Jai Ganesh Dnyanvardhan Abhiyan : Where knowledge is free

Dnyanvardhan AbhiyanRegular reports about school children committing suicide distressed the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Trust and the organization felt it should step in to stop the rot. Thus was conceived the idea of launching the Jai Ganesh Dnyanvardhan Abhiyan.

After studying the students’ suicide cases the Trust reached the conclusion that those who committed suicide were talented but their talents were not nurtured. The Dnyanvardhan Abhiyan is, therefore, intended for meritorious students from low-income group families.

The Trust decided to launch the campaign for students studying in Marathi medium schools. Thirty-seven schools were chosen where the number of students from low-income group families was high. The headmaster of each of these schools was asked to select students – one student each from the first to tenth grades (ten students from each school). The Trust did not interfere in the selection of the students; the only condition which the Trust imposed was: the student should be from a poor family and meritorious.

The entire financial burden of educating these children will be borne by the Trust. The Trust has provided two sets of uniform to each of these students, text-books, raincoat, lunch box, water-bag, shoes and socks and other paraphernalia. But the Trust has gone beyond satisfying the material needs – it aims to achieve all-round development of the students. For this purpose the Trust organizes moral education classes for students from the first to eighth grades, and academic classes for students from the ninth and tenth grades. Besides, a team of dedicated doctors have, in a philanthropic gesture, undertaken the responsibility of addressing the medical needs of the students.

Recognizing the need for providing a platform to these children to express their problems and difficulties, the Trust has installed letter boxes, Bappa’s patra, in each of the schools. The children can write about their problems and drop the letters into these boxes; the anonymity of the students is maintained.

Prataprao Godse, or Tatya as he was fondly called, was concerned about children hailing from low-income group families. He hoped that these children too would one day become collectors, doctors, engineers and lawyers.

Chintamani Kale

Chintamani Kale

Chintamani Kale (student): “Earlier, no one spoke anything good about me whether at home, in school or my neighbours. Everyone said I was quarrelsome and arrogant. After joining the Dnyanvardhan program, I have realized that there is good in me too; I, too, am capable of doing good work. Following this realization I have started behaving better.”

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