2. Ekal Abhiyan The People's Movement
Ekal Abhiyan is a people centered development program. The people centered development is defined by the United Nations Development program as "Development of the people by the people and for the people." Whatever the precise definition given, the implications are always that people should be involved in their own development and they be the owners of development. Hence the development has to be based on self evolution, rather than imposed upon from outside. Putting people at the center of development is much more than an intellectual exercise. It means making progress equitable and broad based enabling people to be active participants in their own transformation. David Cox explains five foundations on which people centered development initiatives need to be built.
- Awareness raising: People need to be aware of the ground realities of their environment as a necessary condition for their full participation in their development.
- Ekal Creates awareness among villagers and take their full participation in Ekal working.
- Social Mobilization: People need to form into groups and local organizations as necessary conditions for drawing on all the available local resources and for insisting on their right to participate in their own development. Each Ekal Village forms eight groups for eight goals, comprising men and women of the village. They take the ownership of Ekal Vidyalaya functions for their growth.
- Participation: Development will reflect the realities and needs of a people only when the development process is a fully participatory one. Local Participation and Local Ownership are the two strengths of Ekal
- Self-Reliance: If the people are to have maximum control over their own development, it is important that development rest, as much as possible, on the resources available within the local community. The village development programs of Ekal are based on local resources as cow based agriculture and agro based economy. Even in Healthcare Education local resources are used like Tulsi, Neeam, herbs etc.
- Sustainability: If development is to continue to provide for people's needs it must be sustainable. Ekal has successfully checked the exodus of villages by 20 % in Ekal villages. EKAL ABHIYAN the people's movement is based on these five foundations. It is highly inspiring to know that Ekal has been working in this direction for the past 25 yrs with clarity and conviction.
Goals of Ekal's social change model:-
- Shikshit Gaon - 100% Literacy in the village
- Swasthya Gaon - Healthcare Education to all specially mothers
- Swavlambi Gaon - Organic farming to provide healthy food and self sustenance.
- Jagruk Gaon - Functional and effective gram sabha
- Nashamukta Gaon – Liquor Free village
- Samgathit Gaon - Total check on exploitation of villagers
- Surakshit Gaon - Protection of natural resources and the society
- Samaras Gaon - Social harmony among the village community
Ekal has adopted four methodologies at different levels to achieve eight goals (out comes). Once achieved these goals will lead towards fulfilling the Ekal's mission of Holistic Development of Rural & Tribal Bharat through social change model.
Institutional Methodologies: Ekal has institutionalized its organisional setups as support organization (chapters) in all the big cities in the name of Bharat Lok Shiksha Parishad and Friends of Tribal’s Society, state voluntary organizations and district committees. This infrastructure looks after the administration, finances and field co-ordinations.
Operational Methodology: The field operations are done by trained full time volunteers (Seva Vratis). There is a perfect infrastructure from top to bottom to see training, planning, implementations and executions etc.
Program Methodology: There are educational and activity programs in Ekal. Such as primary education to children.Health Care Education Development Education, Empowerment Education and Value Education to villagers.
Arogya Foundation & Gramot than foundation are the two main activities.
Unique Methodology: Innovative and out of the box practices make Ekal most pragmatic and forward going.
Ekal'sfive fold education program is completely based on the principle of Evolution.
- Primary Education of children (6-14 yrs) by the teacher of the same village selected by the gram samiti. School runs for 3 hrs. 7 subjects are taught.
- Healthcare Education to all by local teacher and Arogya Sevika.
- Development Education to all by the gra sangthan pramukh & the teacher. Focus on vermi-compost, cow based agriculture and development.
- Empowerment Education to youth, men & women. Availability and use of RTI and other Govt's social welfare Schemes.
- . Eithics & Value education – weekly assembly and satsang to promote liquor prohibition and giving education about health development and govt welfare scheme.
A lot of emphasis is given to training of local people as teachers, health volunteers, Gramotthan volunteers and moral educators.
Today EkalAbhiyan is standing out as the largest, fastest and the best forward going, pragmatic and innovative program which is confident of bringing social change in Rural and Tribal Bharat.
Rashtriya Sangathan Prabhari