Transforming Education in Rural India

 

This broadcast is brought to you by Alex Pogosky ’13:

IMPACT India is a new group on campus that is collaborating with an established NGO in New Delhi to help provide education to girls of economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds in rural India, who would not otherwise have such opportunities. Our mission is to fund a Wesleyan-sponsored school that will increase access to primary education for girls between the ages of 6 and 14. We’re also trying to create curricula targeting their personal needs. This will encourage them to become independent thinkers in an intellectually stimulating environment, which will ultimately aid in transforming these communities.

Our first meeting is on Thursday so come on by to hear what we’re hoping to do and share your own ideas! We’re open to any suggestions, and will have yummy Indian desserts!

Date: Thurs., April 19
Time: 7-8PM
Place: 41 Wyllys Room 115
Cost: Free

3 thoughts on “Transforming Education in Rural India

  1. '15

    When it comes to questioning the work of NGOs in foreign countries, I know I’m not alone at Wesleyan. But when it comes to an NGO providing “education to girls of economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds,” surely it couldn’t have a negative impact?

    Now, pretty much no information is given in this post, so I really have nothing specific to critique except the general use of large institutions to instill the seeds of western values in a foreign country, even when those values seem as intuitive and natural as education and gender equality. The assumption that comes along with it is that, if only these people were given our own opportunities and resources, they would collectively agree to take up a lifestyle and value system resembling our own. This puts us not nearly as far from religious missionaries as we might like to think.

    Without completely devaluing your efforts, all I would like to do is council you to gain some intimacy with the Indian culture (which is one of the most dense and impenetrable to the western mind) and determine if your work is really going to make the difference that you expect. New Delhi doesn’t strike me as a bad place to start, but I would definitely suggest finding a contact in the area to swap ideas with OTHER THAN your NGO; they are notoriously out of touch with their areas of work. Re-examine your reasons for trying to “transform these communities” and whether this transformation is of mutual interest. Is it going to work the way you expect it to? Will these newly educated girls be able to find a place within their community, or will this create a social divide that is ultimately disadvantageous? Are there any grassroots movements or organizations with similar goals that you could support more indirectly?

    I dunno, just be careful about your good intentions, and make sure you really understand what your doing. India has confounded many an effort of western charity before you.

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