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IAS officer building rural libraries

Abhay Prasar
District Magistrate of Jamtara Jharkhand is converting old, dilapidated buildings into librariesOne important reason for our rural areas to be backward in the field of education is the absence of access to libraries. Therefore, the sooner we promote our libraries in the country with our loyalty and vigilance, the sooner we will be able to win our glory in the field of knowledge.Every district has many big and small buildings which were constructed for some purpose but never put to use due to various reasons , also there are large number of buildings that have been abandoned. Mr. Faiz Aq Ahmed Mumtaz, District Magistrate, Jamtara, Jharkhand, has launched a unique initiative to promote libraries in the district. He is on a long drawn out mission of converting dilapidated buildings in the village panchayats to community libraries with a dual goal of saving these abandoned buildings and also making available good books and space to the village communities.Appointed as DM of Jamtara in July this year, Mr. Mumtaz is in the process of bringing about a much needed change in this backward district. He aims to build 30 such community libraries by the end of the year; And finally there are a total of 118 libraries in each gram panchayat of the district.This initiative has been more than three months, according to Mr Mumtaz in connection with organizing a Janata Durbar, he went to the Chengadih Panchayat. Meanwhile, someone pointed towards the backwardness of standard education in the panchayat and difficulty in travelling to the markets for basic books. After hearing this, he thought of doing something meaningful in this direction. In every gram panchayat of Jamtara, there are some government buildings which are not in use or in a state of absence. Therefore, he started renovating these buildings to community libraries in each panchayats of the district. The first library came up at chengaidih panchayat and the library was constructed out of an old abandoned building, with contributions coming from Convergence of Government Schemes, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the general public.Since then sixteen libraries have been contructed and inaugurated at sixteen panchayats covering all six blocks of the district. Fourteen more libraries are at their final stages of readiness and will most likely be inaugurated before 15th of January and after evaluating it’s success , there are plans to build 118 libraries in all panchayats in the same manner. In the early days, his plan was to build only a couple of libraries, but considering the enthusiasm of the people, he thought of expanding his scope. He thought, that in the district, reading and education should be given more importance and a library culture should be developed and promoted with community participation , he wants to create a culture of reading and study among the youth by holding different types of inter library compititions . The libraries will also benefit students whose studies were affected by the Covid19 pandimic. This initiative had two objectives. The first is the revival of dilapidated buildings and the second to develop the library facilities at the community level. Where students can sit and read easily. He believes that the library can play an important role in the development of any community. Apart from this to make commendable effort more successful he entrusted the responsibility of maintenance of library and its security to local communities. When and for how long to open it depends entirely on them. Librarian, the president of the library and the treasurer are being selected from among the locals who provide purely volunteer service .In addition, bank account has been opened for each community library where contributions from the public will be collected. Provisions are also made for purchasing books, paying bills and upgrading the library from time to time. After the library is built and commissioned, it is handed over to the community. The availability of books in these libraries is being ensured under public participation. Where modest expenditure is required, resources are being mobilized by convergence of different departments. For example, PHD is providing tap facilities, then the electricity department provides electricity the bills will be borne by the local community . At the same time, resources like tables, cupboards are being raised from CSR funds. Books through donations and contributions. This initiative of IAS Mr. Faiz Aq Ahmed in Jamtara is getting very good response with people feeling a sense of ownership and responsibility to it. Bihari Mandal, a railwayman from Jamtara says, Ever since I heard about this initiative of Faiz Sir, I have been contributing to build a library in the district ever since. This is an initiative that will develop a competitive environment here, which is better for the future of our children. At the same time, Ashraf Ali of Chengadih says, I am graduating in Hindi from a local college. There is not much learning environment in our village. But, ever since the library is built here, there has been a new energy flow among the students. As most people in these gram panchayats are visiting such a library for the first time in their lives, there is a feeling of excitement among them. All officers at the District and Block level have been asked to spend at least one hour each month in at least one library, so that library culture can be promoted in Jamtara. Administration has already been noticing a great deal of positive environment in the villages where these libraries are already functional.
