Obituary of The founding father of Bihar Dalit Vikas Samiti, Dr. Fr. Jose Kananaikil
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Community Awareness, Community Demand for Quality Education

Education is a basic Right. For too long have we sat on the side-lines as silent observers and watched how taxpayers’ money was squandered away by government elementary schools who fail to deliver good education to our villages. But getting involved doesn’t mean taking a confrontational approach. Rather it requires a process that builds up a consistent desire for children’s education, by the very people who enrol them in the government schools: the parents themselves. This desire will then grow into a demand by the entire local community, and all will work to enable the schools to function.

This is the core vision of Bihar Dalit Vikas Samiti as it strives to implement a strategy for improving the quality of education in selected blocks of Bihar.

Public Meeting to promote Quality Education

The enthusiasm and support was palpable when Fr Anto Joseph and team addressed the local communities in two blocks of Bihar: Barh (Patna District) and Barbigha (Sheikhpura district), the first of an ongoing series of public motivation events.

Fr. Anto Joseph spoke of the obligation of all includingthe government, school, parents and the children. He said that all have to evolve steps to mend the situation rather than blaming each other.Let us hold each other to carry the responsibility, he said.

A Nukkadnatak(Street Play) by the Youth was presented, the topic being quality education. It clearly presented the provisions of Right to Education Act and the responsibility of the Government, Schools, parents and children.


The groundwork for the event was laid by the local Quality Education Committee, who met with community members, government school teachers, members of the local self-government (panchayat) and other community influencers, inviting one and all to attend a public meeting. BDVS staffers gave the required tactical support.

Handbills and posters were distributed and displayed at prominent places in the villages.

Prabhat Pheri

Nothing is more effective than a rally of children, passing by your door, waking you up on an early morning to the reality that they really want to go to a school which teaches them something useful. The ‘Prabhatpheri’ or ‘Morning Round’, taken from one of the practices of Mahatma Gandhi, is exactly that: a wakeup call.

The members of the Ambedkar Prerna Kendra, who are school students who have taken a vow to study to the best of their ability, used the PrabhatPheri to invite everyone, including the local opinion leaders, to come to the event.

The Public Meeting

The meeting is a lively affair. The local opinion leaders, school headmaster, and members of the local quality education committee gather. The traditional lamp lighting ceremony takes place. The children and members of the Ambedkar Prerna Kendra sing motivational songs.

This is followed by a panel discussion and sharing, with various speakers sharing their viewpoints. The importance of having children receive an enabling education is a point that is mutually accepted by all. From that point, the speakers highlight their own feelings about the obstacles and what needs to be improved at the local level. Some may highlight infrastructure problems; others may point to some systemic gaps. The meeting also serves to look at the positives and the possibilities within the system.

Parent commitment

One of the significant points raised in both the meetings, was the fact that parents play a vital role in supporting quality education. They can do this by learning parenting skills, and ensuring that their children at least attempt their homework. The teachers, on their part acknowledged their role in ensuring that classes are held regularly and on time.

The guidance of BDVS staffers and the activities undertaken to give a boost to the learning environment both within the schools and within the community were greatly appreciated.

Administrative Office: Rukunpura, Bailey Road, Near Singh Petrol Pump, Patna 800 014 Near Singh Petrol Pump, Patna 800 014 Ph: 91-0612-2590522

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