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					Mandra Lions Club
Purulia, West Bengal

    a) 12/24/2008 Site Visit Report
    b) 2009 – 10 Project Proposal

    February 21, 2009
Introduction
   Started in 1975 by Mr. Somnath Singha Roy and friends
       Purulia district of West Bengal – tribal area
       Mr. Roy was born and raised in these parts                Mandra
       Coordinates day to day activities
       High level: MLC has president, exec committee
                                                                  Kolkata

   Aim: Development of the tribal community in the region
       1992-93: Focus shifted to tribal children and education

   Past funding: Asha, AID, UNICEF, CRY, Dutch Embassy
       Long history of various developmental projects

   No association with Lions Club Association
Photos from Site Visit in 24/12/2008
                                            The Mandra office in Saradapally, at the base of the
                                            Ayodhya Hills. Also has residential quarters for staff and
                                            a mini mess.The 7 schools are spread over the hills. Note
                                            the abundance of date trees.




     Graffiti on wall, near the entrance,
     acknowledging support by
     various agencies including Asha.
Socio Economic Status of the people
   74 tribal villages in Ayodhya Hills, Baghmundi district
       Extremely interior: ~2.5 hours bikeride from Mandra office
       Dense forest, habitat of elephants, bears, boars etc.
       Massive deforestation in some parts to set up hydel project

   Cutting wood for fuel is major occupation
       Tribals (both male and woman) cut wood for one whole day
       Next day: Climb down, carrying wood through forests
       Sell them (Rs 60 – Rs 100), buy food, and go up again
       Minor agriculture- mostly for internal consumption
           Soil is infertile. Place is extremely hot during summers

   10% of families have 1 meal/day, 50% have 2
   Illiterate tribals are often exploited by political parties
       Mura tribes: Understand/Speak Bengali
       Santhal tribes: Separate language (Santhali)
           Elder Santhals have working knowledge of Bengali
Photos from Site Visit in 24/12/2008
                               Some loads of cut wood. Each person carries
                               about 2 such loads and sells them for Rs 30 – 50
                               per load. Also seen in photo are Mandra
                               staff Benimadhav and Mama (in blue) who
                               is Mr. Roy’s uncle and the overall in-charge of the
                               education component of Mandra




          Thatched huts in a
          tribal village
Activities of Mandra Lions Club
   Heath
       Community health intervention
       Mother and child health, reproductive child health
   Women’s empowerment
       Self help group promotion, micro-cerdit
   Sponsor a grand parent
   Malaria detection and control
   Natural Resource Management
   Water conservation and management
       Worked with Govt, linked existing Govt schemes
Details about educational projects
   No of schools = 14 for Santhali children
       7 schools supported by Stanford are about 2-3 years old
       7 new schools funded by CNJ (schools started April 2008)
          Children: 2.5 – 5+ years (pre-primary education)
          ~240 children , boy/girl ratio ~1
          No permanent buildings – in courtyards or in the open
          Teachers in a village school are youths from the same village,
               Madhyamik to graduate education
               Periodic teacher training by Mandra (more about this later)


   There are Govt. schools at primary level
     Insensitive to local culture

     All in the plains – none up in Ayodhya hills

     Teaching medium is Bengali – alien for Santhali children

           Santhali language and Alchiki script different from Bengali
           Hence need of vernacular pre-primary schools
    A note about Santhali language and
    Alchiki script
   Santhali language: Very different from Bengali
     Certain Santhali phonetics: not expressable in Bengali script

     Thus a new script was needed

     Pt. Raghunath Murmu developed Alchiki ~ 100 years back

         Santhali language is much older
   A language can’t be sustained without a script
     Without written works, a language dies

   Debatable: Do we need to sustain Santhali language/script?
     Point: Wouldn’t help them in finding jobs in modern society

     Counterpoint: Part of broader process of upliftment of tribals

         Recognizing their culture gives them a boost
    Type of Education imparted to kids
   Development of cognitive faculty
       E.g. 5 cubes of different shapes; child asked to put them on top of
        each other, with largest one at bottom
       Fun and learning (recall how we played with lego blocks as kids)

   Introduction to formal language structure
       Introduction to both Alchiki/Santhali and Bengali
       E.g. flash cards with photo of a house on both sides
       One side bengali word and other side Santhali word in Alchiki
       Recognize letters from phonetics (by pronouncing the word)
   Basic Science, Maths, and Nature appreciation
       Made aware of importance of nature and jungles
       Children’s performances are evaluated and monitored
   Make efforts to link children to regular schools after 3 years
       Reasonable success achieved with older 7 centers
  Photos from Site Visit in 24/12/2008
School # 1
Village Leoa: Community center
Note the yellow blocks – one of the
‘toys’ for cognitive development




                                      Teacher Duryodhan teaches from the flash cards.
                                      Note the innovative ‘whiteboard’ made of cloth with
                                      pockets to keep the cards
Photos from Site Visit in 24/12/2008



                                                The blackboard containing letters
                                                from Alchiki script




School # 2
Village: Mamori
Out in the open. Just the previous day a wild
elephant had meandered into the village and
had to be driven out.
    Comments about the Schools and Mid day
    Meal
   Was a surprise visit in both places
   Both teachers were very dedicated
   Children were paying attention
     Some children were working on their own