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Hyderabad Man Turns Shipping Containers Into Solar ‘Loocafes’ With Stink Sensors

The thought of crossing a public toilet while walking in India arouses feelings of nausea and disgust. Closing your nostrils with your fingertips might still not be enough to avoid the horrifying and unbearable stink of ammonia.And despite all your efforts to block out the smell, a passing whiff is enough to make you want to gag.But imagine standing beside a public toilet while munching on your favourite delicacy, with the occasional fragrance of flowers spritzing through the air.Hyderabadis don’t have to imagine this as over 200 loos, mushrooming in various parts of the city, have made the experience of using public toilets a pleasure. And it’s all for free.The Loocafe conceived by a Hyderabad-based startup, Ixora FM, is transforming public toilets and promoting its use, one loo at a time.Toilets get a makeoverAbhishek Nath, the founder of the startup, says that Loocafes are made from recycled shipping containers fitted with “hi-tech technologies”. “The technology ensures live tracking of hygiene, ensuring there is no stink with the help of sensors and informs the housekeeper if the water levels in the tank get low,” he says.The toilets, which are separate for men, women and specially-abled persons, are also monitored round the clock by a team of professionals from the control centre. Vertical green spaces with fragrant flowers and plants act as a natural curtain around the premise to prevent vandalisation.With almost two decades of experience in managing hospitality for hotels and malls across India, Abhishek feels the most painful part is to deal with public toilets. He says, “There are public toilets but they are not very inviting because of their poor hygiene conditions. It is easy to build a toilet but difficult to maintain and create a sustainable ecosystem to churn costs invested in them.”To earn a revenue, a café next to the loo offering lip-smacking snacks and drinks is set up. The profits generated from the sales are used to maintain the operating costs of the loos, which are free for use to the public.Promoting the use of loos“Absence of good public toilets during long road trips pushed me to think about bringing cleaner, friendlier and easy-to-use toilets. We want to break the notion of avoiding public loos,” Abhishek says, describing his motive behind transforming public toilets.Abhishek says that after the first toilet was set up, loos of varying sizes, from 20×8 feet to 4×5, are coming up across the city. He adds that about 200 to 1,500 people visit each toilet daily.The loo facility is established in a public-private partnership (PPP) model. The understanding is that the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) provides the space in its jurisdiction and the structure is set up by the startup.KS Ravi, Assistant Medical Officer of Health at Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) says, “The footfall of visitors near bus stations and airports is good. People prefer using these toilets rather than the other public loos in the area.”Ravi says that the users also request certain medicines or items of daily needs in the toilet.Speaking of the challenges, Abhishek says, “The pavement, footpath and the location to set up the loos have to be chosen carefully. There may be people who do not want a public toilet in front of their homes or housing societies.”He adds that special care is to be taken while using the equipment considering the wear and tear. “We have learned and improved a lot in the past year. We have dedicated team surveys, maps to understand the psyche of the users in a particular area. Accordingly, the materials are chosen to build the toilet,” says the 40-year-old.What’s next?Abhishek says many new technologies like solar power for electricity, bio-digesters to treat human waste are now being tested for their use in the loos. The objective is to make toilets off-grid from the sewage lines and treat human waste into a useful “nutrient-rich product”. Besides, rainwater harvesting and waterless urinals are undergoing experiments in some parts of the city.“A prototype having UV strips allows alkaline water to clean the bacteria in the toilet. This will soon be introduced in the Banjara hills Loocafes,” he adds.Speaking about other cities, Abhishek says that one Loocafe has begun operations in Srinagar. “There is another one coming up in Chennai. Talks with other cities like Bengaluru and Pune are in the pipeline,” he adds.The story has been extracted from 
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Counselling seminar organized by Evolve for the village girls during Covid 19

Evolve Foundation as a society is working with a holistic approach. It is working towards creating smart, sustainable villages. Women are an important section of our society and play a dominant role in the life & growth of a child. Empowering women & girls is the key to social transformation. Keeping this in mind, Evolve always work towards empowering the women & girls in the village by providing them with employment opportunities, skill development & education.The Covid 19 pandemic has affected the whole world. A large number of students suffered from their education. Especially the village kids who missed their final exams due to lack of transportation & smartphones. To help them understand the prospects & to allow them to enhance their skill development, Evolve organised a seminar for the kids in the village in mid-August 2020. Mrs Anupama Uniyal, principal of B S Negi Mahila Pravidhik Prashikshan Sansthan, an ONGC polytechnic college for girls along with Mrs Kiran Negi, an academic staff of the college were invited for the seminar. They gave an insight into different diploma courses the college offers for the girls & counselled them.Established since 1987 with a vision to empower women the objective of the institute is to work for the economic upliftment of women in society, Thereafter elevating their confidence to survive by imparting vocational training and also trains the students with Managerial and entrepreneurial skills which makes them efficient in setting up their Enterprise.
