Transformation of a Naxalite Tribal Village – Inspiring story from AP

via Courtesy:Samachara Bharathi, VSK-AP published on April 11, 2008

By Anil Kumar

ALLAMPALLY (AP): Five years back, Allampally and nearby
tribal hamlets used to reverberate with the staccato sound of gunfire emanating
from both police and Naxalites.  Today, this
Tribal village is echoing with the chanting of slokas and religious hymns by
the Tribal children.

This transformation owe to the credit of the initiatives and
the innovative ideas of the Hyderabad-based  Jeeyar Education Trust, which started three ‘  Gurukulams ’ one each at  Allampally  ( Kadem mandal ) and  Beersapet  ( Utnoor  mandal ) in the district and the third at Ongole
.The tribal students are now finding their place in the social mainstream. And
JET is planning to open another half a dozen gurukulams in districts like Khammam
and  Karimnagar.

Besides traditional education, the Gurukulam (residential
school), which was started on 26 January 2004 at Allampally   also teaches regular curricula to 378 students,
including girls from 11 nearby tribal hamlets. Of the 350 students, 150 are
provided with boarding and accommodation in JET’s hostel free of cost. The Gurukulam
, is in fact, now the hub of all developmental activities in the village. The
locals are being sent to Bangalore
for training in vocational and other skills.

JET has also taken the initiative to improve transportation
by laying a 13-km road from the interior forest area to the main road and has
succeeded in training underprivileged tribal children in performing daily
rituals like ‘ Sandhyavandanam – ’ and ‘Aradhana ’on a par with other Hindus.

The change is so marked that the children who once were hard
put to it to articulate themselves now field questions with ease. ‘‘My father
died when I was young and none took care of our family. During that time, my
mother found a holy place ( Jeeyar  Gurukulam ) and immediately got me and my
brother admitted there,’’ Madhusudan , a Class V student told. He has been
studying in the Gurukulam  since 2004 (his
sibling is in Class VI) and has won appreciation for his ‘‘ petro  gas’’ model at a science exhibition on the
school premises.

‘‘Our hamlets were in the grip of fear till 2003. But since
JET opened the  Gurukulam  the fear has vanished,’’ a visibly happy Parbhi
Bai   of  Mangal Singh tanda said. With the Gurukulam surpassing
all expectations, the State Government has accorded permission to upgrade the
school from Class VII to X ‘‘Princes used to go to seers in the forests and
live with them for education and enlightenment- But with changing times, education
is available in the cities. Today, we have decided to take it to the forests,’’
Sri  Sri Sri Chinna  Jeeyar Swamy told.

To Know More about Jeeyar Education Trust –

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