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People's Environmental Awareness - Khati (PEAK) Follow PEAK with the financial assistance of World Nomads on the path to delivering educational, water supplies & solar home lighting systems to Kumaon villages....

Educational Resources - Jatoli

INDIA | Thursday, 24 April 2014 | Views [563]

All those happy faces! Jatoli school educational supplies project  - 2014.

All those happy faces! Jatoli school educational supplies project - 2014.

As mentioned in previous blog entries, the educational resource project for the region was multi-faceted with the organisational component of purchasing the goods proving time consuming. School goodies came from as far afield as Delhi (educational games/toys), Almora (printer/stationary supplies/books) and Bageshwar (Jatoli school supplies), with the majority of purchases occurring in the latter two towns, thereby helping local economies. Some transactions - which were innumerable - required a cup of tea and a chat (a given) which makes business a pleasurable affair. The downside is peAk now has a pile of receipts to collate that have reached monumental proportions!! Any goods not readily sourced in India were purchased in Australia in 2013.

The Jatoli School Project was simplified thanks to L.S. Karmayal, the owner of the Karmayal Book Store in Bageshwar, who did a fantastic job of collating the required goods which were neatly boxed and ready for pick up at a convenient time when travel (always weather dependant) was possible in/out of the mountains. Mr Karmayal was also responsible for a generous discount citing the importance of rural education.

The goods were then transported via jeep on unsealed rugged roads to Kurkia, then mule to Khati where they were stored at the peAk building. PeAk staff took advantag of a break in the weather in late January to organise the goods to be transported, yet again, by mules - this time by Kusal from Khati - to Jatoli (7km from Khati) where they were stored with the ever accomodating and helpful Johar Singh who runs the modest  'Jai Surya Hotel'. There they languished until the next fine weather break which came in early February coinciding with the commencement of the government school year post winter holidays.

Jatoli has a population of approximately 122 people, with a third of the town aged under 15. The village is asset rich (house, ancestral land etc) but cash poor. Village households without an adult male available to collect 'Khida - gas' (cordyseps sinensis) for some cash income struggle financially. The 2013 season produced poor returns and there are rumours that the high altitude fields were significantly damaged in the torrential rain event last year, this combined with low tourism numbers, will possibly lead to widspread hardships in 2014.

The children of Jatoli are educated to Class 5. There are some children who are enrolled in high schools in the region but attendance is sporadic to non existant, the distances involved to reach other schools and poor quality education are partly to blame for this scenario. There are 20 primary school children at the Jatoli School that span from the Balwari (pre-school) to Class 5. The day the school kits were handed out was a fun atmoshere with the children playing games, practicing their ABC and generally being inquisitive about life - especially life in Khati!

This year a complete school kit was provided for each child. This included a sturdy canvas school satchel, a robust pencil case (containing pens, pencils, coloured encils, rubbers, sharpeners etc), a large drawing book, plain sheets of paper, set of crayons, 5/6 exercise books (age dependent), school book labels, and a Hindu God card calender (always a firm favourite!). The satchel was brimming with goodies and parents later conveyed their  gratitude - despite our protestations - with copious cups of chai, meals, 'chimi' red kidney beans & honey for providing the primary school children of Jatoli with enough educational resources for the upcoming year.

Our stay in Jatoli was brilliant and the project a rewarding experience with the lasting memory of endless smiles......



PeAk project co-ordinator




Tags: educational supply project, jatoli, kumaon himalaya, peak

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