Shankar Pradhan, 12, attended classes under a thatched roof, in the sweltering heat and rains of Chhattisgarh. Just like 100 other children, he was a student of the only government primary school in the Badwar village, which lay unfinished since three years. “They started the construction four years ago but due to disagreement over the placement of a playground between the village residents, the school remained unfinished and the children studied in the open,” recalls Khirendra Yadav, a correspondent. He realised that the community’s disagreement can only be solved by the local authorities and went about documenting the problem, on his handheld camera.
By 2020, India will have the world’s largest working population–869 million–but an analysis of indicators on literacy, school enrolment, learning outcomes, and education spending across four states–with 43.6% of India’s school-age population between the ages of five and 14–revealed that India is unprepared to educate and train its young population.
“With the video, I went to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Surguja district and the Village’s headman and explained the situation to them. Soon, they came and talked with the villagers to reach a unanimous decision,” says Khirendra. His proactiveness helped the villagers realise the importance of a proper school for the children, and helped them move forward as one, from their petty disagreements.
Community correspondent Khirendra Yadav reports from Chhattisgarh for Video Volunteers.
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