giving education to their children. While educational opportunities were always very limited and the poor economic standard had always been an insurmountable impediment, the people were also not very enthusiastic to send their children to school for education. Any social worker who came to work in the deep interiors of Purulia often had to coax and cajole and take many other means to convince the parents to send their children to school.
This mental setup can be understood from the common saying that was in the local dialect of Purulia – “ Lekhapora ghorardim chaas kollye bachhardin” (education is useless; only farming will sustain you through the year).
With this conviction the rural folks preferred to take their children to the fields to teach them the intricacies of farming and develop them as farm labors rather than sending them to academic schools for any kind of formal education. This in spite of the fact that being in a plateau region (it belongs to the Chhotanagpur Plateau) most of its cultivable land had always been ‘single cropland’ due to severe scarcity of water throughout the year (though according to our latest study there is a slight change in this fact as some lands, though very few, are yielding a second crop thanks to the government’s initiative to develop micro-irrigation in the deep interiors for the last few years). Fortunately in the last twenty years or so this mentality has completely changed and a desire to educate the children has taken a strong ground in the psyche of the common rural people. But widely, as this is the first generation of parents with this consciousness, people are facing real and practical difficulty in educating their children as most parents are either very poorly literate or completely illiterate. So one of the three parties i.e. teachers, students, and parents who together create the whole process of education becomes automatically excluded from the system. Parents are almost totally unable to perform their part at home to help their children in academics as they are not at all fit for the job neither can they avail (or afford ) a good private tutor due to the same socioeconomic reasons.
As a result a huge demand has grown at the local level for good residential schools where the parents can literally deposit their children and almost totally absolve themselves from the responsibility of helping them academically. This is where there is a big gap between demand and supply. A few renowned brands of schools have their institutions in the Purulia Town only and the few cities (richer) people fill them completely. These schools are also not affordable for the village poor. So they have very few residential schools available for them in the interiors which are overcrowded and most of them are of so poor standard that the common people who have also grown conscious about the quality of education are reluctant to send their children to those schools but are forced to do so having no other option. Their economic standard being among the poorest in the country they are unable to send their children to better schools far away – outside the district. So ultimately at the end of the day, their condition remains same as the people are caught in the cycle of uneducated or poorly educated children not being able to make a high career and ultimately their economic condition and living standard remain same and in a wide spectrum the country itself becomes a bit lost as a vast pool of budding talents – a powerful would-be-human-resource - become withered in its nascent stage without proper nourishment.
VEDIC RURAL MISSION wants to break this cycle by creating high standard residential schools in the deep interiors of Purulia where it will strive to impart quality education and where even the poorest parents can send their children.
With this mission we are progressing with our task for some time and while we have already proceeded long to gather the necessary expertise for this task, we have also already crossed the first milestone on the requirement which is to make land available for the purpose. We already have access to enough land at different places which are ready to be used for creating the minimum initial infrastructure. These lands are suitably placed at different pockets of very deep interior villages around the district. We are still looking for more land in more places. In the meantime we are face to face with the second requirement that is enough funds to create the minimum basic infrastructure required for starting a residential school. Our target is to create best facilities for the poorest people of the country who are otherwise always left at the foot of the development pyramid. This is where we come to you seeking your kind help.
The first requirements - a school building, a students’ hostel (with a kitchen) in the main school campus for at least 300 to 500 children and the staff quarters, and a hostel in Purulia town for students pursuing higher studies, will need close to rupees nine crores in the first phase which does not necessarily need to come in one single installment if it helps to make it easier to facilitate matters to move fast.
So on behalf of the poorest people of our country we earnestly stretch our hands seeking your help and good wishes which we are sure will give us the required strength to move forward with our mission.