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Project JnanaShala: Supporting the rural kids with the gift of Jnana (Knowledge)

By auther pic. Smita Singh

April 27, 2021

Project JnanaShala: Supporting the rural kids with the gift of Jnana (Knowledge)

Project JnanaShala

While the era becoming digital during the pandemic year 2020-21, many young students evolved technically and digitally but the pandemic seems to have quashed the dreams for children in the Rural and suburban areas. With no proper electricity, network and devices, students are left to learn on their own. Many other children with no school spend their day playing in the village or work in the fields and the girls may even get married off.

 

To figure out how they will study for the rest of the year without school, Project JnanaShala was launched. It is an education-based initiative, that aims to empower the lives of people living in rural villages of India. Since prolonged closure may lead to problems including gaps in learning, a higher dropout rate, child marriages, child labour, malnutrition etc, Project JnanaShala is making education accessible to the kids in around 5 villages. located in Ramanagara district of Karnataka.

 

Project JnanaShala is the brainchild of Arvind Kamath and Santhosh C.V. under the umbrella of an NGO, Happy World Foundation. Happy World Foundation was founded in August 2013 to create a Happier World by working out on ways to protect Mother Earth and her children through environment sustainability programs like tree plantation drives and its protection, education of young minds, creation of livelihood for rural youth and ensuring our urban labour force does not go hungry.

 

(Kids attending the fun events conducted by JnanaShala sessions)

 

Through the JnanaShala initiative, Community Centres are set up at 5 villages situated in Kanakapura Taluk, at a distance of 60 KMS from Bangalore. Each public centre is made equipped with a 55-inch Smart TV, Miracast Projector as support, 4G Smartphone, Bluetooth empowered Speaker and a UPS set. The Project additionally appointed a woman facilitator  called “Grama Gelathi”, on a full-time basis from each village to manage the centres. This in a way created employment opportunity for talented youth who lost their job during the pandemic.

 

Through this initiative, the Project helps village kids having no access to one or the wifi or cell phone or even Television at home, can continue their education at these Community centre. These sessions are being telecast by the Doordarshan Chandana channel, as a part of the Karnataka government initiative called “Samveda”, to assist rural kids studying in Classes 5th to 10th.

 

Happy World Foundation also believes it's crucial to begin instructing "Values and Character" to kids at an early age. As part of Project JnanaShala, weekly sessions are conducted on topics related to Values and Character, Social mores, Caring for Environment and so forth. This knowledge is being cultured to village kids through the best method of Storytelling. 

 

(Library sessions conducted for Kids)

 

On the occasion of the 72nd Republic of India, the “Digital Library” initiative was launched in the five villages coming under Project JnanaShala, because none of the villages currently has a library suitable for children studying in the rural schools. Hence they experience the ill effects of an absence of openness and connect with the outside world. These digital libraries are creating reading habits and moral values that are required for basis of their ethical principles. The inauguration of 1st "Digital Library" happened at Kottagalu Village on Friday 12th March 2021 and to be followed in other 4 villages in Ramanagara District (Karnataka) by end of March 2021.

 

Project JnanaShala along with focusing on education and inculcating values, plan fun events for the kids of the village. Happy World Foundation team organised a Kite Flying event at Kottagalu village with around 40 kids participating in it. Believing that Kite Flying and its importance has been neglected by today’s generation, the team tried to make these kids enjoy the kite flying activity. Few other activities that were conducted are trek to the nearby hills and campfire.

 

(JnanaShala classes for Rural Kids)

 

The Project has already impacted the lives of more than 500 rural students in the 5 Villages. The NGO plans to cover more than 20 villages by the end of the year to ensure more children benefit from the programme with or without classroom sessions. The further plan is to start skill based educational training to Rural Women and Youth aged 15 to 24 years, leading to sustainable livelihood.

 

 

Poor infrastructure, connectivity and the digital gap have left the young minds from rural areas worried about their future. With the pandemic at large, these students are yet to benefit from online education. Digital education is still a challenge, and several methods need to be applied to make it accessible to all across the nation. Let’s all encourage Projects like JnanaShala that is supporting the rural kids with the gift of Jnana (Knowledge).

 

 

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Impact-Story is a series on development and CSR interventions leading to some impacts on the ground. If you have a project, innovation or intervention that has changed the lives of a few people or a community, please share a brief note at shilpi@csrbox.org. Our Team will get back to you after validating the information for a detailed coverage.

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Author

Smita currently finished her masters from Economics Major. Being an introvert personality, writing suits best to her. She has vivid experience in the content area from writing research papers to writing content for various websites, blogs & stories. Smita has worked for a Patna based digital marketing company named DigiwaleBabu.

 

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