Monday, January 29, 2018

गणतंत्र दिवस २०१८,जाखाधार (चकराता )

                       स्कूल हेड मास्टर छात्रों को पुरुस्कृत करते हुए
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                             लम्बी कूद करता एक छात्र ...

                        लम्बी कूद करती एक छात्रा

                                ध्वजारोहन के बाद छात्रों का सामुदायिक कक्ष को प्रस्थान

                          अभिभावक संघ के सदस्य समता परिसर में हलुआ बनाते हुए,

Apple plants distribution in Tiuni...

On a sunny morning recently, in Jhitar, apple plants were distributed. This is the apple belt and people have a traditional base of knowledge about managing orchards.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Republic Day at Jakhdhar

Chakrata, 26th Jan 2018: Though it was cold, all the students came for the function, as a tribute to our nation. Sultan from Vikasnagar, had also traveled to Jakhdhar for this purpose. Special Halwa was made by Smta team and was served to the students, who enjoyed the sunshine and various games organised by Chain Singh and others, staying in the campus till evening. They had to be told: ENOUGH! Now please go home, before your parents come looking for you!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Digital literacy in Jaunsar

Sultan and Dr Srivastava participated in a two day workshop, on the above theme, organised by Digital Sarathi, on 19 and 20 January in Vikasnagar, Nagarpalika Auditorium. On day one some local politicians were also there to encourage this new initiative. On Day two, Dr Srivastava spoke on the relevance and accessibility of IT, especially through cheap android phones. He also sounded a note of caution about over-use of IT and resulting health and psychological issues. Participants were from different states; Quite a few were pradhans from our own Jaunsar Bawar region.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Himalaya Trust moves into their new office at SMTA, Vikasnagar

The Himalaya Trust, a Dehradun based organisation has moved into their new office at our campus. THT is working on livelihood, Women's development, skill development, IT education, environment and culture. SMTA and THT are collaborating on a "campus initiative" explained here:

Tiuni: health training and seed distribution to women SHG

A one day training was conducted in Jhitaar, by an experienced health worker and Sohan Singh, on women's common health issues (white discharge, anemia, irregular MC etc.) and use of local herbal remedies. Seeds also were distributed to women's groups to improve the productivity and promote cash crops.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Shri K R Joshi is no more, alas!


Shri K R Joshi was born in 1931, on 2nd June, at village Thana, near Chakrata. His mother was Smt Narayani Devi and father was Ratiram Joshi, in a reputed family of Sadar Sayana.  His father had his business in Chakarata but he had a deeper abiding interest in the Cultural Revolution taking place in the country at that time. He was active member of Arya Samaj, a reform movement. As such, his home frequently hosted intellectuals, activists and writers like, Pandit Indra Vidyavachaspati (son of Sw Shraddhanand), Sw Satyadev etc. Later, he came in touch with Sri Dharmdev Shastri, of Ashok Ashram, Kalsi. At the age of 14, Kripa Ram volunteered with a charitable medical organization of Kolkata and visited remote areas of Jaunsar Bawar. These were the early influences, which made him aware of the superstitions and caste inequities prevalent in the region and inspired him to work against them for his entire life.
He passed High school in first division in 1947 from Asharam School in Vikasanagar.  He completed his graduate and post-graduate studies at DAV College Dehradun. He played a central role in establishing Jaunsar Bawar student union. Even though he volunteered for Indian National Congress, he was deeply influenced by luminaries like JP, Lohia and Ambedkar.  Gandhi remained a role model for him throughout his life. Finally, while still a student, he decided to serve his region as a teacher.
He started teaching at Cantt School in Chakrata on 1 may, 1952. Working steadily with devotion, he became Vice Principal and retired on 30th June, 1989. In this period of 37 long years, he not only taught but also made sure that no student stopped learning for want of school fee. His commitment to education was so deep that while he was in class nine, he ran a night school in his own village.  Through his efforts, many girl schools were opened in the region based on Ashram principle, since 1973. Not only education, he actively contributed in the area of women’ empowerment, rural enterprise, family planning, immunization, watershed, social forestry, social justice etc.
He was a family friend to Late Dr Lehman of Herbertpur. He worked closely with him as a translator and a reliable support/ companion, when the Herbertpur Christian Hospital was being established in those early years. He was very close to Dr Lehman's son, Donald and others.
In 1995 he became president of SMTA and stepped down in 2013 due to his frail health. In this long period, as president, he encouraged the team to open many schools in remote villages, develop the local skills and talents and connect Jaunsar Bawar with the mainstream of social development. He was in touch with NCERT and as such, constantly worked for quality education. He regularly conducted teachers’ training for SMTA teachers. He ran a self help group in his own village to inculcate small savings in the community. This self help group in Thana village is doing well even today.
He was the guiding spirit behind Uppal gaon watershed project in his village which ran for seven years and changed the landscape. The eight villages under this project, still remember Joshi ji and his vision of “beginning the change from one’s own home”. He was in touch with and deeply influenced by social workers like, Anna Hajare, Bankar Roy, Aruna Roy, Chandi Prasad Bhatt etc.

