PROJECT PROTSAHAN “CHIRAIYA”

To commemorate the First Punya Tithi of one of the founders of BIRLA INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY, Greater Naiad, Smt Sarla Birla on 28th March, 2016 Bimtech planned to do some charity work for some girls/women from weaker sections in rural areas.  There were many suggestions from various quarters.  Some suggested that bi-cycles be distributed to some poor girls in villages while some others suggested that clothes/blankets be distributed.  But Dr. Rishi Tiwari, Secretary Ranganathan Society for Social Welfare & Library Development (RSSWLD) had different plans.  According to him, distributing cycles/clothes would benefit the women only temporarily.  To give a befitting tribute and perpetuate the memory of Dr. (Smt.) Sarla Birla, an eminent social worker, founder of many Educational Institutions all over India and a great philanthropist herself, he wanted to continue her legacy and create a source of perennial benefit for the womankind in rural areas.  He himself had been working in the rural areas since 2009 when RSSWLD, an NGO which was created as a social arm of BIMTECH and he was entrusted the job of managing the affairs of this NGO in the capacity of its Secretary.  The major objective and mission of RSSWLD were to disseminate knowledge amongst rural youth so that they can compete with their urban counterparts and stand equal chances in competition for jobs.  He had firsthand experience and was conversant with the plight of poor rural girls/women as far as their education was concerned.  Dr. Tiwari proposed to start an educational program me for empowerment of rural women and bring a visible and measurable change in the life style of rural women.

There was a lot of brain storming on the issue as to how to proceed in this direction.  Dr. Tiwari, a librarian himself had the expertise of establishing libraries in rural areas and had been successful in establishing libraries in 9 villages and 3 District Jails namely Daasna Jail, Ghaziabad,Distt. Jail Lucknow and District Jail Gautam Budh Nagar by this time. The impact of establishing libraries in dissemination of knowledge was astonishing and encouraged by the success of these libraries; he had plans to take his mission of disseminating knowledge to a higher level.  He wished to have a firsthand inter action with the beneficiaries.  The natural choice for the target group was school going adolescent rural girls from lower strata of society. The next question was where to start the project.

Incidentally, a village named NEEMKA situated at a distance of approximately 40 Kms in Zewar Block of Gautam Budha Nagar had been recently adopted by the Hon’ble State Minister of Culture and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma for its overall development under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna and BIMTECH was roped in by Dr. Mahesh Sharma to conduct a survey of the village.  Being in possession of data base and also encouraged by the local administration for giving a tangible and concrete shape to his dream, the village Neemka became a natural choice for the project. Next step was to give a name to the project. It was observed during the survey that school going adolescent girls particularly from the lower strata of society had shy rather sub-dued personality lacking confidence.  They were a discriminated lot as against their male counter parts. And the objective of the project was to transform their subdued personalities to vibrant, confident and strong personalities. Metaphorically, the girls were to be converted into an energetic and happy-go-round lot like CHIRAIYYAS (Sparrows) who keep on chirping and running around here and there despite all odds.  Hence the Project was named “PROTSAHAN CHIRAIYYA”

Next step was as to how to give this dream project to a real shape as it was still at conception stage. Some NGOs were approached and one NGO “SEHGAL FOUNDATION” was found to be most suitable for the job.  In fact Sehgal Foundation had a great expertise in imparting Life Skill Education to women in   villages in Mewat Area of Haryana. They educated rural women about themselves, their place in society, interpersonal skills for maintaining better relations, general knowledge about governance like how Village Panchayats work, Right to Education, Right to Information, Mid Day Meal Scheme, Issues relating personal as well as community Health and Hygiene, Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan importance of Aadhar Card, Bank Account and also Pan Card. The Survey conducted by BIMTECH showed that the women in Neemka didn’t have any knowledge in any of this areas.Sehgl Foundation was therefore roped in to join hands with us in imparting life skill education to the girls without disturbing their routine school education.

The 3 hour sessions were proposed to be held weekends in local middle class school. The infrastructure support like space/black board/chairs/tables were agreed to be provided School Authorities. Financial Aid for Rs. 5,00,000/-for the project was assured by BIMTECH and ultimate the project saw the light became a ground reality  when it was inaugurated by Dr. H.Chaturvedi Director, BIMTECH in presence of High Dignitaries like Basic Shiksha Adhikari, Block Development Officer , Representative of local Member of Parliament, Pradhan of Village Panchayat along with entire staff of school and residents of village  on 28th March, 2016 .

