This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Dibyajyoti Gogoi. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

In A Remote Rajasthan Village, A Kindergarten School Is Revolutionising Education

More from Dibyajyoti Gogoi

By Dibyajyoti Gogoi:

We are proud of our country. We have diverse cultures, religions, traditions and belief systems. India comprises of twenty-nine states and seven union territories. India is a blend of cultures and languages, making it an incredible nation. But when we compare the cities to villages, there’s a stark difference between everything that comes first to our mind. Schools, colleges, roads, transport facilities, communication system, hospitals, etc. If we can provide better health, education and communication facilities, it would lead to the development of rural India. It is true that development of rural India depends on these basic facilities. Yet, if we think from a broader perspective, we will realise that we tend to ignore an essential prerequisite for development.

We always tend to ignore the children below the age of five. The moment a child turns five, parents are just happy with sending him to a government school. What if the child at such a young age is unhealthy? The brain of a child starts developing from birth itself. According to child development experts, the atmosphere the child grew up in can have a lifelong impact.

In cities, we can see many kindergarten schools with high-quality infrastructure. There are beautiful nursery schools, pre-schools. There are also separate babysitting facilities for the kids. Rich families always have the option of sending their kids to schools which provide bus services, colourful uniforms, good infrastructure and professional caretakers. One does not find similar facilities in villages. Villages usually do not have a concept of a school for kids who are five years or younger. What do you think? Do we have the same kind of health care environment for the kids who have been brought up in rural India?

Even though the government has initiated the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) in the villages, the benefits of it are yet to reach many parts of the country. Especially, the villages in the more remote areas. I believe that everything requires a strong base.

Let’s take the example of the kids in Thep, a small village in Udaipur, Rajasthan. Very few people in the country have heard of the village. The village is located around 80 kilometers away from Udaipur city. There is no scope to acquire education in the village. The village is under-developed. People cultivate their lands with wheat, maize and chickpeas. They survive on these crops throughout the year. People know how to survive, but poverty prevents them from living a dignified life. People living in the village survive on a very low income and survive on very basic food items. Many families have 8-10 children. Grinding poverty prevents parents from buying warm clothes for their children. Children enjoy playing on the river banks. They sell vegetables on the roadside instead of studying in a school.

A child from the village said, “Why should I go to school? There is no teacher in school. We have to cover long miles to reach school. After that we have to return as no classes take place.”

Seva Mandir came to the rescue of this village by starting a ‘balwadi’. Seva Mandir is a reputed non-governmental organisation based in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The ‘balwadi’ is trying to provide some light into the life of the villagers by educating the children. A woman named Modan Debi runs the centre. Even though she has only studied till standard eighth, her efforts to ensure that children receive a proper education is really commendable. She is an inspiration for other women in the village. The kids below the age of five can come to play and learn basic skills. The objective of the centre is to generate a feeling of hope amongst the villagers by educating small children. Education can surely pull them out of grinding poverty.

When a child directly enters a government school from class 1, without attending kindergarten, it becomes difficult for him to adjust. The ‘balwadi’ acts like a bridge. It’s also relaxing for the mothers as the kids are taken care of. Mothers can use the time to do some other work. Children may not have proper clothes to cover their bodies, but they have the zeal to walk long miles, just to reach the centre. The ‘balwadi’  may not have good infrastructure to protect them from rain and harsh weather, but it prepares them for future hurdles in life. There is not much space to learn and play. Yet, they have converted one room in the shelter into an ‘activity room’.

Despite there being plenty of challenges in society, some people are trying hard to bring about some changes. They reach out to those areas where the government hasn’t been able to. The nation does not recognise or notice such people. It only knows about those who get the spotlight in the media. It does not have time for those who sacrifice their blood and sweat.


Image provided by author.
You must be to comment.
  1. Vivek Tejaswi

    Glad to here that someone is still active and having real heart in this plastic world. Make this movement louder so that people could listen these untold, unheard stories..!

    1. Dibyajyoti Gogoi

      Thank you Vivek for you comment. looking forward for more suggestions and comments from you in future.
      thank you

  2. Namrata Maheshwari

    Wanted to know can I get the contact no.of this school. So that I can help .

    1. Dibyajyoti Gogoi

      Hii Namrata..Thanks a lot for showing interest in such a noble job. Please give your email id here or you can mail me in where I will give you details about the project.
      Thank you

More from Dibyajyoti Gogoi

Similar Posts

By Aditya Jaiswal

By Kunal Jha

By Ankita Marwaha

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below