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Meet Dharampal Saini : The man who made it possible for tribal girls in Bastar to attend school

Bastar's Dharampal Saini is the pioneer of spreading education among tribal girls in Bastar.

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(Representational Image) Image Source: therealyouth.org
  • Dharampal Saini is the pioneer of Mata Rukmini Devi Ashram chain of schools in Bastar.
  • Even at 87 years, he is not satisfied and feels that there is room for improvement in the society and education of Bastar.
  • He is fondly referred to as “tauji” by the students of his school.
The savior of Bastar. Image Source : theweek.in
The savior of Bastar. Image Source : theweek.in

Dharampal Saini, fondly known as ‘Tauji’ in his village Bastar, is a 87-year-old activist and teacher. He is the pioneer of Mata Rukmini Devi Ashram chain of schools in the village.

Born in Dhar,he was introduced to the teachings of Gandhi at a tender age by one of his teachers, which turned out to be the changing point of his life. Soon, he met a social activist Vinoba Bhave who was working for the upliftment of the Bhil tribes of Madhya Pradesh. Saini then decided to work with him under certain Gandhian organizations.

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An article about tribal girls of Bastar had made him take the initiative to educate them. Bastar at that time was undeveloped and was under Naxalite influence.While it was a tough road to chart, ‘Tauji’ never gave up.

He pestered Bhave till he agreed and received a letter and a donation of merely five rupees from the Chief Minister. He found a land in Dimrapal village, a long way from Jagdalpur.

On December, 1976 Saini started his first school with two women teachers and two other support staff. Initially, none of the villagers wanted their girls to go to school. Saini worked day and night, never yielding and got some of them to agree to give their daughters school education. He included extra-curricular activities and what not in the school curriculum.

Next, he opened a school in a Naxal infested area in Barsur. It was highly dangerous but he was determined to make it work. Government, impressed by his efforts, gave him a sizeable donation to open further schools nearby, quoted thebetterindia.com.

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As Mata Rukmini Devi Ashram schools gained a good name in the society, Saini started inviting boys to study in his schools as well. Thus, it no longer remained an educational drive only for tribal girls but became a more inclusive program.

Students meditating, laing with their Tauji. Image Source : theweek.in
Students meditating, laing with their Tauji. Image Source : theweek.in

Today, Saini and his group of schools have succeeded in promoting education among the people of Bastar, to whom education had appeared to be an alien subject. The Ashrams not only serve as a refuge from the otherwise deplorable condition of tribal people in the area but it is also a place where they get to pursue their best interests.

The girls are so good in athletics that some of them have even played at the national level. Their medals decorate the walls of Saini’s humble abode of two rooms. From the very beginning, he had given as much emphasis on physical education as on academic excellence. He had told the Time of India :

“This issue worried me on how to inculcate the habit of studying and creating a learning atmosphere in school. For this I initiated Yoga and then a district forest officer suggested to me to channelise this energy for sports activity as these tribal girls have immense stamina and by the time they are four years old, they walk kilometres barefoot to forests to collect supplies. So I started teaching them sports and in the year 1985, a 14-year-old girl Mangal Mode won the first national medals for us in discus throw and kabaddi.”

Image Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Image Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

In spite of revolutionizing Bastar’s education system, Saini is not yet satisfied. He intends on working more to make Bastar an even better place.

-prepared by Atreyee Sengupta, an intern at NewsGram.

Also Read :

 

  • Aparna Gupta

    Education is the most valuable thing one can give to the others. This man had done a complimentary job.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    So encouraging at the age of 87, this man should be recognized and more people should be urged to do this in their areas so that children attain at least the basic education

  • Akanksha Sharma

    Education is the main aspect for the development of the country. This man is doing a great job.

  • Aparna Gupta

    Education is the most valuable thing one can give to the others. This man had done a complimentary job.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    So encouraging at the age of 87, this man should be recognized and more people should be urged to do this in their areas so that children attain at least the basic education

  • Akanksha Sharma

    Education is the main aspect for the development of the country. This man is doing a great job.

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Strange Rituals: Demon King Ravana is Worshipped on Dussehra

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dussehra
Effigy of Ravana burns. Dussehra. Wikimedia

Sep 30, 2017: Vijayadashami or Dussehra is celebrated with fervor at the end of Navratri every year. The festival is observed by burning the puppet of King Ravana. While at some places, the celebration of good over evil is celebrated by burning effigy of the demon king, there are some places where Ravana is worshipped on this occasion. It is predisposed amongst the followers that all their wishes come true on this day.

Also Read: Ram and Ravana Have More In Common Than You Think: 5 Traits of the Anti-Hero Ravana That You Must Learn | Dussehra Special

Every year on Dussehra, the 125-year-old Dashanan temple in Shivala area of Kanpur is opened for its devotees. An idol of King Ravana is ornamented, and aarti is performed. Devotees perform religious rituals and light lamps to celebrate the festival. The temple remains closed following the burning of Ravana’s statue.

Dashanan Temple was constructed in 1890 by king Guru Prasad Shukl. The rationale behind the construction of Dashanan temple was Ravana’s adherence towards Lord Shiva.

