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Education For All

Access to education is an essential component in an individual's development and a country's economic and social development. JAGO GAON   education programme addresses the lack of access to education to children. JAGO GAON strengthens government-run schools and establishes its own education centres in remote villages where schools do not exist.   JAGO GAON  also empowers communities to hold government officials accountable for providing better quality educational services.

During the early days, JAGO GAON helped establish village based schools where there were no schools. With the advent of the government run aanganwadi (village crèches) programs JAGO GAON has shifted its focus to cluster based schools and running residential schools for tribal children. 

JAGO GAON  education methodology focuses on overall development of children through innovative learning techniques and through activities such as playing, singing songs, dancing and storytelling.. Ecology classes are held to sensitize & teach children interesting and relevant information about their environment. Over the years, with the JAGO GAON government playing an active role in primary education in rural areas,  has taken up the role of building the capacities of government schools & teachers.

Workshop on Menstrual Hygiene Management
28 May, 2015 at 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
221/223 Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg, Mandi House, New Delhi, 110002

Education & Menstrual Hygiene Management: Society Responsibility
Puberty is a time of change for all young people, but it is particularly challenging for girls who are often unprepared for changes in their body, which can become a major obstacle to their education. In some parts of the world, two out of three girls reported having no idea of what was happening to them when they began menstruating.
This can have many negative effects on their physical and emotional development, leading to a drop in self-esteem and poor performance at school. According to a study in India, 95% of girls reported sometimes missing school due to menstruation; and research in Bihar showed that 39% of girls reported reduced performance at school for the same reason. Often the lack of adequate toilet facilities at school, combined with fear and embarrassment further contribute to their disengagement from education at this crucial time in their lives.

With 593 million learners in primary – and every year a new cohort of learners reaching puberty -, schools are the ideal location to reach a large proportion of learners before puberty so that they are prepared for the changes. Yet, there is little systematic and comprehensive guidance on this subject for the education sector, including principals, teachers and parents.

The publication Puberty Education and Menstrual Hygiene Management, is the ninth volume in the UNESCO series Good Policy and Practice in Health Education that aims to help the education sector address these issues and improve the quality of education.

The publication identifies ways for all partners in the education sector to work together on puberty education and menstrual hygiene management starting in primary school. It also provides clear recommendations on what is required to remove the stigma associated with menstruation and offer opportunities to all girls to grow up to become fully empowered women. The publication puts forth a vision of puberty education that is skills-based, inclusive and comprehensive. It is part of a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum, which is part of a larger health curriculum, which is an integral part of a comprehensive school health approach.

“Girls who are afraid to go to school during menstruation have fewer chances of growing up to be fully empowered women,” argues Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO. “This publication is an important step in mobilizing the necessary global support for equality between girls and boys in education. We must mobilize educators, policy-makers, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to support puberty education and menstrual hygiene management, an indispensable element in efforts to achieve gender equality and access to good education for all learners.”
The publication concludes by calling on ministries of education to: educate all learners, provide a safe environment, and connect learners to health services to achieve a high quality education for all.

UNESCO and Procter & Gamble have teamed up to launch the publication at the United Nations in New York. The launch will coincide with this year’s United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women meeting.

Save Ganga Dolphin
2 July To August 2015
Bhagalpur to Begusarai

The story of the Ganges Dolphin is a rather sad story. Dolphins are known to be one of the most intelligent species on earth. Dolphins display creative behavior, have been shown to make rudimentary use of tools and are able to communicate with other individuals through clicks and whistles. It has been suggested recently that dolphins, given their highly intelligent behaviors, should be treated as non-human mammals[4]. Unfortunately, a large percentage of India's population may be unaware of this fact.
According to the IUCN[5], the following are the biggest threats to the Gangetic dolphins:

1. Hydroelectric and water development projects. Over 50 dams have been constructed in the dolphin's range, causing their populations to fragment and some populations to die.

2. Huge amounts of toxic contaminants in the water

3. Deliberate killing of dolphins by tribals and local fishermen for their oil, a fish-attractant

4. Killing of dolphins accidentally caught in fishermen's gears

The Gangetic Dolphins are blind, and detect their smaller fish prey exclusively by echolocation. Their blindness, coupled with the toxicity of water and increased movement of mechanized fishing boats in the Ganga has also disrupted the feeding patterns of these Dolphins.
Surprisingly, the Gangetic Dolphin has been traditionally considered a vehicle of the Goddess Ganga. Even Emperor Ashoka, in his rule, had extended the highest level of protection to the Gangetic Dolphin[6]. It is painful that not only has the river Goddess been turned into Asia's largest sewage canal but also the intelligent, living creatures in it with such great importance to Indian culture are being threatened with extinction. River dolphins also existed in the Yangtze river (Baiji) and the Indus river in Pakistan. But these are either extinct or Critically Endangered. We cannot afford to let that happen to the Gangetic (and the Brahmaputra) dolphins [7].

With only 2000 individuals left, how are we going to protect the Gangetic Dolphin? The Government of India's Ministry of Environment and Forests, in 2010, under Jairam Ramesh, declared the Gangetic Dolphin the National Aquatic Animal of India, providing it the highest level of conservation protection. Before that, the Government had also established the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary, near Bhagalpur in Bihar (see map below), to provide a safe haven to some of these dolphin populations.

 In 2010 and 2011, however, the number of individuals at the VGDS was only ~200, so many dolphins are still not under the cover of protection. News reports (see additional media below) suggest that despite the sanctuary being a completely river-sanctuary, there is hardly any river patrolling, the allotted budget is minuscule, fishermen still catch the dolphins in their nets, there is still illegal hunting and mechanized ferries still ply in the sanctuary without major restrictions.

Increasing awareness among the fishermen, tribal groups and creating a strong pressure group for dolphin-friendly damming needs to occur at a rapid pace. Local and national NGOs are quite active in building a grassroots level movement for its conservation[8][9]. However, we need to contribute as much as we can.