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  project name ~ Empowering Salt Pan Worker Community of Gujarat - Higher Education

category ~ Education - Child




  Project Name


Empowering Salt Pan Worker Community of Gujarat - Higher Education






Education - Child



Rann of Kutch




  Budget Approved


Rs 300000


  Year Approved







  Chapter Coordinators


Shashank Jain











1. Empower Salt pan workers to be enable them to raise voice& advocate for rights, and also enable them participate for better outreach services, facilities, programme planning, implementation and monitoring.
2. Motivate community to contribute in terms of money and time so that their involvement and ownership over problem & solutions.
3. Consistent efforts for converting every grass root initiative to influence the current policy and explore the possibility of self sustainability to the fullest.
4. Facilitate and bridge between community and government with clear understanding of not duplicating or replacing government’s role and therefore make community insist/demand accountability from the govt.





By 2005 with Janpath’s efforts of bringing community together on a single platform to give collective identity-voice, and to bring community leadership had great impact. Thus an issue of education, quality started coming up in the multistakeholder’s consultation that we use to conduct to invite community, traders, organizations, and government into the desert for discussing issues. Since 2005 community’s struggle for advocating for quality education in the desert started. With no clear policy demanding for governments accountability for having schools in the desert, “Desert Schools” responsibility was toggled between NGO’s and government. Community with the help of field fellows several representations, complaints were done from time to time. In some government had sudden round of inspection to NGOs to find out that the grant given by government was not utilize properly. Also many organizations used to take grants from multiple sources for the schools. It was finally in 2006, when complaints started coming in for not having schools in the desert till November we advised community leaders to take initiative and start community schools. Community got together to make small huts, searched for the youths from the community, collected contributions to pay him upto Rs.1000, and they started with 4 schools near Surendrangar side of the Desert. However on the other side of the desert, community could pressurize government to start alternative learning classes (ALS). Right to Education was enacted in the year 2009. Our radio programme for Agariyas celebrated this initiative of the government. Various people were asked to speak on how RTE will now ensure school to every child. With support from AID the school children were given nutritious food and educational and recreational kits. Due to media interventions various parent organizations and kids from other schools started visiting desert school sharing concerns. Community were supported to file complaints under Right to Educaiton and then make use of RTI to make them accountable and answerable for the decision taken on the complaint. Thus government at least in one district, accepted Education is their responsibility and right of every child and took initiative to start schools in the desert which were equivalent to full time schools. Trained teaches were sent to the desert. 8 last year, when media highlighted these initiative in the media with community demanding for mid day meal, government had to start hot cooked food during last month of the academic year.





During various discussions that are being held with the community, it was revealed that with limited resources we should target those requirements which will lead greater impact. Community suggested to offer support for hostel/transport for most needy children above 10th std in the forthcoming year. Influencing the policy: What changes are required in the policy? Or what are demands from the community that will be advocated for in next three years ? 1. There is scholarship scheme in place, for 11th and 12th std students, which needs to be explored to the fullest. 2. We need to advocate for having special suport scheme for higher education amongst agariya community, as they are most marginalized and education is one of the strong way for eradication of poverty. 3. Advocate for hostel at each block places for boys and girls and special scheme for sponsorship for higher education amongst de-notified tribes from the “development or CESS funds or from Central government fund”. Thus this proposal constitutes plan for 1 year. As we are not sure what will be the role of facilitation and hand holding for next year. It depends on local situation and response from the community for these initiatives.



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