Published: 09th November 2020
Baalya Trust is working towards bringing bringing tribal kids to Ashram schools. Here's how
Anantha, Founder of Baalya Trust speaks about what they have been doing to bring tribal kids to Ashram schools in Mysuru and the impact of his Chinnara Loka Programme on kids so far
With a view to educate children from tribal families across Karnataka, the government has built Ashram schools in various tribal pockets. These schools are like any other government school with some of them even having a hostel. However, a lot of children don't take the interest to attend school for several reasons. That is where Baalya Trust in Mysuru hopes to play an important role in bringing back these kids to school and creating awareness among parents about why education is important for them.
Started by Anantha in April 2019, Baalya Trust has been working with tribal families located in the Hanumanthanagara tribal colony, Jere Haadi and Alanahalli Hamlet, Mangaluru Mala Hamlet, Hanumanthanagara Tribal Haadi community at HD Kote and Hunsur. But this is not the first time that Anantha is working with tribal families. Earlier, he had worked with several NGOs in Mysuru to provide employment to women who worked as Devadasis and education for their kids. His 16 years of experience with various NGOs is what lead him to start Baalya Trust. Since last year, the Trust has been organising various programmes in the interest of these tribal families.
So what does Baalya Trust do to bring these kids to school? Anantha tells us, "It is been only a year for our Trust. Hence, there are limited volunteers working with us. What we do is we plan our weeks accordingly and visit these tribal pockets to collect data on the number of children and their age. Based on this data, we check if they have been going to schools or not. Once this is documented, we organise various activities for them. One such programme that I designed for kids is Chinnara Loka. A lot of these kids who come to Ashram schools are first-time learners. In a view to motivate them to continue learning, we organise activities that involve art, music and culture. The Chinnara Loka programme has been adopted by a lot of Ashram schools because children thoroughly enjoy it as they are allowed to express their opinions, creating an identity for themselves. Over 2,000 kids from Ashram schools in and around Mysuru have been part of the Chinnara Loka programme."
Besides this, Anantha and his team conduct workshops for tribal women to teach them basket weaving and paper bag making, which are in turn sold in the market at a decent price. "These fetch them some money for their livelihood, thus empowering them and making them confident. Recently, we taught them how to make sanitary napkins as it is easy to hand-stitch them. This activity also created awareness among them on the need to use sanitary napkins during menstruation," Anantha explains. After the lockdown was announced, Anantha and his team visited these tribal families to create awareness about washing hands, wearing masks and to know if the family members have been doing well in terms of their health.