First Stage i.e. CHIRAIYA KAUSHAL:  A batch of 30 girls was selected and was administered a capsule of Life Skills Education spread over a period of 17 weeks . The sessions were to be held on weekends to be held jointly by resource persons from Sehgal Foundation and faculty and students from BIMTECH.   During the course of these 17 weeks, the girls, now named CHIRAIYAS,  were made to learn about themselves, their family, their neighborhood and their village overall. Sessions on  Interpersonal skills, family relations were conducted to bring them out of their cocoon and empower them with the knowledge of self and their place in society.

The curriculum was divided into five stages as below:

Sessions on personal hygiene, health and Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan enlightened them about benefits of keeping the environment around them clean and green.  The sessions on Right to Education and Right to Information, Mid Day meal scheme were found very informative and they came to know about the schemes which State Government/Central Government were running for their benefit.

The methodology adopted was as under:

  • Learning by inter-action
  • Learning by self realization i.e. Role Plays
  • Learning by listening and visualization (Lectures/Use of AVs)
  • Learning by Arts (Performing Arts like singing/painting charts)
  • Fun Activities (Like Mehandi/Cooking/Rangoli/Antyakshri)
  • Sports
  • Learning by observation. Out-bound tours to work places.
  • Recognition like providing incentives to students who attended classes regularly or performed better than others

they were educated as to how the government functions right from village level i.e. Panchayat level to highest level at Centre. To have a practical idea and to make the things more clear, visits to the office of District Magistrate was organized in Noida Office.

Visit to the office of District Magistrate Sh. N.P.Singh in Noida.

They also visited the office of Hon’ble State Minister of Culture and Civil Aviation

Dr. Mahesh Sharma in Parivahan Bhavan, New Delhi

Apart from above visits, they visited BIMTEH in Greater Noida to witness the Convocation Programme of the College.  This visit and their inter-action with the college students proved very motivating for the CHIRAIYAS and every single chiraiya expressed her desire  to go for higher education.

At the end of 17 weeks program me, a complete transformation in the behavior and conduct and personal disposition of the chiraiyas was clearly visible. They looked now vibrant, jubilant and confident.  They conducted themselves more confidently and gracefully in the society as compared to earlier when they were leading a life of confinement in a cocoon.

CHIRAIYAS IN BIMTECH ON THE OCCASION  OF “CONVOCATION” OF THE COLLEGE

On the occasion of Foundation Day of BIMTECH, they were again invited to BIMTECH to award them the certificates of participation and also incentives for attending the program me regularly.

Chiraiyas being awarded certificates by the Chief Guest on Foundation  Day

Looking to the interest and keenness to be associated with the Project,  two chiraiyas namely Sujata and Kajal were inducted in the team as helpers and they are now assisting the resource persons and faculty in their sessions.

This first batch of 30 girls was now ready for its next stage i.e. Chiraiya Chahek where they were to be imparted working knowledge of English Communication.  They were taught how to read /write/understand small sentences of English.  With this, 30 fresh girls were enrolled for Life Skill Education i.e first stage.

On completion of Chiraiya Chahek program me of first batch, these 30 girls have entered the third stage i.e. Chiraiya Agradoot i.e. harbingers of change in the society.  They are working as the brand ambassadors of the project and spreading its ideology to the villagers and other similarly placed girls.

Similarly the second batch after crossing first stage i.e. Life Skill Education is undergoing second stage i.e. Chiraiya Chahek (BEE) and another fresh batch of 30 girls has been inducted into Life Skill Education program me i.e. first stage of the project.

Third batch of 30 girls inaugurated by Smt. Sujata Singh S.P. (Rural)

By now a period of one year is about to elapse on 28th March, 2017 when second death anniversary of Dr. Sarla Devi Birla will be commemorated in the same village and same school.  Fourth and Fifth stages of the project i.e. Chiraiya Samwad and Chiraiya Udaan will be covered this year in succession for all the batches.

Once all the eligible chiraiyas in the village have been covered, the project Protsahan Chiraiyas will be replicated in other nearby villages.

As will be seen from above, there couldn’t have been a better tribute to Dr. Sarla Devi Birla who strived throughout her life to empower and emancipate underprivileged women  through imparting knowledge and education. Dr. Rishi Tiwari and his team deserve all kudos for bringing the ideology of Dr. Smt. Sarala Devi Birla into reality through this Project Protsahan Chiraiya.