By Martin Macwan
Should there be caste in schools?
Navsarjan Trust has grappled with this specific question for past three decades, just like many concerned citizens of India. However, with due respect to our national progress on many counts, the fact remains that caste continues even today, especially in Gujarat public schools, where children, and at times the teachers, are discriminated against on the basis of their caste identity. Thus, caste has become a national shame and an international embarrassment.
Post-Independence, our national vision for education was to train and raise citizens, and not a caste-ridden generation. Navsarjan Trust has made a breakthrough in its own run primary boarding schools (grades 5-8) to break bonds of caste and sub-caste, and created environment where children across castes live and learn together.
We invite committed and principled citizens to join our educational programme, so that educational institutions, such as those that annihilates caste, become icons and models to be supported and spread.
Recently, many Gujarat public schools undertook a public campaign, which was accompanied by a student awareness programme, whose slogan was: NO PLASTICS. Navsarjan schools have included this in their curriculum on environment protection. But we believe that it should be accompanied with a focused campaign in favour of social values of non-discrimination.
Children at Navsarjan schools have to learn cooking and cleaning as part of their studies. Teachers and students together clean up the campus, and also make compost manure from human faeces and urine, and learn to live as equals, in a non-discriminatory environment.
There is a need to understand that caste is, if not more, equally dangerous to the future of our society alongside a clean environment.
In Navsarjan boarding schools, each student contributes Rs 750 as her or his monthly contribution, which covers their food cost. Navsarjan schools required to raise donations to support teachers’ salaries, even as maintaining the schools’ expenses.
Thus far we were dependent on foreign donations. We wish to take up the challenge and run these schools with Indian and community donations. We welcome donations from citizens who share with us our ideal.
Navsarjan invites all concerned citizens to participate in a school function on Sunday, April 12, 2015, to witness how a Navsarjan school functions. The event is intended to showcase the quality of education which can be achieved if teachers and students co-construct a value system of EQUALTY. We would also like to take this opportunity to raise funds and pledges from friends.
We invite concerned citizens to turn our idea of NO PLASTIC; NO CASTE into a movement, with Navsarjan schools becoming the first symbols of the way forward.
The venue of the function is:
Navsarjan Vidayalya Near village Katariya, Ahmedabad-Bagodara-Limbdi highway Taluka Limbdi District Surendranagar Gujarat
You may donate money either by cheque, demand draft or via direct bank NO CASTE; NO PLASTIC transfer. The donations are exempted under Section 80 (G) of the Income Tax Act. The details of donations will be posted with your consent on this website.
Our Bank details are:
A/C Name: Navsarjan Trust-Primary Education Fund A/C No: 912010037161980 Bank Name: Axis Bank Ltd Sanand; Sarkhej-Ahmedabad Road IFSC code: UTIB0001426
For further information you may contact:
Martin Macwan 09727750448 (mobile) martin.macwan@