     About 60% attendance

   Mid day meal was flattened rice (chiura)
   Problem: Storage and transportation of food
     Interior villages: Food can’t be brought every day

     No fridge: Else milk could be stored and given

     Suggestion: Give tinned milk – already implemented

   New proposal emerged after discussion
     Each day a family takes responsibility of cooking for all kids

     The family can’t sell woods that day – reimbursed by Mandra

     Mandra will investigate if this is feasible
  Teacher Training
                                                                                 Held every 6 months
                                                                                 New educational material
                                                                                  prepared – flash cards etc
                                                                                 Reason given: Children lose
                                                                                  interest if they keep seeing
                                                                                  the same old cards. The need
                                                                                   new things (books, cards etc)
                                                                                   to keep their interests up.
                                                                                 Organized by Mama; Mr. Roy’s
                                                                                   uncle and in charge of
                                                                                   education
                                                                                 Discussion about teaching
                                                                                   methodology

Held in Mandra office for 2 days. 12/14 teachers were present. The other
2 teachers are from the schools in the site visit. They were not informed
about the teacher training workshop and also that there would be a visit.
Side profile of Mr. Roy is seen in the right side of the photo (orange shirt)
 Utilization of funds for first 6 months
 April 2008 to September 2008
 Sl. No                   Budget head                 Yearly       Expenditure      Balance
                                                    sanctioned      during 6       with MLC
                                                                     months
 A.1        Home Educator cum Mobilizer             1,26,000.00      63,000.00       63,000.00
 B.1        Tiffin cost                             1,60,000.00      80,040.00       79,960.00
 C.!        Purchase and repairing of educational     14,000.00      10,000.00        4,000.00
            materials
 D          Bank charges                                     00       1,167.00       - 1,167.00
                                                    3,00,000.00    1,54,207.00     1,45,793.00



As of October 2008
       Yearly Received             Expenditure during the period           Balance with MLC
          3,10,944.00                       1,54,207.00                          1,56,737.00


240 (Total no of children ) x 20 (working days per month) = 4,800 child per day are present x 6 months
=28800 no of children are present in 6 months.
Tiffin cost already made in 6 months is Rs.80, 040/- i.e. (Rs.80040 divided by 28800 children)
Rs.2.79 per child per day expenses are happening.
Synopsis of budget for 2009-10
                                                         Cost (per No / Per                     Amount Requested from ASHA New Jersey
                                                                               Amount (Rs.)
Sl. NO.              ITEM                     No/Unit    unit /Per day / Per
                                                                                Annual
                                                               month)
A1        Home Educator cum                                                                   1,26,000.00
                                         07 No          1500.00                1,26,000.00
          Mobilizer
A2        Field Organizer                02 No          2500.00                60,000.00      0,60,000.00
A3        Co-coordinator                 01             4000.00                48,000.00      0.48,000.00
B1        Purchase and repairing of      7 Unit                                               0,09,800.00
          educational materials          (Round the
                                         year           1400.00                9,800.00
                                         workshop
                                         method)
C1        Tiffin cost @ Rs.2/-Per day,   400 No                                               1,60,000.00
          for 200 days in a year         (all 14                               1,60,000.00
                                         schools)
D1        Annual sports & Cultural
          Program 400 Nos, of centers
                                         600 Nos.       21.00                  12,600.00      12,600.00
          & other non school children
          of the villages
D2        Children day observation       600            5.00                   3,000.00       3,000.00
J         SUPPORT TO GOVT. PRY.SCHOOL (for teaching Alchiki i. This program, was a suggestion made to Mr. Roy by Asha CNJ and he had
          promised to implement it this year, if we provide the money)
J.1       Honorarium to Volunteer
          Teacher in 2 nos.
                                         2 nos.         3000.00                72000.00       72000.00
          Government Primary School
          (Tribal dominated)
Some Random Discussions had with
Sandip Pal, a social worker in Mandra
   Aim of education is not a regular job
       Else tribal person will relocate to city
       His community will not benefit
   Literacy that improves the entire community
       Education should be tied to income generation
       If Asha funds a school, Asha should also fund a
        project that generates income
           E.g.: Project where tribal people can sell their art
       In that way, they wouldn’t relocate to cities.
   Formal educational projects shouldn’t destroy
    indigenous tribal culture
      Misc Photos



                                                Twisted trees inside the forest




Part of the hydel plant. This area used to be
one of the most densely populated forests.
Millions of trees cut and hundreds of animals
displaced. The plant is running at a loss now
due to inefficient design
Misc Photos
                                           Incision made and tube thrust into a date tree for
                                           the juice to trickle down. Usually collected inside
                                           an earthen pot all night. Here a bird is seen perched
                                           on the tube, to drink some of the morning juice,
                                           which is incidentally intoxicating and used to
                                           made tadi




       The pure date juice collected
       all night is boiled and processed
       to make gur
    Misc Photos



                                          Child and goat in a tribal village




Chhou dance masks being made
in a nearby town. Purulia is famous for
this dance form which has attracted
international attention

				
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