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Nagaland Students Setup Mini Hydropower Plant, Power Highway Street Lights

Through the heart of Khuzama village in Kohima district, Nagaland, runs the Asian Highway 2, which has street lamps that stand 7-foot tall. Its posts are painted with the motifs of the Angami tribe in colours of red, green, black, white, yellow and orange, among others. This was done to represent the “rich Angami tribe culture” that the village belongs to.“There are 16 clans of Nagaland, and each has a unique language. So, we don’t understand one another,” laughs Keseto Thakro, a native of the village. But the lamps are a significant milestone for the Khuzama village for more reasons than one.As the Coronavirus pandemic caused the world to go into lockdown, Keseto, who works as a technician in the mechanical department of NIT Chumukedima, returned to the village. Being a member of the Khuzama Students’ Care Union (KSCU), he began voluntarily teaching e-learning classes, as the schools were closed.While one class was underway, Keseto chanced upon a unique idea. “The thought of installing a hydroger, a mini-hydro generator, struck me. I shared the idea with the Union, and everyone agreed. That’s why we came up with Project Brighter Khuzama,” he tells, adding how the students’ initiative assembled the plant and hydro-powered the village in two months.Wat-er Plan with Hydropower“The sole purpose of the project is not only to produce electricity and benefit from it but to educate the students and the community about green energy,” says the 31-year-old. Feeding two birds with one seed, Keseto adds, “To keep the machine running we now protect the forest, where our water source lies. And the students also learned the basic working principles of a hydroelectric power plant.”Having worked as a technician for six years with hydroelectric power plants, Keseto arranged for a run-down hydroger through his sources. In June, the KSCU acquired the machine, repaired it and assembled it in roughly a day.“In the beginning, we didn’t have any funds, so we thought of using the hydroger to power just one street lamp near an accident-prone area,” Keseto says.Under Keseto’s supervision, the students set up the plant under a bridge over the Mewoboke River and installed a lamp on the bridge. The students recorded a video of the setup and posted it to WhatsApp groups, appealing for further help. Funds began pouring in after that.Greater impact of HydropowerThe project, which would usually take three weeks to complete, took two months as KSCU had to wait for an influx of funds. “Project Brighter Khuzama is wholly funded by like-minded locals and not by any governmental organisations. We raised about Rs 85,000, and the total expenditure came up to Rs 80,000,” informs Keseto.A local newspaper that covered this story stated that 90% of the population, who are farmers, depend on the Mewoboke River as their main source of irrigation.“As most of the villagers depend on agriculture, we thought of installing the first street light there. The second street light was installed at the village’s sub-health centre, that sees many late-night emergencies and deliveries,” Keseto says.Keseto goes on to share, “The machine’s capacity is 3 kilowatts, but at present, we are generating around 550 watts, which is enough to light up 23 street lamps (7-foot tall), that light up the footpath and eight street lights (20-foot tall) that covers around a 300-meter-stretch of the highway.”A students’ collective“The boys did most of the heavy lifting and manual labour, but the ladies also helped a lot,” says Nophrenu Thapru, who completed her Master’s in English Literature last year and now serves as the general secretary in the KSCU.“One of my friends came up with the idea to paint the lamp posts in the traditional colours of the Angami tribe. She also painted a few herself,” the 26-year-old adds.As the work on the hydroger went on from dawn till dusk, Nophrenu says, “The other ladies and I prepared toast and tea for the boys, along with Galho, a porridge-like dish of the Angamis that includes vegetables and rice.”Elaborating on the students’ union, its educational and statistical secretary, Sedi Thakro, says, “The union was founded in 1963, and 23 members are elected for a tenure of two years.” He adds, “Like all other unions, it is a village-level organisation that looks into the welfare of the students. ‘Project Brighter Khuzama’ is also a first-of-its-kind initiative by a student body in our state.”The time and energy of these students that was poured into making the Khuzama village a little more sustainable and brighter will hopefully be appreciated by many more generations to come. Keseto says, “Project Brighter Khuzama was a success because of the cooperation and contribution of every single individual of the team.”The story has been extracted from
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66-YO Bengalurean Develops Low-Cost RWH System, Has Not Purchased Water For 6 Years

Sampath S is a 66-year-old retired banker who lives in Bengaluru. For the last six years, he has used only rainwater for his household purposes.Sampath S is a 66-year-old retired banker who lives in Bengaluru. Six years ago, when he was constructing a home in Jakkur, he decided to install an underground water tank with a 40,000-litre capacity. That’s a lot of water. And the best part was that it is all filled with rainwater that he filters using DIY methods that work.“Earlier, I was living in RT Nagar, where the Cauvery water supply was sufficient for all my needs. But, in Jakkur, the supply was unavailable, and I was in a situation where I had to either use bore water or purchase it from tankers. The latter seemed expensive and bore water was unfit for consumption as the groundwater level in that area had dropped to more than 600 feet. So I decided to harvest rainwater for both drinking and household purposes. But I took it up as a challenge, and decided to install it myself,” says Sampath.DIY Rainwater Harvesting FiltersTo build an effective harvesting system, Sampath did a lot of research on the internet and understood the concept of filtering water from the terrace. Using 20-litre paint buckets which were empty after the construction of his home, and mesh wires, he was able to build a filtration system from scratch. The PVC pipe bringing water from the terrace ends 6 feet above the ground. Here, Sampath placed a T-Pipe which allows the water to flow in two directions. One, towards a soak pit that collects the initial flush water during the first 15 minutes of rainfall.