Alfa Educational Society, an NGO based in Udaipur, Rajasthan, has started a primary school called Village Spirit Academy in Karawara village to help students get easy access to education.
For someone born and brought up in the city, living in a village can be an eye-opener in many ways. While some find village life mundane, there are others who fall in love with its charm. For 21-year-old Rahul Dubey, it was the latter.
When the Delhi youth went to Karwara, a small village in Kherwara district near Udaipur, Rajasthan, it felt like homecoming.
“It felt natural, like I belonged here. I came for a three-month-long internship and never went back. It has been four years and I feel at home,” says Rahul.
After finishing his bachelors in mathematics, Rahul decided to take a gap year. He was looking for new experiences and signed up for an internship with a local NGO, Alfa Educational Society. Alfa, a grassroots level organization founded by Lokesh Kalal in 2006 is based out of Udaipur. They work in the fields of education, women empowerment, and youth development.
“I was baffled to see the status of education in this remote village. I couldn’t leave knowing that the kids here were not getting a proper education. After completing the internship, I decided to stay back and work on the challenges and issues that hinder the quality of the education for local kids,” says Rahul.
He joined Alfa and started a school in Karawara village in July 2016 — the Village Spirit Academy. The primary school focuses on a wholesome curriculum that includes academic as well as hands-on skills, and is affiliated with the Rajasthan Council of Elementary Education. The organisation has trained and employed five local youngsters as teachers in the school, which currently runs in a rented house and has 105 students.
“The strength has grown rapidly as many parents are excited to enrol their children. The main problem here is that schools are at faraway distances from remote villages. But now the problem is that we are facing space crunch, since it’s a small house. We are clubbing two classes in one room for now,” says Rahul.
The organisation is trying to raise funds for constructing a building. A villager has already donated land for the same.
Aside from managing the school, Rahul is also trying to get more educated young people from the nearby villages to train them as teachers.
“The whole idea is quite simple. We don’t need to bring teachers from some far-off cities to teach kids here. There are so many graduates; some have completed BA, some MA, some have even done BEd. All these youngsters then go off to the cities. We are trying to offer them a job here, in their own village,” says Rahul.