Verdant green grasses were swaying in the wind. The high sunlit clouds were drifting across a sky that was immensely blue. The lush green hills in the distance made the entire scene picturesque. My eyes wanted to capture that image with all its vastness and beauty. And with that soft gentle breeze caressing my face, it all simply seemed magical. I was in Bhabra: a village mostly unheard of in the state of Madhya Pradesh; a village that is the birth place of the Indian revolutionary, Chandra Shekhar Azad. I was right in the midst of nature. And there was no denying that. I was gurgling with the levels of excitement of so high, I was amazed I didn’t burst a blood vessel. Yes, indeed. What had brought me to this place? Three words. Child Development Project. (CDP) The Child Development Program is supported by ChildFund India and was commenced in 2005. It is an extensive program that focuses on various aspects. The program covers 9 villages of Bhabra block of Alirajpur district and 15 villages of Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh. This particular area is dominated by tribal population and majority of them are subsistence farmers or landless day laborers.[caption id="attachment_5750" align="aligncenter" width="850"] Farming: One of the major occupations of the population here[/caption]Prayas took the role of facilitating the community and works towards the betterment of the children, strengthening families and communities. It aims to break that cycle of poverty and protect the rights of their children. This integrated child development program encompasses health, education, nutrition, water, sanitation and livelihood to improve the quality lives of children and their families from tribal and backward areas. The program not only helps building an environment for holistic development of the children but it also ensures an environment for the disadvantaged children to help them realize their full potential.My inquisitive mind wanted to know every bit of this program so it couldn’t let this opportunity pass by. Hence here I am in order to understand this project more deeply and to volunteer for teaching children at one of the rural schools as a part of RIP (Reading Skills Improvement Program), which is one of the most important aspects of CDP.Considering how since Independence, India is being plagued by the problems related to education, I strongly believe that it is only through various projects like these that this national crisis can be tackled. I am very much looking forward to my volunteering sessions and writing about them in near future.
A sojourn in the midst of nature: An experience of volunteering