On Day 1 of our Team meet we revisited our organization values, shared our journies so far, discussed on School Development Plan and also set goals for our schools after reviewing a month’s work.
Day 2 Started with reflections of the previous day sessions and we quickly jumped onto the first session.
Any journey is better with a roadmap…
Owing to the necessity of Understanding the Program Design Perspectives, a session on the same was taken by Regila from Vidhya Vidhai organisation as we requested. The session started off with understanding why we need a design to implement a program effectively. From there we understood what basically a design is and its components.
We did a small situation analysis exercise and listed out the problems we identified and categorised them as which can be solved, and what needs to be addressed. She also told us why defining the characteristics of the desired outcome is crucial. (for example: If ‘increased student participation’ is an outcome; the characteristics can be: more children asking questions in class, consistent attendance etc)
Shortly after, we designed a sample outcome chain which helps in visualizing the timeline and prioritizing the activities to achieve it. Some important takeaways from the session were and around how design gets materially transformed to in the field, why they both should be in sync and the ways to achieve it. It was quite helpful to gain new insights!
The evening began with a session on Self-Awareness by Harinie. The idea of the session was to discover the ultimate non-negotiable value for oneself.
The session started with 65 qualities/characteristics/relationships on a projector and the team had to pick the top 10 values that mean the most to them. Initially, we were asked to drop 3 values that can be negotiated. Later to drop 4 more of the 7 words. At this stage, it became emotional as there was an internal conflict in deciding what is more important. After much bargaining, we had the 3 words with each of us. Through this activity, we understood how the values will be strengthened and portrayed at all times, knowingly or unknowingly.
The discussion went on around why some team members didn’t choose a certain quality or why something was very important to them. These discussions helped to understand each other more than ever.
Who are Nero’s guests?
Though our country is striving hard, we still haven’t gotten to the place where things as basic as food and education are available to everyone in the country. But how ironic it is, the farmers who give us food go days without food!
We watched the documentary “Nero’s guests” in which P.Sainath the renowned journalist and researcher explains the problems of the agrarian section of rural India, particularly Vidharba in Maharashtra that witnessed a large number of farmer suicides in the last decade. We come across how the government is unheeding to the rightful requests of farmers and the poor and how it affects their lives for generations. We see two boys belonging to the most oppressed community share their story of their father’s suicide. Now in the face of added responsibilities and poverty, they both discontinue their Undergraduate studies.
There are moments in the film where the Farmer-poet Shri Krishna Kalamb’s poems are read. They are very raw and poetically touching. But we are only left with guilt and anxiety arising out of the question “If I enjoy the poem does it also mean I am enjoying their suffering?”.
Sainath also tells the exorbitant differences between the funds spent on agriculture and other big businesses. (This strikes us of the % of GDP spent on education/healthcare).
The documentary and the day ended with heavy moments/thoughts hinting upon the need for action-oriented empathy and a question…
“Are we too the bystanders like Nero’s guests in the garden flame”?
Article edited by Nivedha
Contributors: Harinie and Nivedha