King Ravana is worshipped at many places in India, for example: In Andhra Pradesh’s Kakinada, a huge shivalinga established by Ravana is revered along with the demon-king. Vidisha, a village in Madhya Pradesh is dedicated to King Ravana. In this village, the first wedding card invitation is sent to Ravana before the commencement of any celebration. Neither the devotees burn dummies of King Ravana, nor do they celebrate Dussehra.

Next Story

Crimes Against Women Perpetrate in Every two Minutes: NCRB Analysis

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Crimes against women in India
Father, left and mother, center of the Indian student victim who was fatally gang raped on this day three years back on a moving bus in the Indian capital join others at a candle lit vigil in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. VOA
  • Any kind of physical or mental harm towards women is deemed as  “crime against women”
  • Domestic violence is the most dominant crime against women
  • Andhra Pradesh state is the highest to report crimes against women in the period of ten years

Sep 20, 2017: A report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) suggests that crimes against women have increased violently in the last ten years with an estimated figure of  2.24 million crimes. The figure is also suggestive of the fact: 26 crimes against women are reported every hour, or one complaint every two minutes, reports IndiaSpend analysis.

The most dominant crime against women with 909,713 cases reported in last decade was ‘cruelty by husbands and relatives’ under section 498‐A of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

‘Assault on women’ booked under section 354 of IPC is the second-most-reported crime against women with 470,556 crimes.

‘Kidnapping and abduction of women’ are the third-most-reported crime with 315,074 crimes, followed by ‘rape’ (243,051), ‘insult to modesty of women’ (104,151) and ‘dowry death’ (80,833).

The NCRB report also listed three heads, namely commit rape (4,234), abetment of suicide of women (3,734) and protection of women from domestic violence (426) under which cases of crime against women have been reported in 2014.

Andhra Pradesh has reported the most crimes against women (263,839) over the past 10 years.

Andhra Pradesh state is the highest (263,839) to report crimes against women in the period of ten years. Crimes reported for insult (35,733) ranks first followed by cruelty by husband relatives (117,458), assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty (51,376) and dowry-related deaths (5,364).

West Bengal (239,760) is second most crime against women state followed by Uttar Pradesh (236,456), Rajasthan (188,928) and Madhya Pradesh (175,593).

Abduction increased up to three folds over the recent years,  with Uttar Pradesh being the worst affected state. Cases rose from 15,750 cases in 2005 to 57,311 cases in 2014.

Prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

 

Next Story

Hello Foodies ! You Can Spot These 8 Street Foods at Every Nook and Corner in India

Here is a list of delicious street food items, now available everywhere in India

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Delicious Street Food
Delicious Street Food in India. Wikimedia

Sep 02, 2017: Street foods in India is the new trend amongst foodies these days and are indeed delectable to savor. Previously, it was known that street food confined to a particular region. However, nowadays, a south Indian food can be found even in the north of the country and here is why you don’t need to go all the way to Assam to eat momos.

Many street food items have become quite popular throughout. Let’s have a look at these street food items.

Here is a list of delicious street food items, now available everywhere:

Vada Pao

Street Foods
Vada Pao in Delhi. Wikimedia

Vada Pao is the Indian style burger, quite famous in Maharastra. Fried potato dumplings are stuffed inside pao and are coupled with green chili and spicy chutney that add flavor to this Maharashtrian dish.

Chaat

Street Foods
Papri Chaat. Wikimedia

The sweet, tangy, and spicy taste of Aloo tikki, Gol Gappa, bhelpuri, Sevpuri, will tempt you. This is a mouth-watering street food from Uttar Pradesh. It adds extra taste to your buds when garnished with curd and chutney.

Momos

Street Foods
Cabbage Momos. Wikimedia

The white colored steamed snack of North East is getting popular amongst Indians these days. It makes an awesome combo when served with spicy red chutney and hot momos.

Also Read: “Regionality is What Sets Indian Food Apart” from the Cuisines Across the World, says MasterChef Australia Judge Gary Mehigan 

Poha Jalebi

Street Foods
Poha the staple breakfast of India, with Jalebi. Wikimedia

Sweet jalebis served with salty poha is a trademark street food of Madhya Pradesh. Now the combination is a hit amongst people of the country.

Idli Sambhar

Street Foods
Idli-Sambhar-Coconut chutney. Wikimedia

Idli Sambhar is the most popular street food of Tamil Nadu in India. It is a delicious combo of idli, sambhar and coconut chutney.

Chole Bhatura

Street Foods
Chole bhature. Wikimedia

Chole Bhature, a favorite dish of every Indian is chiefly a treat of Punjab.  It is served with green chilies, onions, and chutney.

Dhokla

Street Foods
Gujarati Dhokla (Khaman Dhokla). Wikimedia

The sweet-sour Dhoklas are a specialty of Gujarat state. It is a famous street food baked from the fermented batter of gram flour. This treat is also served with chutney and green chilies.

Pyaz ki Kachori

Street Foods
Rajasthani Pyaz ki Kachori. Wikimedia

Pyaz ki Kachori was originated in Jodhpur city of Rajasthan. The dish is now relished all over India. These crispy and flaky kachoris with onion masala, garnished with sweet tamarind chutney will throb your heart.


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.