Besides, social work, Joshi ji was a prolific writer too. His letters and articles were regularly published in Jaunsar Mail and in other dailies. He wrote many socially relevant stories and also a brief introduction to Jaunsar Bawar, at a time, when this region was known only to few Anthropologists and researchers. His work through SMTA and the community of Uppal gaon, will continue to unfold and touch many lives. He left for heavenly abode on 17th January 2018, at the age of 87.

Update, 18th Jan 2018: I am pained to inform our readers that Mr Joshi, our friend and long time President, is no more. He left mortal frame on the evening of 17th January 2018, in Dehradun. He is survived by a large family of children and grandchildren - and many grieving friends.. 
He has been a guiding spirit and invaluable support to our organization (SMTA) and to us personally. He will remain in fond public memory, as a sensitive, learned, individual and social worker of this region for a long time to come.. Sultan visited the bereaved family in Thana village on 19th Jan 2018, to convey our condolences and to express our solidarity. 

संवेदना सन्देश
सेवा में : श्री वीरेन्द्र कुमार जोशी
आदरणीय जोशी परिवार
इस दुःख की घड़ी में समता परिवार आपके साथ खड़ा है, ईश्वर आपको संबल दे – यह कामना करता है और दिवंगत श्री कृपा राम जोशी जी के अतुलनीय योगदान, निर्देशन व सहयोग के लिए गहन आभार व्यक्त करता है | शरीर नश्वर है पर जोशी जी के निस्वार्थ सामाजिक कर्म सदैव याद किये जायेंगे | समता संस्था पर उन्होंने अमिट छाप छोड़ी है जो सदैव समता को प्रेरित करती रहेगी | जौनसार बावर क्षेत्र और उसके बाहर भी उन्होंने जो एक जागरूक कर्मयोगी के पद चिन्ह छोड़े हैं, उन पर चलने का प्रयास हम सब करते रहेंगे |
दिवंगत आत्मा की सद्गति और शांति के लिए,
निरंतर प्रार्थनारत,  

रुबेन, मैगी, रेखा, रचित, डॉ श्रीवास्तव, सुल्तान, कुंदन, धनेश्वरी, सोहन, चैन सिंह, केदार सिंह, बेलम, मंजू व अन्य सभी नए व पुराने समता सदस्य  

Here is a snippet from his old friend, Donald Lehman, as a tribute to Late Mr Joshi:
"Kripa Ram was a very close friend of our family’s, particularly of my father and myself. I have many fond memories of him. Our friendship began over 65 years ago, when he first wrote to me with a eulogy to England’s cricketers, e.g. Len Hutton. After that we corresponded regularly. I always looked forward to his closely written air letters, covering a wide range of topics and keeping me up to date with Indian affairs.
I particularly remember two visits to India.  Once was when I first brought my wife, Rosa Maria to your country. I was especially keen to show her Chakrata and to introduce her to Kripa Ram. To my happy surprise, I was able to convince the relevant Dehra Dun official to give us permission, though foreigners, to visit Chakrata. There we met Kripa Ram in an excellent little restaurant, where we ate the best pakoras I’ve ever had.Much later, when our charitable trust, the Canning Trust, was supporting the work of SMTA in the villages around Herbertpur, Kripa Ram and I went around those villages together to describe our joint efforts and to elicit the villagers’ involvement. I well remember the enthusiastic response we received..."

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Books, books, books..

Cyril sahab's books have arrived before him!
5th Jan, the THT team came and moved in their office: Vimla, Fakru, Shobhit, Ikhlak, Pundir ji, Guddu, Sachin, Anjali... On 6th jan, we had a little picnic!

Watermill and kids playing in Jakhadhar!

I (sachin) visited Jakhadhar (near Chakrata) from 3-5 Jan 2018, for a little discussion with teachers there. Here are some memorable pictures.
A functioning watermill!

Watermill running on water (wish it was a car!)

Smta School kids in morning prayer!

Kids play carrom in sun with ambient temperature about 8!

Why should girl be left behind?

Fine motor skills at play!

Strategy and game theory in action.

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 की यादें...

३१ दिसम्बर के दिन कुछ साथी मिले और मिल जुल कर आपस में कुछ बातें की !

New Year Eve

We had a little get together on 31st Dec 2017. Sultan shared about SMTA past and its education program..