Kolkata, Aug 12 : Education is not restricted by mere classroom teaching, it seeps over into elements of hygiene, exposure, practical learning in an environment that fosters humanity, compassion and mutual support. Education is continuous and dynamic and its ultimate aim is to make a positive impactful change in young lives and minds so that they bloom with confidence and blossom into good citizens.
With this very intent the social enterprise, Dakshini Prayash was started by the efforts of Ms Nalini Mukherjee who found her calling to teach children on being asked to educate a few underprivileged children of rural pockets of Madurdaha which initially started under a tree with just four students. To salute the spirit of holistic education and on the occasion of completing 25 years since its formation, Dakshini Prayash, a social enterprise, celebrated its Foundation Day programme yesterday.
She was subsequently joined in her journey to forward her mission by the intervention of Mr Kamal Prakash, who committed financial assistance to set up her enterprise and later purchased a plot of land to set up a building. The education wing of Dakshini Prayash , Madurdaha Satyavritti Vidyalaya (MSV) was established. The school provides classroom training, regular health checkups for children, skill training for adults.
A shop in the school premises offers handcrafted items and decorative plants that make thoughtful gifts and promote nature conservation. “As a centre of holistic education we at Dakshini Prayash are trying to set a new benchmark every day and marching ahead undeterred in its mission of “Man Making” –a path propounded by Swami Vivekananda” stated Mrs. Anubhuti Prakash, Joint Secretary of Dakshini Prayash on the occasion of Dakshini Prayash’s completion of more than 25 years of its educational journey which is being held on 11th August, 2019.
“Dakshini Prayash is a unique model of social development that was started with an objective to educate a few children while taking care of their health and in 25 years it has grown into a model institution imparting holistic education to 400 children, health care and self-reliance with 36 teachers and a team of volunteers, among the least privileged on the eastern fringe of Kolkata with an absolutely free and sustainable model, " she said.
" Their three verticals are education, health and self-reliance. Besides academics equal emphasis is given in character building and health through compulsory healthcare programs for children, teachers and staff and consistent monitoring and intervention in health, digital classrooms, nourishing meals, compulsory happiness and sports, art, crafts, library, computer, music, dance take care of every aspect of man-making, rare to find in an academic institution, " she added.
" The school also helps the parents of the underprivileged students with micro-financing assistance especially for women to generate additional income for their households by forming self-help groups. Our entire education program since inception has been virtually free of cost for students”, she stated. Mr Zha Liyou, Counsel General for the Peoples Republic of China graced the occasion as a chief guest having engaged with Dakshini Prayash work, and having supported as a philanthropic partner in many earlier occasions.
He expressed his deep relationship with Dakshini Prayash and stated its more like a family to him and would like to extend any kind of help from China towards the cause. The program saw a performance by the students which included dram and dance about 80 students and 36 staff and teachers were present at the program. Local band Miliputs also performed during the function. The teacher-student ratio is 1: 11, lowest in eastern India. There are around 20 volunteers. A total number of staff is 47. A number of families who have been impacted are 1000.
The school imparts education till Class eight after which students are guided to higher classes in Government schools of their choosing for their board examinations. School also provides additional support to older students through morning tutorials. In 2017 the first batch of students appearing for higher secondary education performed exceedingly well with four students securing more than 80pc. Overtime 73 students have been admitted to other schools for further studies with a full scholarship. The occasion was also graced by the former Chief guests, Mr Damiano Francovigh, Counsel General for Italy.UNI