ODISHA (a.k.a. Orissa) – Eastern Ghat mountains
In the heart of Odisha we find in the ‘Eastern Ghats’. These are virtually inaccessible mountains and jungles where we find the beautiful Tribal mountain people who live in scattered villages without any nearby education. The people speak Kui, which is a spoken language without script. In these localities we have started, since December 2013, ‘Marudyan Learning Centres’. Now the out-of-school children and adults are able to learn basic hygiene and get instruction in the crucial academic skills such as math, reading, writing and general knowledge. At present we have 78 Learning Centres with over 2000 children.
During the recent parent meeting this father stands up and says. “Sir, our village is Hindu and we are illiterate tribal people. We did not want our children to grow up like us. However we had lost all hope for an education for our children in our village. Then Satya, your teacher, came and he offered to teach our children. We could hardly believe it as we have been let down so much. We had a meeting with the elders and him. He started teaching and now our children can read and write. He travels every day seven kilometers to teach our children and we are so thankful that we made him a schoolhouse.”
All the parents and teachers, without exception, commented how the atmosphere has changed in their villages because of the schools. People that last year refused to talk to each other are now communicating. Numerous parents traveled more than 150 km to attend our parent teacher meeting and kept expressing their appreciation.