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Adivasi Children studying at Tribal Academy Tejgadh, Gujarat, India. Wikimedia Commons

New Delhi, July 31, 2017: Education is a birth right of every individual irrespective of the class, caste or race. Swami Vivekanand once wrote:If the poor cannot come to education, education must reach them at the plough, in the factory, everywhere. How? You have seen my brethren. Now I can get hundreds of such, all over India, unselfish, good, and educated. Let these men go from village to village bringing not only religion to the door of everyone but also education.”

Years after Swami Vivekananda’s death, his words fetched life – An initiative called “Ekal Abhiyan” was started which aimed at imparting education to the poor and break into the outlying villages of the rural and tribal India. The initiative is driven by self-motivated volunteers, just like the way Vivekanand envisaged.

The concept of ‘one teacher schools’ or ‘single teacher schools’ was brought in the motion to provide holistic education to destitute children by well-trained teachers. The curriculum encompasses arithmetic, science, and languages, health and hygiene topics, physical activities, yoga and introduction to local skills. The educational content is developed from the scratch.

Ekal Abhiyan is the largest working educational organization in the villages of India with more than 50,000 Ekal Vidhyalayas in this day and age.

The journey of Ekal is full of vim and vigor. Some social visionaries started with ‘single-teacher schools’ in the Adivasi villages of Gumla district of Jharkhand in the 1980s. A similar operation was carried in the district Fulbani of Odisha. Shyam Gupta, a social activist working with the tribal communities, established 400-night schools. Children who worked in the fields in daytime also studied in these night schools.

Such endeavors helped to evolve the concept and model of Ekal Vidyalayas. The concept began to incubate first time in 1986 in a seminar in Gumla which was organized to discover the solution to the problem of illiteracy in tribal villages. Both the models from Jharkhand and Orissa were discussed and looked upon.

The concept of ‘one teacher school’ was also sketched by a renowned social activist Bhau Rao Devras. Furthermore, Dr. Popli helped in honing the concept and wrote the book Khele Kude Nache Gaye based upon the non-formal method of teaching.

Ekal has emphasized in its models the need for local participation. Constant training of acharyas (instructors) is a standout amongst the most important aspects of Ekal’s framework. A large number of Ekal volunteers and acharyas are occupied with accomplishing something staggering that others can just dream of.

[bctt tweet=”Ekal is a faceless movement with thousands of faces and a people’s movement in a true sense” username=”NewsGramdotcom”]

In the period of two decades, Ekal hasn’t taken any assistance from the government. With its financially savvy and straightforward model, Ekal has assembled its own pool of supporters. Ekal does not operate on any standard building structures but rather the Vidyalayas are run in panchayat buildings or in volunteers’ homes. In the case of inaccessibility, Vidyalaya keeps running under a tree.

Also Read: Fearing Abduction, Tribal women Harm their Faces to make them less Appealing to Men

Programs like ‘$1 a day’ where a man gives $365 every year to Ekal, an amount adequate enough to run one Ekal Vidyalaya has helped the unprivileged children achieve the distant dream of literacy. The purpose of volunteer based approach is to make society more cognizant about the impediments our country and society confront. As of late, in one of the projects, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched having 100,000 Ekal Vidyalayas by 2022. Ekal volunteers have taken this as a challenge and have begun working in the direction.

Ekal has not only sought for educational development has also worked for economic empowerment and better healthcare for rural and vanvasi brothers and sisters. Ekal Gramothan Foundation and Arogya Foundation of India are the two added initiatives under the shed of Ekal Abhiyan.

Poverty stricken children from the Adivasi villages are now seen touching PCs surprisingly. Every one of these activities is an aftereffect of Ekal’s duty towards fortifying the poorest of poor and to reach the remotest villages.

– 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.


Photo by Pixabay

Indian astronomers have found an active galaxy in a very bright state with 10 times more X-ray emission than normal

Indian astronomers have found an active galaxy in a very bright state with 10 times more X-ray emission than normal, equivalent to more than 10 trillion of the sun, and located five billion light years away that could help probe how particles behave under intense gravity and acceleration to the speed of light.

It could help study the role of strong gravity and acceleration of matter in the formation, interaction and evolution of galaxies in the early universe.

Every galaxy in the universe is believed to host a supermassive black hole at its centre. In some galaxies, the black hole is actively devouring a large amount of material and shooting a jet of plasma almost at the speed of light towards us. These are called blazars.

OJ 287 belongs to a class of blazars known as BL Lacertae objects which show very rapid and large amplitude flux variations but barely discernible emission line features.

This class of sources emit in the whole electromagnetic spectrum, a rather uncommon phenomenon which requires extreme physical conditions. Hence, a study of such sources tells us about the behaviour of matter in an extreme gravitational field where it is difficult for light to escape from the vicinity of the black hole.

Astronomers at Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, have been monitoring one such black hole system named 'OJ 287' since 2015. This source shows a repeated optical brightness enhancement almost every 12 years.

"The repeated optical enhancement makes OJ 287 very intriguing as this class of sources does not show any repeating features in flux variations. The repeated optical enhancement made the researchers believe that the system hosts a binary black hole," said a release from the Ministry of Science and Technology.

In 2020, the source was very bright at optical and X-ray bands with X-ray flux more than 10 times the normal (non-active phase) flux. This flare was very different as it was not expected in models proposed for this source and thus, indicated a more complex system and physical conditions.

Investigating the extreme brightness shown by OJ 287 at optical and X-ray bands, astronomers led by Pankaj Kushwaha and Alok C. Gupta reported the source in a completely new spectral state.

The team argued that this change of state holds clues to the researcher's quest to understand how matter behaves in very strong gravity and how it accelerates the particle to almost the speed of light -- a feat that is out of the scope of even the most advanced CERN accelerator.

The research published in 'The Astrophysical Journal' tracked the details of changes in optical to the X-ray emission spectrum of the source with time from 2017 to 2020 -- after the second brightest X-ray flare of the source. It revealed how the source gradually started to change its spectral behaviour from mid-2018 to the new spectral state in 2020.

The study included data recorded by the ground-based facility operated by Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, operated Mount Abu observing facility in near infra-red bands and the space-based NASA's satellites -- the Niels Gherel Swift satellite at optical, UV and X-rays with gamma ray data from the Fermi satellite, the release added. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Science, NASA, Satellites, Black Hole, Gravity, India

Photo by Flickr

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Ninety-eight per cent of Indian travellers say they want to stay in a sustainable accommodation in the coming year, and with more than 28 million listings on, the company sees a huge opportunity to highlight more of the impactful efforts its partners are making to create more sustainable experiences, making it easier for travellers to find a sustainable way to stay.

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