Training of Trainers – March 2017 Update

SCERT Haryana Cohort: Success stories and more were shared at SCERT Haryana as part of the culmination event of a partnership between SCERT, DIET Gurgaon and We, The People. The event was witnessed by teachers along with the students of government schools. The chief guest was S.D.M Mr. Sushil Sangwan along with DIET principal Ms. Tanwar and SCERT director Ms. Kiran Mayee. Students and teachers from 5 government schools were felicitated for the exemplary projects they had taken up in the community. SCERT Haryana in the partnership with We, The People has trained Civics teachers of 49 schools to develop informed, active and participative citizenry in the students.

This is now an important activity we wish to do with every partner, at the end of every project. Irrespective of the outcomes of each Civic Action Project (CAP), we believe it is important to acknowledge and appreciate the exemplary efforts put in by our partners and the citizens. The positives vibes create a sense of respect towards the work and also instill confidence that such projects will eventually have a positive impact on our society.

The Private School Cohort in North Secretariat came to a closure with the end of this academic year. The cohort had 4 private schools from Gurgaon and Delhi (The Heritage, Gurgaon; Shiv Nadar School, Gurgaon; Sanskriti School, New Delhi; The Heritage, Vasant Kunj). There were 8 teachers who participated in the programme and worked with students of students 9th and 11th grade. As a part of this programme there were 25 Civic Action Projects taken up by the teachers and students of these schools. In Sanskriti school, political science students of 11th grade worked on 15 projects on various issues such as sanitation, traffic, noise pollution, roads, liquor store near school, road safety, parking, electricity etc.

The Madhya Pradesh cohort of 12 NGO partners also concluded this March. This cohort started in July 2016 with 22 participants who did personal Civic Action Projects and then took up projects with the community members. These NGOs work on various issues related to education, bonded labor, child abuse etc in various districts of MP like Tikamgarh, Dewas, Harda, Seoni etc. The team had many success stories to share in the culmination event that happened from 8th – 10th March. These anchors were able to empower the community while working on various projects like, drinking water, land allocation, sexual abuse of children, streetlights, ration etc.

Government schools cohort: Our work with schools constitutes 75% of the overall work. In the West Secretariat, we have been intensively working with the municipal schools of Pune Municipal Corporation and of Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. The citizenship programme was implemented in 28 schools by 45 social science teachers. The period Oct 16- March 17 revolved around the civic action projects that students have been working upon.

NGO anchors cohort: While on one hand, we aim at building capacities of the young citizens on the democratic citizenship, on the other hand, the adult citizens are on our radar too. In collaboration with CSR arm of Tata motors, we are currently running a citizenship programme with the NGO Prasad Chikitsa in block. Wada, district Thane. A cohort of 15 anchors have participated in the second ToT and will start community work soon.

CSR Partnership with TATA motors:

While on one hand, we aim at building capacities of these young citizens on the democratic citizenship, on the other hand, the adult citizens are on our radar too. In collaboration with CSR arm of Tata motors, we are currently running a citizenship programme in block. Wada, district Thane. Prasad Chikitsa, the partner NGO in this project has been working towards community development since 1994 in Ganeshpuri, Wada.  A cohort of 21 anchors from Prasad Chikitsa has successfully completed the first ToT programme and all of them are  currently working on their own civic action projects. Post 2nd ToT, every anchor is expected to train 40 citizens in the community on the skills of the responsible citizenship.

67th Constitution Day Celebration

We, The People conducted the first of its kind Inter-School Constitution Day Quiz Competition with the students of six prominent schools of Delhi/NCR as the participants. The student participated with a lot of enthusiasm and were very well prepared. The Keynote address was delivered by Mr. Yogender Yadav who was spoke about three key aspects of the Indian Constitution as a symbol of Indian modernity which are typically ‘Made in India’. Democracy- A concept that was thought to be only understood by the upper strata and the well-educated members of the society, until India demonstrated that it could work for the poor and the non-literate too. Diversity- Our country has an ocean of diverse culture, languages and practices which co-exist together. We are 67 years old and have build ourselves from zero to where we stand today shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the most powerful countries in the world. Development- The Indian Constitution has been formed keeping in mind the last person who should also be benefited from the policies.

Madhya Pradesh is blooming!

Though our work in Madhya Pradesh started a couple of years back when we did some workshops on constitution with some CSO partners, some real impact and long term partnerships got established only recently. Jan Sahas, a CSO, played a vital role in bringing together a group of 11 CSOs working in various parts of MP to form a cohort of  22 people. These people work in some of the most challenging situations, on issues like  education, child labour, health etc. in tribal and remote areas of MP. The first TOT with this group was a 3 days workshop in Bhopal in July after which they were to take up projects in teams and work on that for 2 months. This is a very different setup and first cohort with CSO partners. All of them understand the practical aspects of civic action and work on issue day in day out, but they lack the conceptual understanding of what exists and how things work. This aspect made it a bit more difficult as compared to our experience with teachers.

This is a group of very inspiring young people who are already doing wonderful work to bring about positive change in communities. We believe that if they can understand the framework of constitution and start using in their work, the impact can be multi-fold.

Maharashtra is full of growth and opportunities!

Over the last 6 months, in Maharashtra, we have forged multiple partnerships and also have come up with some innovative awareness and networking events. The partnerships with Pune Municipal Corporation and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation have resulted into citizenship programmes at 30 secondary municipal schools.

We launched the Constitution and Citizenship Centre which is a non partisan space dedicated to understand and promote the constitution of India , inspire and empower citizens to practice their rights and responsibilities in the civic life. Over 6 fortnightly dialogue events in the month of April-June we covered variety of topics like “Local governance in India – Opportunities and challenges”, “Environment, its preservation and citizens roles”, “US elections”, “Understanding role of judiciary” among others. The first season of constitution and citizenship centre underlined need for such sessions and we plan to expand the scope of this in coming months and replicate it in other states as well.

Apart from our work in schools in Maharashtra, we did a citizenship programme for an CSO – Janarth. Janarth Adivasi Vikas Sanstha had been associated with us on our project with Babasaheb Ambedkar Research and Training Institute (BARTI), Pune for Dhule and Nandurbar districts. Towards the end of the BARTI Project, West secretariat conducted  a two days  capacity building programme on responsible citizenship for Janarth team members. This session was widely appreciated by the participants.

From a Citizen Café to district wide ToT project!

Our engagement with SCERT Haryana started with a Citizen Café which was highly appreciated. Some key stakeholders believed that an association with us will have large impact on the schools in Haryana. As a pilot, they asked us to do Citizenship Programme with the 40 schools in Gurgaon district. The most challenging part of this association was to get the project started since the approval took a very long time. We had to work within the constraints of government setup.

The plan was to train 80 teachers but a final 49 made it. These are teachers who work in very difficult circumstances with limited infrastructure. It was quite challenging to keep them motivated about additional project work that they will have to take up as part of this programme. But after the 3 days TOT they were able to see value in this new methodology and were excited to share it with their students.

We are hoping to be able to bring significant impact in communities through civic projects in these schools and inspire young students to be active and responsible citizens.