Progetto per la scolarizzazione di bambini disagiati a Ventrapragada
Referente: Fr. Kishore Nuthalapati
Krishna AP INDIA
Contesto Generale – Politico – Sociale – Religioso.
La Diocesi di Vijayawada tra i suoi abitanti conta circa 250.000 cattolici distribuiti in 850 villaggi. Essi appartengono principalmente alla comunità ‘Dalit’ sono considerati intoccabili e soffrono di una forte discriminazione sociale.
Questa comunità è analfabeta da sempre e il governo non è in grado di provvedere all’istruzione di tutti. Si tratta in gran parte di agricoltori, occupati solo per la stagione agricola e con redditi ben al di sotto della soglia di povertà. I loro figli diventano le peggiori vittime della fame, vengono ritirati dalla scuola e messi al lavoro per incrementare le entrate familiari. Perdono la loro infanzia e il loro diritto allo studio. Lo stato dell’Andhra Pradesh ha il più alto numero di bambini lavoratori e il 50% proviene dal distretto di Krishna. Un gran numero di contadini in povertà migra verso le grandi città in cerca di lavoro e i loro figli vivono per strada diventando spessissimo vittime del crimine.
La parrocchia di Ventrapragada della diocesi di Vijayawada è situata sul lato più ad est dell’altopiano del distretto di Krishna. E’ nata nel 2007 dalla divisione della preesistente parrocchia di Gudivada e consta di 14 villaggi in cui la popolazione cattolica è di circa 3.500 persone.
La popolazione è composta da un miscuglio di molte religioni, caste e classi sociali. Gran parte degli abitanti versa in grave stato di povertà, non possiede terre per coltivare e vive alla giornata.
Il progetto è destinato ai bambini più poveri fra i poveri, agli appartenenti alle caste più basse, con il proposito di farli crescere con la consapevolezza delle loro potenzialità, attraverso l’istruzione. Nelle aree dove si trovano le comunità cattoliche non ci sono scuole o centri sociali e i bambini devono percorrere molte miglia anche con condizioni meteorologiche avverse per raggiungere una scuola e sperare in una minima istruzione.
Peggiore è la situazione delle bambine, per le quali la stessa società non ritiene che abbiano diritto alla scolarizzazione. Perciò è molto arduo convincere i genitori a incoraggiare l’istruzione delle loro figlie. Ma la Chiesa è sempre al servizio dei poveri e ad essa i poveri le si rivolgono con sentimenti di speranza.
La situazione politica dell’area è complessa e orientata esclusivamente verso il proprio interesse Le condizioni disastrose delle classi sociali più basse si danno per scontate, tranne in prossimità delle elezioni, quando vengono usate dai politici per scopi personali e illuse con promesse che non verranno mantenute.
Azioni – Obbiettivi – Finalità
Kishore Nuthalapati è il primo parroco di questa nuova parrocchia , e come lui stesso afferma ‘ne sono felice ma la situazione è distante da essere allegra’
Il progetto mira a raggiungere nei bambini il 100% di alfabetizzazione; il primo passo verso un cambiamento che incrementi la fiducia in sé stessi, utilizzi le risorse ambientali, faccia crescere l’economia produttiva delle famiglie, aumenti le prospettive di istruzione delle generazioni future.
La parrocchia ha due scuole e alcuni centri di formazione della fede.
La scuola elementare ha 48 alunni seguiti da due insegnanti, la scuola secondaria ha un effettivo di 364 ragazzi e 15 insegnanti. Il Governo di Andhra Pradesh si fa carico dello stipendio delle due insegnanti elementari. Lo stipendio del rimanente corpo insegnati e staff-non insegnante, nonché le spese di alloggio, vitto, libri, materiale scolastico, uniformi e di manutenzione degli edifici scolastici sono a carico della parrocchia. La chiesa locale con il suo vescovo conosce e approva il progetto. La comunità locale è coinvolta, specialmente gli anziani dei villaggi.
