Last Updated:  29/05/2021

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Project Pitch By: BAIF Development Research Foundation


Proposed Project Title

Shikshan-Mitra – Developing A Self-reliant, Proactive and Youth of 21st Century


Thematic Area

Promotion of education, special education and vocational skills

Sub Thematic Area

Education Programs

Project Synopsis

The current education system doesn’t provide any scope to build on the socio-cultural context of children from marginalized societies and apply the learning in real life situations, it either pushes them out of the system or creates submissive personalities with inferiority complex, without any ability to live a self-sufficient and a dignified life. Acknowledging these issues, BAIF has designed its education intervention which aims at making education more contextual and applicable to real life situations. With education it provides practical knowledge linked with classroom learning, with an objective of dealing effectively with the local eco-systems, using viably the available natural resources and improving health standard and civic life. The keen emphasis on students’ active participation in the process helps to harness the students’ personality skills. It promotes a reciprocal relationship between the school and local community as well

Overview of the Proposed Project

Estimated Budget
INR 1.0 Cr - INR 5.0 Cr
Proposed Location
Pan India

Key Project Partners
Government,Academic Institute,Companies

Project Status


Beneficiary Type (Primary): Adolescent
Beneficiary Type (Secondary):
Estimated No. of Beneficiaries: 3000 - 10000 Individuals
Status of Baseline Survey: Already Done

Proposed Project Description


BAIF realized need for special intervention in education around 2004 because the generation born just before or after the era of open economy had entered into the category of working population by then. A paradigm shifts in the economy also reflected in livelihood patterns, social lives and aspirations of the people especially youths. It also slowly filtered into rural-tribal areas. With the growth and increasing popularity of service sector, youths from rural-tribal areas started getting attracted towards the same. The fruits of development of science, technology and market economy did not penetrate to the grass-root especially agriculture and mostly marginal farmer. As a result, the youths from agricultural families started disdaining agriculture and allied jobs and in fact life in villages was equalized to the backwardness. Partially educated youths who condemned traditional family businesses based on natural resources started migrating to cities only to get pushed into unorganized jobs often getting scanty wages and living in unhygienic, unhealthy conditions in city slums. This fact is reflected at the national level with negligible enrolment in agriculture and allied sciences (just 1% of all enrolment in higher education).


At the same time lack of relevance and applicability of education in everyday life in rural-tribal areas resulted in children from these areas lagging behind. The entire design of education system right from the content, pedagogy to architecture and infrastructure of the school which upheld urban, upper strata standards created feeling of alienation among the rural-tribal youths. The education which did not provide any scope to build on the cultural capital of children from marginalized societies, either pushed them out of the system or created submissive, unconfident personalities with inferiority complex and without any ability to live self-sufficient, dignified life.


Acknowledging these issues, BAIF designed its educational intervention named Shikshan-Mitra. Shikshan-Mitra works with the students in Upper Primary and Secondary classes and provides them with the knowledge and skills of effective use of natural resources especially agriculture. Shikshan-Mitra Programme attempts to weave the classroom learning around the productive activities and day to day living experiences which are very much familiar to the rural-tribal children and thus helps in contextualizing their learning. It has four main vertical vzv productive activity based on natural resources, environment education, preventive health and civics. It also creates platforms for fear free expression in a home language of a child and opportunities for participating in management of small projects through team work. All these process inputs contribute in harnessing students’ personality skills such as effective articulation and communication, analytical and multi-angled thinking, problem solving, decision making, co-working and take them through democratic processes and enable them to become innovative, proactive and responsible human beings. It evolves systems for developing reciprocal relationship between school and local community and parents.While exposing students to modern technology and social institutions, the programme also thrives on developing a sense of belonging and dignity in their own environment, language and traditional knowledge systems.


Specific Objectives

  • To provide children an exposure of different opportunities of sustainable livelihoods based on local natural resources and relevant advance technologies and allied livelihood options
  • To impart the information and skills regarding practices of natural resource managements to children and youths with specific approach of understanding and conserving ecological balance
  • To equip the children and youths with the information of healthy living practices and help them imbibing relevant health habits
  • To develop civic awareness among the children and enable them to live awakened, proactive and responsible civil life
  • To facilitate contextualization of education by supplementing classroom learning with life education programme
  • To establish and strengthen the reciprocal relationship between the school and the community with active participation of School Management Committee (SMC)
  • To help the children and youths to develop soft skills to enable them to live successful personal as well as professional life in future
  • To develop child friendly, pro-learning and healthy environment through infrastructure development


Project Activities include

  • Agriculture & eco-system management
  • Preventive Health
  • Social awareness and Civic Skills
  • Makers’ Space
  • Career guidance
  • Sponsorship for skill development and technical education with specific focus on dropouts
  • Community linkage
  • Linking with textbook
  • Development of infrastructure including hardware for facilitating use of digital media for education


Project Methodology

  • On field projects
  • Classroom sessions
  • Exposure visits
  • Training of Community Resource Persons and School Management Committees
  • Training of teachers
  • Vacation projects linking with the community


Implementation Strategy

  • Orient the schools
  • Select livelihood based activities with school as per need and context
  • Identify major health issues
  • Form Students’ Committee for each Activity
  • Depute a Mentor teacher to each Students’ Committee
  • Start activities involving Students’ Committees
  • Start classroom session
  • Start Students’ Committee Meeting with fortnightly or weekly frequency


Expected Outcomes

  • Children and youths are equipped with the knowledge of management of local natural resources including agriculture and conservation of eco systems
  • Children and youths become aware of preventive health care practices and imbibe health habits
  • Children and youths become aware of fundamental rights and duties of citizens, functioning of selected civic institutions and their relevance to their life and important government schemes and acts
  • Children and youths are equipped to live better personal and professional life by acquiring soft personality skills
  • Schools are equipped to be better learning places by incorporating local context into education
  • Children and youths are equipped with the knowledge of different employment and livelihood options through practical exposures, training courses and career guidance

Salient Features

  1. Child-centred pedagogy - Shikshan-Mitra responds to the urgent need for developing an operational child-centred pedagogical model recognized by NCF-2005 and NEP-2020, by giving primacy to children’s experiences, their voices, and their active participation.
  2. School-community linkage – Shikshan-Mitra enriches the learning by facilitating the interaction between two arenas with each other.
  3. Shikshan-Mitra, adheres to the vision of NEP 2020 through integration of academic education and life skill education and finally thus it contributes to SDG 4 (Quality Education) by striving to make education more meaningful and relevant for the boys and girls from marginalized communities.

About BAIF Development Research Foundation

BAIF is a non-political, professionally managed nonprofit organization, recognized by Government of India as Research Institution, governed by an eminent Board of Trustees. BAIF is presently associated with over 70 corporate partners, implementing over 100 CSR projects. In addition BAIF's programs are supported by various state and central government as well as national and international development agencies and philanthropic organizations. Catalyzing rural development since the past fifty years. BAIF today outreaches over 5.41 million families inhabiting in 100000 villages, 318 districts across 13 states in India.


Key thematic areas of BAIFs programmes include livestock based livelihood development, crop based livelihood enhancement and natural resource management. These programs have been supported with strong scientific research and innovative technological support. Interdisciplinary themes such as women empowerment, community health, education and rural non-farm livelihood development have been an integral part of all development programs and significantly contributed to improving quality of life of grassroots communities.Recognizing its efforts in action research BAIF has been recognized by Ministry of Finance, Government of India under section 35 (1) (ii) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 for carrying out Scientific Research.


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