Making Adivasi dreams come true, one library at a time


In October last year, during a speech in Gujarat's Tapi district, Prime Minister Narendra Modi boasted that the Bharatiya Janata Party had opened “more than ten thousand schools in the tribal areas in the last twenty years”.

In June, the state of rural education in rural Gujarat made the headlines for very different reasons after an IAS officer wrote a letter to the education secretary, lamenting the “extremely poor” levels of education that he encountered in students.

As Nolina Minj found, reporting from south Gujarat, despite the prime minister's lofty claims, Adivasi students in the region do struggle to access a basic education. This seriously hampers their prospects when they write competitive exams for higher education and employment.

For Common Ground, Minj writes about a remarkable programme, supported by the NGO Sparsh Knowledge Centre, which is setting up libraries across the districts of Surat, Tapi and Valsad. These libraries are allowing young Adivasis to engage in focused study to prepare for competitive exams. The programme has already started yielding impressive results. 

“I was touched by the zeal and hope that Sparsh members held for learning and community advancement,” Minj said. “It’s often said that people who move out from their villages lose their ties with their community. But meeting people from the Sparsh network proved otherwise.”

You can read the story here. And you can support more such in-depth and investigative reporting, by becoming a member ofScroll.

Ajay Krishnan
Senior Editor

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