La generosità degli offerenti è un importantissimo contributo per il mantenimento di queste strutture scolastiche dove trovano accoglien-za per primi i figli delle famiglie più disagiate, ragazzi provenienti da zone remote, ragazze, studenti meritevoli, disabili e orfani,
Outline for a project proposal
General information about the project
Sponsorship program for the education of the poor children in the area of Ventrapragada
Locality: Ventrapragada, Vijayawada.
Field of intervention: Education of the poor children.
Person in charge of the project : Fr.Kishore Nuthalapati
The Parish Priest,
Krishna D.t., 521 263
The VENTRAPRAGADA, parish is situated on the eastern plateau of Krishna District of the Diocese of Vijayawada. Ventrapragada was bifurcated from the existing Parish of Gudivada, and erected as a new Parish on 19-04-2007. The Parish has 14 substations or villages. It has the Catholic population of nearly 3500. I am appointed as the First Parish Priest of this new Parish. Although I am happy to be the first Parish Priest, the situation is far from rejoicing.
The people are poor. They live on daily wages. Some times they do not have sufficient food to eat. The people of the area are belonging to the backward classes. They do not own lands for the cultivation. The society is mixture of many religions, different castes and classes.
The Political situation of the area is complex and selfish oriented. The poor is always taken for granted of their condition during the elections and politics. The political parties promise many things but do nothing to the poor. The poor are being used as things for their advantage rather than helping them. Any party that comes to power does minimum to poor.
This project is meant for the poorest of the poor. The social situation of people is miserable. They belong to the lowest castes of the society like SC, ST, BC. Unless somebody helps them they cannot come up in life. The project is oriented to their upbringing in the society through the field of education. The people are daily labourers and they can not think of educating their children due to the poverty.
The Church and the Religious Context
The church is always at the service of the poor. People look towards priests and the church for the education of their children and for other help. Christianity enjoys good relationship with other religions. It is only sometimes because of the comments made by some individual pastors the atmosphere is disturbed.
The Situation of the Parish
Flight of the Children
The diocese has a Catholic population of 250,000 covering 850 villages. The Catholics are mostly from the dalit community and they were treated as “untouchables” in the society. They suffered the social discrimination and are very poor. They remained uneducated and illiterate to the core for centuries. The governments could not provide education to all of them. Most of these people are agricultural labourers, who do not own any land but work for a meager wage of Rs. 50 per day. They work only during the agricultural season, which lasts for 3 months a year. They do not have any regular employment during the rest of the year when they go hungry and desperate. Their children become the worst victims of existing poverty and hunger. They are withdrawn from schools and put to work to augment the family income. They lose their childhood and their right to education. Andhra Pradesh has the highest number of child laborers i.e. 1.66 million and fifty percent of them are from Krishna. A large number of the rural poor migrate to cities in search of work and their children roam the streets hungry and neglected and become victims of crime.
The best way to improve their over all development and growth is to create possibilities for the poor children to attend the school. In the surrounding area, where our catholic communities are located there are no schools and also a kind of social segregation which makes the children from the poor families to attend such schools run by the Government. More so, they have to walk long distance of miles to reach to school. For the entire practical reasons the children are not encouraged to go to school. The parents in their poverty too, think that it is a waste to go to school. And working along with them in the fields or so brings additional income to the family. The people are very poor and most of them are backward in all respects. Many are landless and living in small houses and thatched huts. Men are engaged in agricultural works, doing small business and other works. In some families the women also go for as daily laborers. Most of the families are having a very hard life and are living under the poverty line. The staple food of the people is rice, wheat, and vegetables. Drinking water is available from common wells. During dry season drinking water is a problem. In this village there is no project going as for the betterment of the poor. In addition, there are no social centers to help the poor.
Flight of the Girl Child
For strange reasons and reasons of poverty in general the girl education is less encouraged by parents in this area. And it is worse with the Catholic families, poverty being the main reason. Some how in the village set up, the parents do not like to send the girls out side their village. Since the catholic families are from low caste background and poverty at its peak in the families, the education of the girls is still worse. It is the existing social system that forms the fate of these poor village girls.
