Ninash Foundation: INDIA Visit
Linda and I had an exciting time visiting more than 1700 children, teachers, principals and administrators at the Ninash's seven schools in Kuran, Sagbara, Mahapura and Dundlod from December 31, 2016 to Jan 18, 2017.
1. The children of each school presented entertainment through dances and skits in various languages with social, moral and national message. We went to all the classes in each school, chatting with children and teachers emphasizing the importance of showing compassion through helpfulness and kindness to each other, being respectful to teachers and other children as well as the importance of learning and speaking English along with regional languages of Gujarati and Rajasthani, national language of Hindi and international language of English. We emphasized that speaking regional languages is important but limited to their specific region; whereas speaking Hindi is very important for conversing with people of India; however, learning and speaking English would open up the entire world to them. I learned Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi but it was only when I learned English that I could travel to USA and get a PhD and become a professor in the USA to teach American students about the philosophy of India in their own language.
These chit chat sessions helped inspire the children and teachers and were gratifying to us.
2. First Highlight: Visiting the Newly Adopted Waymade School in Sagbara (7th School)
We met with 280 tribal children of the newly inaugurated Waymade School in the Village of Sagbara that borders the remote areas of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Children entertained us by singing, performing dances and enacting skits in diverse languages. Linda and I interacted with the children by making short speeches to the entire group and congratulating them for learning Hindi, Gujarati and English as well as computers. We met with the teachers and talked to them about their duties toward these underprivileged children, teaching them subjects along with character building and being courteous to each other and the same was applicable to the teachers.
3. Another highlight of the visit: We brought together the Ninash Team of principals and administrators from Kuran, Dundlod and Mahapura the first time to open a dialogue among them at the Mahapura School. The entire team of Ganga Singh, A.V. George and Sangeeta from Dundlod; Ramgusai from Kuran; Pushpendra, Yatan, Mahavir and Rashmi Rathore from Mahapura along with Sandeep Gupta, Linda and I visited the Indo-International Culture School in Mahapura where we watched entertainment and the science fair presented by the children. The Ninash Team spent two hours discussing issues pertaining to the running of the schools, dealing with the government, FCRA permission, road work, computers and library as well as fundraising for various projects essential to modernizing the schools. The group decided to set up ways to communicate with each other through telephone, email and other means available on the internet.
4. We were much impressed by the achievements made in each school in terms of the well-behaved children, who were excelling in their speaking abilities, getting high marks in the board exam, singing songs, reciting poems as well as performing on the stage various skits and dances. It was all due to the hard work of the teachers and principals in each school along with the children who listened and followed the teachers' instructions. Bravo to teachers, principals and administrators for doing such an excellent job! We were touched by their performance, achievement and behavior.
To continue with this admirable educational experience being offered to this neglected minority of children so that they could become aware of and assert their rightful place in the developing economy of India, the Ninash Foundation (www.ninash.org) requests funding for the following projects through the generous support of our compassionate donors:
List of projects and estimated budget for each:
1. Playground set (Cost: $1000)
2. White boards for each classroom notebooks (Cost $500 per school)
3. Tee shirts and shoes for each child and teacher (Cost: $500 per school)
4. Solar panels (Cost: $7000 each for Mahapura, Kuran and Sagbara Schools)
5. Generator for electricity for the school (Cost: $5000 for each school in Sagbara and Kuran)
6. State of the art WIFI/Internet (Cost: $500 for a year for each school)
7. Rain Harvesting Material, pond, pipes, roofs, gutters etc. (Cost; $4000 per school)
8. College scholarships for children, who after graduation would like to go to college
(Cost per student per year $650 times 4=$2500 for four years; Immediate goal is to send at least four children to colleges of their choice)
9. Art lessons for the children and community (Cost to hire an Art Teacher= $3000 a year)
10. State of the art smart classrooms (Cost: $3000 for each school)
11. New Computers (Cost: $400 per computer times 20=$8,000)
12. A New School Building for 250 tribal Children of Sagbara, Gujarat (Cost: $80,000)
13. Toilets for 80 families (Cost: $500 times 80= $40,000)
NOTE: Please go to Ninash website at www.ninash.org and donate through PayPal or write a check to the Ninash Foundation, 17 Center Street, Oneonta, NY 13820, USA.
Dr. Ashok Kumar Malhotra, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor
Founder/Chair Yoga Society (http://external.oneonta.edu/yoga/)
Founder, The Ninash Foundation (www.ninash.org)
Distinguished Alumni Award University of Hawaii
Distinguished Alumni Award East West Center
Nominated for the 2010-2017 Nobel Peace Prize