Report

Health Cell 2016 report

At the 2016 AID conference, volunteers talked about building the capacity of AID to work holistically through issue-based cells.  Volunteers interested in agriculture met during the conference and formed the agri cell.  Volunteers interested in restarting the health cell started meeting on the phone and google hangout in July.  Some highlights of health cell activities in 2016: Continue reading

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Report

2014 Report

Association for India’s Development

2014 Report of work: Aravinda Pillalamarri

Below is an update on my work in 2014 in the following areas:  Jivika, Women’s Health, Food Security, Rights-based Learning, Support to AID and AID Chapters, Volunteers, Projects and Publications. Continue reading

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Report

2013 Report

Association for India’s Development

2013 Report of work: Aravinda Pillalamarri

 

Below is a report of my work in 2013, and plans for in 2014 and beyond in the following areas:  Jivika, Women’s Health, Food Security, Consumer Awareness, Learning, Support to AID and AID Chapters, Volunteers, Projects and Publications. Continue reading

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Reflections, Report

Studying Society the Sangati Way

What do children study in social studies?   Sangati is a program that encourages children to study society, starting with themselves.  Avehi-Abacus has trained teachers in more than 900 schools of the Bombay Municipal Corporation to implement this program.  I had the opportunity to visit some of the classes during their Sangati session.

The Sangati curriculum is designed with the aim of helping students make sense of their personal experiences at home and in their neighborhoods in a broader social, political and historical context.  The students I met had learned about Savitri bai Phule who worked for the cause of education for women and girls, and read stories raising caste issues such as Premchand’s Thakur ka Kuan (Thakur’s well) and Eklavya.

In the course of the discussion, the teacher asked them questions such as,

“What have been the conventional roles expected of men and women?”
“How has society changed?”
“How does education play a role?”
“Was Dronacharya a great teacher?”  (क्या द्रोणाचार्य महान गुरु थे?).
“If your teacher asked you for such a guru-dakshina what would you do?”

In their discussion we could see that while the material they discussed challenged social conventions and power structures, their ideas of how to challenge these in their own lives were yet forming and would take many more such discussions for them to articulate.
The politics of the classroom and the politics of their present reality layered upon one another, complicating the questions that the teacher asked based on the lesson.   It poignantly revealed how far the students were willing to go in challenging issues of caste and gender which we like to think are settled.
I read some of the textbooks and teacher’s guides, including descriptions of their classroom exercises designed to facilitate introspection on questions of caste and gender.  It would be interesting to try out these exercises ourselves in chapters.  There is so much that we in AID can learn from this program, as travelers along the same journey towards a just society.

Related: 
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Report

Gender Equality in Our Lifetime?

Charlotte, 26 May 2013. Outside the conference room, S. Hiremath greeted me and said, “Congratulations to you and Sunita and the others for that session on gender issues. The way people spoke up and shared their experiences, I did not think I would see it in my lifetime! Really, hats off! How long can women endure this injustice in silence?”

The Survey, the Skit, the Session and the Silence
AID Conference 2013 at Charlotte, North Carolina

Daughter reads _The Art of Freedom_

The Survey Continue reading

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