And also still in India, especially in the villages, the girls are given in marriage, soon after their age of puberty. It is more a social system than any thing. Hence, it is very hard to convince the parents to encourage their girls for education.
Having recognized the problems associated with literacy in my Parish, I strive to be a catalyst for spreading the awareness of literacy and achieve 100% literacy in my Parish by directly funding and sponsoring education for children. I believe that children’s education is one of the most effective development investments that we can make. By mobilizing the funds I want to help the underprivileged children in my Parish to step in the march towards change, self-reliance by providing basic and formal education, there by raise economic productivity of their families, improve the educational prospects of the next generation, promote sound management of environmental resources and reduce poverty. Hence, we provide free of cost education to those who cannot afford to be in the school. We provide them free of cost accommodation, food, books and school uniform through sponsorship programme.
Aid to Schools in the Parish
In my Parish there are two schools and several study cum faith formation centers catering to the educational, physical and spiritual development of these poor and underprivileged children.
1. R.C.M Elementary School, Ventrapragada has the strength of 48 children. Two teachers are employed for the education of the children. The Government of Andhrapradesh pays only the salary of these two teachers. The rest of the maintenance has to be looked after by the Parish Priest.
2. R.C.M High School, Ventrapragada has the strength of 364 children. 15 teachers are employed for the functioning of the school. The salary to these 15 teachers is purely met by the School Management. The management includes both The Parish Priest and the Sisters of the Parish.
The over all maintenance and all other functioning facilities like, school uniform, books, stationery, toys, play kits, and occasional expenses towards common celebrations like school day, independence day, parents day is to be coordinated by the Parish Priest. Payment to the non-teaching staff forms a substantial portion of the maintenance of the school for which the funds have to be generated by the Parish Priest. Your generous sponsoring of the children in these schools will ensure some sort of help towards the maintenance of the schools.
Aim of the Project
The aim of the sponsorship programme is to help the children, so that they educate themselves and be uplifted from the morass of poverty and illiteracy.
· To increase the number of educated children in rural areas and urban slums
· To conduct awareness camps for the parents to send their children to school
· To organize workshops for animators to motivate the parents
· To introduce a child to child learning programme
· To organize cultural events and games to bring out the hidden talent among children
· To take special care of school dropouts and street children
· To pay a very special attention for the education of the girl child
Criteria for Selection of Children
Following is the child selection criteria for enrolling students into this program.
– Students from the families, who are financially backward and are not able to educate their children.
– Students belonging to a remote villages
– Student studying between 1st to 10th standard.
– Girl students, merit students, disabled and orphans are given preference.
Benefits for the Children
Each child is provided with everything he is in need of, for going to school like uniforms, pair of shoes or sandals, sufficient Note books & Stationary (Including but not limited to drawing sheets, coloring pencils, pens, plain papers, geometric box, school bag, geographic maps, science books etc.), School fee & Exam fee, Tuition Fee.
Request Proper: Sponsor a Child
Please do extend your helping hand and support our hands and hearts to work for these poor children, the future generation. Millions of children in our area are waiting with hope that someone will help them. Let us become that ‘some one’. Let us share a little for the welfare of the children. Donate generously to make a change. The future of under privileged children starts right here, in your heart right now! Please take a pledge to sponsor a kid.
The Local Church
The local church is aware of the program. The bishop knows about the program and he sees to the work of the project. He is supportive and knows the intensity of the program.
The local community
The local community is very much involved in the project by calling them especially elders of the village and will be taken necessary measures for the education of the children. The local teachers, council, Pious associations will be helpful and are involved in the project.
There will be periodical evaluations at various levels. Evaluation of the project at the parish level, evaluation at the local and individual level will enable us to verify and modify the functioning of the project. In addition there will also be an over all verification and appreciation of the project by the Bishop and the diocesan curia.