Education City of Dantewada District, Chhattisgarh

Dantewada is part of Red Corridor in central India. Because of Naxalite – Maoist insurgency this district suffers from problems like illiteracy, poverty, economic inequality. Excessive terrorism activity has caused one more problem that of several orphaned children, their education and upbringing. While this district being in the lap of nature has immense potential for developing tourism, the Dantewada district administration has taken up the development of locals equally seriously.

Amidst the various touring activities the district authorities there took us around “Education City” the pride of Dantewada District of Bastar region.

Brief History on Origin of Education City of Dantewada District

In 2010, IAS officer OP Chaudhary, who was then the Dantewada District Collector, believed education was a potent way to end the backlash of Maoist insurgency in the region. He introduced the concept called ‘Education City’ in Dantewada. It is a mega project in an effort of ‘making reach of education’ possible in the restive Dantewada region. The insurgents went about demolishing schools and ashram shalas (boarding schools), it was a challenge for the authorities to revive education there.

Two initial projects helped a lot. One the Tamana Express, where every day 150 children were brought from far flung areas to Dantewada district headquarters to show museums and watch educational films. And the other ‘Astha Gurukul’ for children of Maoist insurgency affected families through which the district administration got 25 per cent of seats reserved for these children in public schools of the district.

Tour of Education City Dantewada

Today his start-ups are functioning more vigorously. We were taken to their innovative projects.

Nanhe Parinde

Their Nanhe Parinde project ensures admission of deprived kids to schools like Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sainik Schools. This project offers residential facilities at district headquarter and children from interior villages belonging to marginalized background are provided special coaching for admission to next level schools.

Education City Dantewada

Education Clusters

The enrollment to classes 1st to 8th is huge, but this number drops down considerably for classes 9th to 12th combined. To tackle this they chose clusters of important junctions in the district. Educational Clusters were created by providing residential facilities to children from 9th to 12th standard. Such residential facilities helped in increasing and sustaining the enWith students at Education Cityrolment ratio and also improved quality of education.

Choo Lo Aasmaan (Touch the Sky)

This project prepares students for professional courses like engineering, medical, polytechnic, nursing etc. We walked in to classes of enthusiastic girls and boys. Explaining one of the streams here: Several girls are trained in sewing, they are then offered placement on completion of training. Some are willing to go to distant cities. Those who adjust to new lifestyles flourish well. Even amounts as small as Rs.5000 that they send back home is a huge support for their families. Boys are trained to drive, plumbing and electrician works.

Wducation City of Dantewada

Pota Cabin Schools

They have used ply boards to rebuild schools. With all the schools destroyed in Dantewada, the authorities came up with these easy to set up structures on concrete base. I saw the hostel arrangements and classrooms set up in these structures. Often the senior students play a big role in grooming the younger kids.

They also have classroom on wheels through which they provide education in computers.

Education City Dantewada

Saksham, school for specially abled children

This school has very high standards of facilities. We took a tour of their physio therapy room which has all modern tools. We saw a group of blind children involved in various musical instruments. Later they sang a song for us. It was a very touching experience for me. These students later performed in Barasur Mahotsav.

Education City of Dantewada Saksham

Mujhe dushman Ke bachon ko padhaana hein #BarasurMahotsav #festival #chhatisgarh

A post shared by Indrani Ghose (@indranipics) on

 

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22 Responses

  1. Thanx for sharing this Indrani. These are awesome projects.

  2. Ashok says:

    Informative post

  3. Interesting,Inspiring and Informative.

  4. Great to read. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  5. Herbet says:

    Seems their facility is nice. It is important that education facilities should be well-equipped. I just hope that there will be more modern facilities here in the Philippines, there maybe some but not everywhere which is too sad.

  6. That education repairs wrong mindsets is true. Nice write

  7. What an informative post. I love how the authorities never give up despite being demoralized after the insurgents did such horrible things to the school. I hope the children will appreciate these efforts. And show their gratitude by focusing on their effort. They are after all the future of the country.

  8. Amazing projects… thanks for sharing! 🙂

  9. klaudia says:

    Oh, I am impressed and a little touched. I am original from Germany, living in Spain. Here good schools and education are such normal things, and every child has got the chance to attend school, even more .. to send the kids to school is an obligation, parents who don’t risk high fines or their children to be taken off them. Excellent that there are education facilities and projects like this.

  10. Marge says:

    It is so nice to hear about some organizations pushing through noble endeavors like this. Education is hard to come by in many parts of the world but it remains as one of the most important things to have to fight poverty. And so I am always amazed when I hear stories like these. I admire people who do so much to extend education to the marginalized members of the society.

  11. Education City! That was quite new to my ears. The name itself sounds very interesting already. And knowing that they got a lot of programs for learners it truly lives out its name of the city. Glad you were able to share this. This is inspiring and some cities can also adapt this kind of environment.

  12. It’s just heartwarming to read about projects like this. Makes me think why life is quite unfair for some.

  13. Johna says:

    Interesting! So so so amazing hearing about things like this. Wishing there were a lot more people involved. Would love to see more projects like this globally! 😀

  14. Yogi Saraswat says:

    Beautiful post covering social activities !

  15. I think many students leave the schools because of sanitation issues. Girls find it uncomfortable sitting for long periods in the school during their monthly cycles. Schools in buses is a wonderful concept. Let the schools come to homes rather than the other way around. Just the logistics need to be taken ito account.

  16. It’s nice that students are taught how to sew. I learned how to sew when I was in high school. One of our projects was to sew a dress. Then, we model our dresses to our teachers and classmates. It was fun!

  17. Very rare sort of post,keep it up.

  18. Jill says:

    This is so informative. Kudos to the people that pursued to improve the education despite the district’s history. Education is the most important thing people should go undergo. I wish all the students more success in the future!

  19. Jessica Foster says:

    The importance of education cannot be overstated. It helps us understand the world and the people in it. It helps keep us from making the same mistakes throughout history. It also ensures that we (the public) are able to hold our governments accountable. Thank you for writing about this inspiring place!

  20. Great projects, but the part about the insurgency in the area really made me worry about those kids. At the same time, I only hope things will get better and there is more support to these schools.

  21. blair villanueva says:

    Thanks for sharing this! It is lovely to know that kids are willing to learning for their advancement like sewing and tech stuffs. No wonder many people from your country are more advanced than ours 🙂

  22. As the brother of a person with disabilities, I always appreciate it when others take the time to highlight work being done to better the lives of people with disabilities. And as a big fan of India in general, it was great to read that local officials are promoting education as the primary way to combat extremism! I wish some other places could embrace that idea too…

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