“This flush water has impurities that have accumulated on the terrace and inside the pipe. After 15 or 20 minutes, the value to the soak pit is closed, and the one towards the filtration system is opened up,” says Sampath adding that this is a manual process.Three pairs of paint buckets were mounted on the wall with the help of L angle stands. The bucket’s lid has a hole inserted which allows the PVC pipe bringing water from the terrace to enter it. Here, an elbow pipe is fitted to allow water to fall in.Stage 1 filtrationTwo paint buckets of the same quantity are needed—one for water to enter and get filtered and the other for creating an outlet. “The pipe carrying rainwater enters the bucket partially so that the water can fall inside with force. This pushes the impurities onto the sides. At the bottom of the inner-bucket, create four openings and make a slit along the circumference, one inch above the base to insert the mesh. On the outer-bucket, at the bottom, create a circular outlet for a PVC pipe to carry water into the next stage,” says Sampath.How to place the mesh?The mesh is cut to a size that is 1 inch more than the circumference of the bucket. By creating a slit at the edges of the bucket, the mesh is slid into the bottom. The extras hanging outside are glued to the sides of the bucket using industrial grade adhesive that will hold it in place. To ensure there are no gaps that can cause the water to leak, Sampath plastered M Seal along the edges where the slit was made.In this stage, a mesh used as an insect or mosquito net can be placed. In the first level, the aim is to stop solid impurities.Stage 2 filtrationThe second pair of buckets, placed under the first one, has a different setup and uses filters on the sides of the inner-bucket. Here, even the mesh used is different.Apart from having four openings at the bottom of the bucket, two large openings must be made on the sides too. Further, the mesh must be placed to cover these openings and sealed tight using M Seal. While the first one has a mesh with bigger holes, the second stage has a mesh that is 75 microns. This helps to stop impurities that might have passed through the first bucket. Sampath points out that it is crucial to use mesh that is made from 304 Grade stainless steel as that does not rust easily.inally, the water flows out through a similar outlet into the third bucket.Stage 3 filtrationHere, the bucket is set up in the same way as Stage 1, but the mesh is 50 microns which has very fine holes and can stop small impurities like sand. Once the water passes through this filter, the outlet is connected to the underground tank meant for storing rainwater.Sampath says, “The underground storage has a capacity of 40,000 litres split into three tanks which are interconnected. Once one tank is full, it will automatically spill into the next one. Apart from this, I have another 10,000-litre storage tank placed on the terrace that is connected to the underground tank using a motor.”Maintenance: To ensure that the filter works effectively, Sampath suggests to remove the buckets and hose down the filters to remove the solid impurities. This prevents clogging in the future and clears out any insects that were filtered. He also points out that, keeping the terrace clean and regularly sweeping it also helps to maintain the filtration system.Today, with just a few hours of rain, from his 1700 sq ft terrace Sampath can collect 50,000 litres of water.Helping OthersWhile it is recommended to have three stages of filtration, one can even filter rainwater using the first two stages. Mohan M, who knows Sampath through a common WhatsApp group got the two-stage filtration system installed in his home, a few months ago. Though he took the help of a plumber to get the system set up, he says that it did not cost him more than Rs. 20,000.He says, “Though I have a 10,000-litre storage tank underground, I additionally installed external tanks of 5,000 litres to store the rainwater. To build the system, we first visited Sampath’s home to get an idea of what he is doing, and with his help sourced the necessary materials – mainly mesh wires – from suppliers in Bengaluru. The plumber followed Sampath’s instructions and helped us install the filtration system. Earlier, we would purchase tanker water, but for the last three months, we have been only using rainwater for household purposes, drinking, and washing my car.”The story has been extracted from
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Chhattisgarh IAS Rajat Bansal and his strategic fight against Corona and Malaria in Bastar District

The corona virus pandemic has taken the form of a dominant challenge for the world community. Amidst all the negative news that has been surrounding us, Rajat Bansal, the young and dynamic collector of the far-flung Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, is working round the clock to help people deal with the virus. The young collector has taken commendable initiative of going among the public in order to educate them on how to prevent oneself from getting infected. The outlying district is found to have been doing better, after this young leader came forward to join hands with people to tackle this deadly virus.  