Bridging the Gap among Communities: Taruni’s Education Connection

There are two hamlets in Ratatikiri village of Bissamcuttack block in Rayagada district. Mostly, inhabitants of that village belong to the Scheduled Tribe community. We started the Ratatkiri KLC in 2019. Initially, the KLC with 12 students was run in an Anganwadi store of a hamlet (Sahi) with the support of our KLC office staff rather than Saathi’s. Due to some specific local issue (road construction work in the village) that two hamlets (Bada Sahi and Sana Sahi) were in rivalry for a long time. Subsequently, finding Saathi became an issue. It was very difficult for us to enroll 25 students (all primary grades) in Ratatikiri KLC. So, the location was often oscillating between the two hamlets to meet the demand of parents. Whenever the KLC is in one hamlet, the kids from the other one don’t come and vice versa. For a few days, the school headmaster supported us to resolve this issue.

After four months of running of KLC, Mr. Siddharth at Kolorofeel Foundation encountered a local youth (Taruni Bhogi) from the neighboring village (Sunariguda offered an opportunity to) and looking at his interest, offered to take responsibility for Ratatikiri KLC. He had a passion for teaching. So without any hesitation, he carried the responsibility. Initially, he faced problems gathering all kids into KLC. Also, kids from his village (Sunariguda) were coming along with him to attend, which brought a  positive feeling among the parents of Ratatikiri. Gradually, he developed a good relationship with all the parents and students of Ratatikiri village through the door-to-door visit. After attending few training sessions, he was very much inspired by the teaching strategy. Due to self-motivation, he used to frequently visit Klorofeel foundation’s office to learn new methodologies of student engagement, which subsequently improved his delivery skills and understanding of students. We found him quickly adapting to the child-centric model. Moreover, he designed some new innovative games for mathematics like Addition Box and Subtraction Trees. On Saturday, storytelling class and inspiring kids for both curricular and co-curricular activities made him a favorite among the kids. After all, learning was happening through the artistic skill of the kids without any burden and in a joyful manner. The improvement in student’s performance and behavior brought enthusiasm among the parents. Now, every mother has hope upon him for the future of their kids. Most of the time, we find him closely engaged with parents about the progress of the child, which has evolved as a strong bond between the Saathi and parents.

With the support of the mother’s group, now the Ratatikiri center is running with 40 students of primary and upper primary and two Saathis. Now, the center runs in a sub-health center, which is not being used by the Government. In a short period, it is minimizing the gap between understanding of both the communities.

Managed by Klorofeel Foundation