Seva Bharati's Vidya Darshan project in Kerala: Empowering the marginalised through holistic education

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Seva Bharati Kerala has always been a helping hand for the downtrodden sections of the society. Recently, Seva Bharati had handed over 17 newly constructed homes for people whose shelters were destroyed in 2018 landslides in Kottambathur. Another initiative of Seva Bharati, which has the potential to change the fortunes of many common people in Kerala’s forbidden corners, is ‘Vidya Darshan’. Vidya Darshan is a project aimed at uplifting the Tribal population, empowering them with Knowledge, best hygienic practices and providing the children with nutritious food.
Seva Bharati picked 30 tribal settlements in two villages of Kerala, Sholayur in Palakkad and Noolpuzha in Wayanad. 848 children, most of them belonging to the Paniya tribe were picked up for this initiative. “This 2-year project is estimated to cost rupees 1 crore and is funded by Infosys. Project co-ordinators are deployed in both the panchayats,” the chief co-ordinator of 'Vidya Darshan' Nitheesh told Organiser. “This project as per the initial schedule is to end by March 2021, but due to its success Seva Bharati is thinking for extending the life of Vidya Darshan,” added Nitheesh.

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In this project, these 848 children are given classes under the community teaching program. Young people who have passed their 12th and graduation are assigned to teach these children. Such teachers are called Gotrasevikas’. Daily, two-hour classes are provided from Monday to Saturday. Along with the classes, nutritious food items like milk, egg and gram are given to the children. Best hygienic practices are also taught. In order to provide basic computer knowledge to the children, a computer education program is also launched under this scheme. Teachers are provided with laptops to teach children.

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Other than these initiatives for the children, Vidya Darshan has launched ‘Parents training program’. It aims at providing awareness to the parents regarding the importance of education for their children. Such programs are held at the community halls. Each month, cultural programs are organised where children can exhibit their talent.
 “This is our first initiative of this kind,” said Nitheesh. “We will come up with new projects to empower the children from these areas with knowledge”, he added.