Collector arrived with PPE Kit at Dimrapal Medical College to meet the patientsThe young collector not only took immediate cognizance on receiving complaints regarding the poor quality of food and facilities being provided to the patients in Dimrapal Medical College, but he himself visited the COVID centre, along with Assistant Collector Reena Jamil and Chief Doctor Dr Naveen Dulhani wearing a PPE kit. COVID patients were amazed to see their leader himself coming there to take stock of the situation. Upon reaching there, the collector immediately took to heeding to patients' problems. Bansal instructed the medical college administration to arrange for better quality food for patients. He said that if required the district administration will bear the additional expenses if any, to enhance the food stock. Patients have also been facilitated to connect directly to the concerned officials through a special WhatsApp group created for them. After the young leader’s visit, the food quality was reported to have been improved drastically within 24 hours itself. The officials have been regularly visiting to inspect the conditions of COVID centers now and making sure that nothing but the best service and treatment is being ensured to the patients. Announcement of incentive for health workersAmid the said crisis, the collector has also expressed his sensitivity and gratitude by announcing incentives for the health workers who are working ceaselessly, to take care of the patients. Under the said scheme, the Teams collecting COVID samples on field will be provided Rs 200 each, Rs 100 each for the team members collecting samples in hospitals and an amount of Rs 100 for those collecting blood samples have been announced. Meanwhile, incentives amounting to Rs 3000 have been announced for the ambulance drivers. Some additional bonus will also be sanctioned to these health workers.  New dialysis ward set up within 24 hoursNot only COVID, but many other serious cases apart from covid were also constantly coming to fore in Bastar. One of the major problems was the absence of dialysis facility. About 350 COVID patients in Bastar were reported to need regular dialysis for better recovery. Due to the pandemic, the dialysis unit at Maharani Hospital in the district was shut down. When the issue was taken to the collector, he got a separate dialysis unit prepared for the Medical College Jagdalpur and it started operating within 24 hours. The arrangements have been made for a change in the lives of many who do not have to wander for facilities anymore.  Results are achieved only after working at the grass-root levels - IAS Rajat Bansal"Policies and rules are being made every day to improve the system; however the change can only be brought in, after we personally monitor the working at the ground level. It is very important to think from a humane perspective as well as from an administrative point of view in this crisis-like situation. It was definitely a pleasant feeling to meet the patients immediately and I will keep meeting the needy directly, whenever the need be," said Rajat Bansal. He added that officials need to show humanity and understand the emotional difficulties of public as well to swim through this crisis. While it is necessary to maintain physical distancing, there should not be a psychological distance between people and officials, the young leader highlighted.   Unique initiative Yuvodaya: 6000 youth working with UNICEF to fight COVIDCollector Rajat Bansal along with UNICEF has jointly started the Yuvodaya initiative under which six thousand young warriors are working on ground to ensure overall development of Bastar.Youngsters are running awareness campaigns in every village to fight the virus, promote tourism and ensure livelihood solutions for Bastar people, for this, special training is also being given to the young brave hearts. Under this initiative, there is no age constraint for the youth, anyone who wants to join the campaign may anytime do the same to eradicate the virus and be an aid to the public.   Collector speaks in Halbi dialect to connect with tribalsMore than a dozen dialects are spoken along the seven districts of Bastar division - which is dominated among the tribals. Among these, Halbi, Bhatri, Gondi, Dorli and Dhurvi dialects are prominent. Since all the administrative work is done in Hindi or English communication, it creates a huge conversation gap between the officials and tribals. Keeping this in mind, Rajat Bansal has now released a video message in Halbi dialect for tribals to spread awareness about common diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, etc in the rainy season. In his said message, he spoke of cautions and treatments relating to diseases like cholera, diarrhea, malaria, TB, snakebite, etc. His efforts are now bridging the ever-existing gap between the administration and tribals.  The young collector takes the initiative to go among the villagers and personally heed to their problemsBe it, visiting any tribal-dominated village of the remote area without any prior notice, and humbly sitting down with the villagers like their very own family member, having a homely meal with them to sleeping on a cot or the ground, collector Rajat Bansal has time and again displayed his grounded qualities of being sensitive towards people's problems and being down-to-earth at the same time. The collector even walks around the villages to inspect the effective implementation of the government schemes and talk to the villagers about the issues which they are facing and thereby organize a village chaupal along with the concerned officials to solve their problems. Malaria cases fall by 65% in BastarThere was a time when malaria used to cause more deaths than Naxal violence in Bastar. With the arrival of the rainy season, not only the villagers but the soldiers deployed in the area would also fall into the grip of the mosquito-borne diseases. But Bastar's scenario is now changing. While Naxalism is gradually coming to an end, the people have also joined hands with the health workers to beat-up malaria. Collector Bansal has launched the malaria-free Bastar campaign in association with the state government and results of the same are evident.  So far, malaria cases have decreased by a whopping 65% this year in Bastar which is but a commendable figure Impact in ground and commendable result is all possible due to combination of the best of efforts, technology, and public policy approaches and most importantly able leadership of District Collector Rajat Bansal.
