Videoactivist brings Education to All

Our Correspondent Satyawan ensures that there have been no school dropouts in Mughalpura, Haryana.

In 2005, Community Correspondent Satyawan Varma was elected Sarpanch (village head) of Mughalpura, Haryana. In his first year as Sarpanch, he gave special focus to education of village children. “One of my first programmes was the carrying out of a survey for estimating how many children attend school. The results of the survey were embarrassing. Many village children stayed at home during school hours, and those who did attend school dropped out within a year or two.”

Within a few months, however, Satyawan was able to make a significant difference to the situation. Along with other members of the panchayat, he went around from door to door, convincing each family to send their children to school. “At first, the villagers were very angry with me. They felt they were being forced into doing something that would not benefit their household. But on my insistence, they enrolled their children in the local public school.”

In the same year, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan or the Education for All movement felicitated members of Mughalpura schools and colleges for their contribution. As Mrs. Santosh, Principal of Mughalpura public school puts it, “We owe our success to the efforts of Satyawan.”

Through annual surveys of the village, it has been found that not one child has dropped out of Mughalpura government school for the last six years. This is a significant achievement for Satyawan and his panchayat as the Right to Education Act has not yet come into effect for the state of Haryana.

Education was made a fundamental right for every child in India when the Right to Education Act came into force in April 2010. This act provides that the government will extend economic and infrastructural support to every girl and boy between the age of 6 and 14 to attend school.

As a child, Satyawan went through many hardships to complete his education. In the face of every difficulty, he continued his pursuit. Now, as former Sarpanch for five years and as Community Correspondent for IndiaUnheard, he firmly believes that people in powerful positions have the ability to bring about significant change to their community.  “Education is the biggest asset for any individual. Education not only gives you a job, but also teaches you the mannerisms of life.”

-Rajyashri Goody

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