Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The community is prepared!

A feedback from the villages :
Just before the second round of campaign, WCI and GNK team visited few villages of the campaign area to meet the potential stakeholders of the campaign in the days to come. The visit and experiences of the team reflect the perception of the community against corporal punishment and their preparedness to raise their voice against it through Chadi Ke Lagal Hathkadi campaign. They first visited Sundi village. They met a teacher of the Balwadi centre. When they introduced the idea of the campaign, the teacher gave her consent that violence is not the only potent way of dealing with children. She supported it by saying that she herself never mistreated her students whereas in other schools children are treated brutally. It was in her knowledge that a workshop was conducted in the village by the young trainers. Although she was not aware of the legal provision against corporal punishment, but still she did not profess the idea of cruelty to children on sensitive grounds. She appreciated the initiative and cause of the campaign and assured her full assistance in the process. She offered her support in arranging discussions with other teachers and parents. Since she felt that she did not have complete information about the issue, she wanted WCI to assist her at all levels.

In Hardidali, the team came across the Gram Pradhan (village head). He accepted that corporal punishment is considered to be a normal routine in the school. However, sometimes when the children are beaten up very harshly to leave bruises and marks, he has discussed the matter with the teachers personally. He has worked on the issue in his own way without any formal training or awareness. He feels that corporal punishment has extended consequences. It is not only about physical pain but also the mental trauma that it creates leading to fear from going to school and ultimately resulting into dropping out from school.

In Bichadali village, the response was equally good. The team met three community mobilisers in the village. One of them, Ram Nivas had earlier watched WCI’s documentary ‘Apni Dikri Ro Haq’, about the campaign on girl child rights in Rajasthan. He liked the idea of the campaign and ensured his full participation. Rajesh and Balwant, the other community mobilisers, had also been earlier participants of WCI’s workshops in the area. They were enthusiastic to get involved in the campaign.
In Hardidali village, they visited a local school, Swargiya Devi Narayan School. They had a detailed discussion on teachers and the upcoming campaign with the school teacher. The school teacher agreed that he always felt corporal punishment was a wrong approach but he never had a prior orientation to the issue and the legality that is provisioned by the government against it.

In Kurserva village, the community seemed to be already prepared to fight against corporal punishment and to lend their support in the campaign. A teacher who runs a private school in the village had also offered his school as the venue for the workshop that was conducted in the village. He supported the initiative and also ensured mobilization of his school children in any rally or campaign that would take place in the future. On the other hand, the community mobiliser of this village had already put up many comics in the area on corporal punishment. They had begun working on the issue at their level.

In Nuniya village, a teacher of a private school provided many ideas to make the campaign more influential. He suggested that a comic exhibition can be displayed in his school. He expressed readiness in involving his students in rallies. Moreover, meetings with the parents in Parents Teacher Meetings (PTA) with the teacher can also instill desirable results.

In Trilokpur and Dhorara village, the response of the villagers was positive. In the past they have never raised their voice against corporal punishment. However, they never preferred this practice in the school.

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