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How Parents’ Active Engagement Transformed A School in Rural Maharashtra

The Right to Education (RTE) Act - 2009 guarantees every child the right to full-time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality. Interestingly, it has been observed in the state of Maharashtra that over the years, the preference for private schools outweighs that over government schools. As a result of this, the government schools are further lagging far behind in the race when it comes to providing quality education in the state.Zilla Parishad Primary School, Thanepada, Nandurbar block is one case where the development of the institution had taken a backtrack since the past 12 years. A lack of adequate classrooms and the overall dilapidating infrastructure was another reason contributing to the condition of the school. Parents, Gram Panchayat Members, the Sarpanch and the School Management Committee (SMC) were hardly involved in the matters of the school.However, on the insistence of a few teachers at the school, especially in terms of physical infrastructure led the way for change. With the help of the Head Master of the school, Gyan Prakash Foundation (GPF) stepped in to help establish a School Management Committee in line with the RTE Act. Gyan Prakash Foundation (GPF) works in collaboration with EdelGive Foundation’s Collaborators for Transforming Education (CTE) Programme, which works on improving the quality of rural education. This change was possible after months of convincing the Gram Panchayat and members of the school, that they could enable the development of a school on their own. The SMC started meeting monthly to chalk out and deliberate on the school development plan. It was ultimately added to the village development plan with the help of a member of the Gram Panchayat.The School Development Committee with the help of the Head Master resolved to approach the villagers to seek support from the community despite knowing that it would not suffice the needs. SMC then decided to reach out to the alumni of the school. This plan received an excellent response, and the school managed to collect INR 7 lakhs for redevelopment work. With the help, this contribution and 14th Finance Commission SMC and parents constructed a new school building. The revamping process motivated parents and other villagers to contribute to the process. Today, the colourful school building not only has the provision for drinking water and toilets but also is the place where night study groups for youth are organized.  SMC further decided that regular meetings would be scheduled with an agenda that exclusively focuses on an educational review. With the availability of e-learning in schools, students and teachers need to upskill to keep up with this 21st century skills. In order to do so, parents are also involved actively and Palak Sabhas are being organized on a quarterly basis. Palak Sabhas are mainly focused on the progress of the students in the quarter. The Sarpanch Mr Devrao Chaudhary and SMC president reached out to the Sujalan company for the CSR funds for further structural work. This will add to the collective efforts to upgrade the infrastructure and the purpose set by the school. The SMC President assured that funds will never be a problem for the school now since quality education is the only way for one’s comprehensive development.As a result, all the students who had dropped out to join private schools are returning back to the ZPPS school. About EdelGive FoundationEdelGive Foundation is a grant-making organisation, helping build and expand philanthropy in India by funding and supporting the growth of high-calibre small to mid-sized NGOs. EdelGive makes, receives and manages grants, to empower vulnerable children, women and communities via a zero-cost platform.About Gyan Prakash Foundation (GPF)Founded in 2011, GPF was established as a public charitable trust, to join the efforts of various NGOs, corporates and the government, towards ensuring last-mile connectivity for transformation in learning processes in Zila Parishad schools in Maharashtra. GPF works with the government system rather than creating parallel structures. GPF’s work in the area of using child wise learning level data for classroom planning has contributed towards the creation of the Competency-based report card for classroom planning in collaboration with MSCERT. To know more about GPF, visit, 
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Haryana Super 100 Programme: A resounding PPP success story

The Haryana Super-100 Programme is one of the latest examples of the success that is ensured when the indomitable spirit of doing good of our government officials meet the enterprising skills of the private sector.The Programme, initiated by the Haryana Government in the year 2018 for meritorious students of state-run government schools to get admission in premier higher educational institutions of the country, has witnessed 23 students cracking the IIT-JEE Advance exam this year.Implemented as a PPP model in partnership with Vikalp Foundation, the Programme provides free coaching to the selected students from the remote areas of the State. The programme is being run from two centres - Rewari and Panchkula. All the expenses of the selected students, including their living and studying expenses, are borne by the State.The idea was conceived in the year 2018 with the visionary Directors of School and Elementary Education, Haryana School Shiksha Pariyojana Parishad, Shri Rajiv Ratan (IAS) and Shri Rajnarayan Kaushik (IAS) which led to the implementation of the ‘Special Programme Super-100’ with support from the then Additional Chief Secretary, School Education, Shri P K Das and with continued support from the present Additional Chief Secretary, Shri Mahavir Singh, IAS. The training was provided by the Vikalp Foundation, an organisation led by Shri Naveen Kumar Mishra. Under the Haryana Super-100 Programme, Government school students who score more than 80 per cent marks in Class 10th, appear in a qualifying test and after undergoing a screening process, are given special coaching for JEE and NEET in Rewari and Panchkula.
