Saturday December 7, 2019
Home India Education and...

Education and dreams on wheels: Mobile Science Laboratory

0
//

By Misbah Khan

Even in the twenty-first century, a large number of Children in India do not have the access to basic education. Children who are studying in government schools in far villages simply do not get to see much of facilities.

Most of such schools do not have libraries or the laboratories to do practicals. The presence of school is an achievement in itself.

20 years ago an NRI couple in Pune felt the need to provide these students a better chance. Thus began the campaign called ‘Vidnyanvahini’. Madhukar and Pushpa Deshpande who had been living in the USA came back to India and started this campaign. 

NewsGram talked to Pushpa Deshpande who is the President of Vidnyanvahini. She very proudly talked about the campaign. MSL, the Mobile Science Laboratory is the unique campaign under which a bus travels all over the state.

The bus usually has five to six teachers every day. The teachers are scheduled. Trust has almost 25 teachers and a properly planned schedule is kept of all the teachers.

This year’s MSL campaign finished just last week since exams of students are close now. The campaign starts every year in June.

The bus covers every village of Maharashtra. Pushpa Deshpande told NewsGram that the children take this very positively. They are taught science and Mathematics. Bus keeps all the laboratory equipment and usually, these children never have had the chance to see and use such things.

There is a TV, DVD player, laptop, projectors and wash basin. It is targeted at the students of 8th, 9th, 10th standard. The schools are selected by Vidnyanvahini on the basis of their needs, size and location.

Pushpa Deshpande further told NewsGram that most of the teachers are retired professionals and because of neither the money nor the time is an issue for them. She appreciated the enthusiasm of the teachers for the campaign and the hard work they put.

There are different professionals like teachers, professors, scientists and engineers who are connected with the campaign as the volunteers. All people have degrees in subjects related to science.

The trust gets the funds from a lot of Indians living outside the country. It has no financial support from the government.

Vidnyanvahini has all the information on its website. All the details of curriculum and the schedule of MSL visits. It deserves a lot of credit for the smooth functioning.

Vidnyanvahini is an attempt to provide the facilities to the many of the children who do not have enough resources.

Misbah Khan is a Second year B.com student. She likes to write on social and political issues.

Next Story

Measles Kills 140,000 people, WHO Calls it “Collective Failure”

WHO Decries 'Collective Failure' as Measles Kills 140,000

0
Measles- WHO
A child reacts after receiving a measles-rubella vaccination in Yangon, Myanmar. VOA

Measles infected nearly 10 million people in 2018 and killed 140,000, mostly children, as devastating outbreaks of the viral disease hit every region of the world, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

In figures described by its director general as “an outrage,” the WHO said most of last year’s measles deaths were in children under five years old who had not been vaccinated.

“The fact that any child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease like measles is frankly an outrage and a collective failure to protect the world’s most vulnerable children,” said the WHO’s director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus.

The picture for 2019 is even worse, the WHO said, with provisional data up to November showing a three-fold increase compared with the same period in 2018.

The United States has already reported its highest number of measles cases in 25 years in 2019, while four countries in Europe — Albania, the Czech Republic, Greece and Britain — lost their WHO “measles-free” status in 2018 after suffering large outbreaks.

An ongoing outbreak of measles in South Pacific nation of Samoa has infected more than 4,200 people and killed more than 60, mostly babies and children, in a battle complicated by a vocal anti-vaccination movement.

Globally, measles vaccination rates have stagnated for almost a decade, the WHO said. It and the UNICEF children’s fund say that in 2018, around 86% of children got a first dose of measles vaccine through their country’s routine vaccination services, and fewer than 70% got the second dose recommended to fully protect them from measles infection.

Highly contagious

Samoa Measles
A child gets vaccinated at a health clinic in Apia, Samoa. Samoa. VOA

Measles is one of the most contagious known diseases — more so than Ebola, tuberculosis or flu. It can linger in the air or on surfaces for several hours after an infected person has been and gone — putting anyone not vaccinated at risk.

In some wealthier nations, vaccination rates have been hit by some parents shunning them for what they say are religious or philosophical reasons. Mistrust of authority and debunked myths about links to autism also weaken vaccine confidence and lead some parents to delay protecting their children.

Research published in October showed that measles infection not only carries a risk of death or severe complications including pneumonia, brain damage, blindness and deafness, but can also damage the victim’s immune memory for months or years — leaving those who survive measles vulnerable to other dangerous diseases such as flu or severe diarrhea.

The WHO data showed there were an estimated 9,769,400 cases of measles and 142,300 related deaths globally in 2018. This compares to 7,585,900 cases and 124,000 deaths in 2017.

Also Read- UN Aims at Curbing Carbon Emissions Globally

In 2018, measles hit hardest in Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Somalia and Ukraine, the WHO said, with these five nations accounting for nearly half of global cases.

Robert Linkins, a specialist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the data were worrying: “Without improving measles vaccine coverage we’re going to continue to see these needless deaths. We must turn this trend around.” (VOA)