My Weekend Experience At Sarvodaya Ashram At Sanali In
Posted by Jitu Mishra on Dec 23, 2012
Sanali Ashram is a group of residential schools run by the Sarvodaya Trust in the remote tribal villages of Danta area in North Gujarat. We (me, my wife Kalini and two of our friends) were fortunate to be there and spent some time with tribal kids and teachers. This gave us a good exposure to education at grassroots and grassroots institutions are engaged in nation building process.
The ashram was started in the late 1940s by one of the active members from Gandhiji’s group, Shri Akbarbhai Chawda. Before its establishment the region where the ashram is located was highly underdeveloped both in terms of physical infrastructure and human index. People believed in superstitious cults and lived on marginal agriculture. Akbarbhai realized that it was mainly due to lack of proper education.
Against these odds, Akbarbhai started a school in a small hut with 5 students and trained them to use modern technology of farming and healthcare in addition to teaching core subjects. Over a period of time through persistent efforts and hard work the Sarvodaya group of institutions came up and brought some revolutionary changes in the area (to know more visit http://sanaliashram.com/aboutus.php).
Our visit to the ashram had no structured objective. In the evening after the prayer we gathered some 200 kids and talked to them about their understanding about civic education. Kartik from our group, who is a British citizen of Indian origin (Kartik could communicate only in British English and I translated in Hindi) shared his experience of education in Great Britain. Finally he sang a song and kids accompanied him dancing and singing.
In the next day morning we interacted with trusty, teachers and saw some of their classrooms where technology is integrated with teaching. We were told that children in the ashram learn how to live in discipline and develop a sense of pride in them. Every year about pass out 10/12 students get selected in Indian Army and many also go for vernacular training.
The atmosphere in the campus was serene and warm. We lived Sanail carrying some cheerful memories to cherish for Ahmedabad.