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Water Bell in Begusarai Government Schools

This is how WATER BELL started in Begusarai Goverment Schools. I am pleased to inform you that the Water Bell Concept is going to initiate for the very first time in our school MS Bihat, Barauni in the state Bihar with the permission of H.M. Sir Ranjan Kumar.Other than this, this process is already running in states Kerela, Karnataka, and Telangana. The concept started from a primary school in Kerela. The idea of Water bell has emerged because of the rise in diseases among the people due to less intake of water. In India, doctors say that children especially girls, avoid drinking water due to lack of clean and adequate toilet facilities in the schools. This often leads to complaints of mild dehydration and in many cases urinary infections. There is no official order to implement this initiative.Water Bell is mandatory once in a day, other than regular days of school. (If there is exams or any other important activities going on in the school)Daily Timings of Water Bell1. 11002. Before MDM3. 1400Benefits of Drinking Water•  Carrying nutrients and oxygen to our cells•  Flushing bacteria from our bladder•  Aiding digestion•  Preventing Constipation•  Normalizing Blood Pressure•  Stabilizing the heartbeat•  Cushioning Joints•  Protecting organs and tissues•  Regulating body temperature•  Maintaining Electrolyte (Sodium) Balance. Warning Signs of DehydrationIt includes weakness, low BP, dizziness, confusion, or urine that’s dark in color.Parameters of WaterI am going to explore and build discussion more about Parameters along with Baal Sansad, Baal Sabha, & Meena Manch members concerning below elements permissible limits in drinking water.Color, odor, pH, total dissolved solids, hardness, alkalinity, elemental compounds such as iron, manganese, sulfate, nitrate, chloride, fluoride, arsenic, chromium, copper, cyanide, lead, mercury, zinc and coliform bacteria.Facts and Suggestions•  60% of body weight is made up of water.•  3.7 liter for men; 2.7 liters for women;•  8 glass of water a day.•  Students shouldn’t be forced by teachers to drink water during the water bell. Things to ponder upon WATER BELL for BEGUSARAI Government Schools. The above document was the first draft of the process. Within the period of a fortnight, the water bell was adopted by 15 plus government schools of Begusarai. REAL-LIFE INCIDENTS SHARING Sharing real-life incidents were my major support while describing the benefits of drinking water to the students. It was easy for the students to connect with me & vice-versa. EXPERIENCE I   I told my school days incident, that I was the one among the girls who fainted in assembly two times in 11th standard that was due to irregular intake of water or unawareness about the permissible quantity should be taken.   While recalling the above occurrence, Questions were asked in the assembly itself who has ever felt it. There were several responses to every school’s assembly. Girls kept on fainting on every other day, It can be because of less water intake or might be because of any other reason which we can’t able to figure out so easily. Why not we can take care of our water intake? So it was very easy for them to come on the same page as I was.   From every school, there is one teacher mostly PT teacher who used to explain the uses of drinking water correctly at a particular temperature, at a particular time. These teachers help a lot the water bell to be adapted as a process by the students.EXPERIENCE II   I along with my block partner Ajay went to the school, Middle School Maidabhabangama, Barauni. The headmaster was aligned with our process. But as soon as we approached the girls' class to tell about Water bell, after an interaction with girls of 9th class, we came to know that there was no functional toilet in that school. Teachers also stated the same thing. I also observed the toilet areas, that day (second time). It was in pathetic condition. Only boys use that space, that was too open.   We talked to Headmaster sir, Sir it is one of the main criteria of the Water Bell Process that your school should have a separate toilet for girls and boys. Let's forget about the water bell, Toilet is one of the basic requirement of school infrastructure. And we should also think about the female teachers in the school, The school strength is approximately 1100.   I also told my earlier experience in that school in the assessment when I need to leave from the school as there was no functional toilet (Ist time). After listening to the girls along with me and teachers, Sir promised that Toilet will be constructed at their earliest convenience. And separate Toilets were constructed in January with the help of the most impeccable tool of our organization ie Influence without Authority. EXPERIENCE III   When I was doing my second School Ecosystem Immersion (SEI), ie. The first process of Gandhi fellowship. I was observing Chaturmasa fast at that time. So I was having one meal a day & I need to balance my soul and body together with the help of water intake.   At that time it was a very bad experience for me to not use the toilet because of the non-functionality of the toilets in that respective school (Middle School Kankaul, Begusarai). Most of the time I need to leave school when there is an urgency to go to the toilet.   After a week, I thought of talking to the headmaster as he was having a toilet keys with him. After talking to Headmaster I was able to unlock girls' toilets in the school, but that was too in vain as there were no water taps in the washrooms and handpump was too far from the washroom, was in front of Headmaster’s office.   Twenty days pass by this way, in that school. When the water bell concept was discussed with some of the school teachers. I can correlate with the pain, female teachers have to go with no functional toilet in the school premises. School Ecosystem Immersion process helps me a lot to build an understanding of what a teacher, student, and headmaster need to go to while being in school to cater to their roles and responsibilities.EXPERIENCE IV   When I told Cluster resource coordinator Rakesh Rajak Ji about the process, he immediately responded with a big yes to implement it in both demo schools. This was the first time when I was approaching a CRCC for this purpose, as Middle School Baro’s Headmaster was on leave for her daughter’s wedding.   