A unique book authored by a civil servant for bringing the Vagadi-speaking tribal children in southern Rajasthan to the mainstream of education and helping them learn Hindi and English has been selected for a State-level prize to be awarded at the Independence Day ceremony this Monday. [...] Mr. Kishan is at present the State Director, National Livelihood Mission. He authored the 478-page book titled “Vagad Bandhu: Language Module-I” as part of the novel project based on 26 modules, the initial three of which were related to language and social change, Bal Bhavan or village library, and mathematics for dropouts.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will give away a cash prize of Rs.10,000 and a citation to Mr. Kishan at the Independence Day function here. The State Government considers the book a milestone in educational advancement of the backward tribal children.
The young IAS officer, who was earlier honoured by the State Government for doing away with the scope for corruption in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, hails from Orissa and describes himself as a “maverick activist” out to reform the government machinery from within. He told The Hindu that the number of children trafficked from Dungarpur district to Gujarat had come down from 30,000 to a mere 200 as a result of the “Vagad Bandhu” and “Kalam Sena” projects run in a campaign mode. The two projects have together controlled the labour contractors operating illegally and attracted more children to schools. [...]
The language module developed in the prize-winning book is based on the structural method for learning Hindi and English through Vagadi dialect which has neither a script nor a formal grammar. Taking up a painstaking task, Mr. Kishan collected 5,000 phrases of daily use and translated them with gradual classifications from simple to difficult.
Mr. Kishan says he prepared the draft of the book in about a year with the help of local writers, teachers, visitors to his office and domestic help. In addition to improving learners’ skills in Hindi and English, the book carries messages of social awareness through the collection of sentences.
Mr. Kishan has dedicated the book to five child labourers who died in the Bt cotton fields of Gujarat in August last year. He describes the “Vagad Bandhu” project as reincarnation of ‘Ulgulan’ (revolt) of tribal leader and folk hero Birsa Munda.
The United Nations Children’s Fund has extended budgetary support to “Vagad Bandhu”, while the local tribal communities led by tribal chiefs and voluntary groups are taking part in eradication of child labour to save children from exploitation.
Source: The Hindu : Today’s Paper / NATIONAL : His book shows the way for tribal children
Address : <http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/article2355608.ece>
Date Visited: Tue Aug 23 2011 13:22:31 GMT+0200 (CEST)
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