There were several rumors were spreading in the school because in the past week several girls fainted during assembly. These casualties might be because of any reason but students have connected them to ghosts. CRCC sir invited me to tell you about the benefits of drinking water for the school students. I along with Ajay went there and told about the water bell process. Rumors vanished in a week. Now students were more conscious about water intake intervals and the benefits of drinking water.What Water Bell Incorporates along with it?  Functional separate toilet for girls and boys  Potable water facility in every school premises which adopted the process  RO + UV water purifier to be installed in some schools soon  Students leaving classrooms for drinking water, this time can be utilized in studies  Causalities caused because of mild Dehydration can be minimized  General awareness about daily water intake with the right approachProud Moments  Middle School Gadhara, distributed water bottles to students who forget to bring a water bottle in the water bottle in the initial days of the newly adopted process.  Middle School Maidabhabhangama, constructed toilet separate for boys and girls with the effect of the Water Bell process.  Students in their respective communities started creating awareness about drinking water.  Middle School Bihat got recognized on the national level by NCERT for incorporating Water Bell as a school process along with other commendable works of the school.  Water Bell in Bihar begged first-page space in the National newspaper, Times of India.Link: Forward  The process was started in winters as Phase I. After the successful incorporation of the process I want to work on it in Phase II ie in Academic Year 2020-2021.   In India, doctors say that children especially girls, avoid drinking water due to lack of clean and adequate facilities in the schools. This often leads complaints of mild dehydration and in many cases urinary infections. This small initiative will lead to Equality in future.   During a meeting with Begusarai District Magistrate (Arvind Kumar Verma ), This process gets a clean chit to be implemented in all government schools of Begusarai. I am willing to work on this along with some other new ideas when schools will be re-open after the pandemic caused by Covid-19.From:Priyanka Kaushik Gandhi Fellow (Batch 12), Begusarai (Bihar)Piramal Foundation for Education LeadershipYoutube link:
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Automated seed certification cheers the farm and farmers in Bihar

For any farmer, a seed is a cheap yet critical input for farming. With a fistful of seeds, the farmer launches himself onto the farm, sowing them and reaping the crop that reaches millions. Seeds are of critical importance in states with primarily agrarian focus. Bihar with 77 per cent (higher than national average) of the workforce engaged in agriculture, a sector that generates nearly 25 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product has attained self-sufficiency in food grains. Realizing how seed costs impacts farmers, the Bihar government under Integrated Farming scheme has recently announced to provide 50 per cent subsidy on purchase of seeds and compost.Research backs that good quality of seeds enhances agricultural productivity by 10-15 per cent. Sensing the scope and promise, the Bihar government set up the Bihar State Seed & Organic Certification Agency (BSSOCA) to improve the quality of seed availability. But the manual driven system needed much paper work and physical visits for farmer registration. And, tossed up challenges like the absence of a unified database of registered farmers, lack of reliable information on seed producing agencies, risk of duplication of records and seed certification data and unavailability of accurate market data on certified seeds.The recipe for a better harvest lied in an agile end-to-end certification system. Realizing this, BSSOCA opted for a unified database for seed growers and seed certification. The bilingual portal operational in 38 districts is split into three regions- Patna, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur. The system has brought in greater inclusivity through operational autonomy, access to timely & right information and transparent transaction. The system has led to complete transparency in the farm-to-fork value chain. Also, it has eased the process of seed certification as stakeholders can have seamless transactions and gain better access to information.  Besides, it facilitates self-registration of farmers or through the seed producing agency of the respective district. A unique farmer registration number is generated after approval. Farmers are registered for a year or a season. Besides farmers’ registration, the system has other features like farmer payments, farmer tagging (where the main farmer can tag small and marginal farmers), field inspection, sugarcane inspection, inspection cancellation, seed certification et al. The automation has resulted in many benefits- reduction in transaction time and cost for application and registration, increased visibility through real time access to essential information, greater availability of information to stakeholders and data analytics support for better business function. The impact of the process automation is manifested in the metrics - 58 seed types covered across 38 districts and 12756 seed certificates generated besides bringing under its purview 38 seed inspectors and 375 seed producing agencies. Credited with this AgriTech interventions, Odisha-based CSM Technologies has created similar seed certification systems for various administration, including a robust seed certification solution in Kenya. Today, as countries go for stringent seed trade norms, much will depend on the ease with which farmers can access high quality seeds, translating into higher productivity. Technology wrapped with inclusion can catalyze this change.
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