for it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace and the conditions for sustainable development must be built. ~UNESCO

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fulfilled a Fulfilling Endeavour

~A report on Literacy Status Appraisal byUNESCO club

       The 18 members of the UNESCO club of Samtengang MSS, along with the coordinator embarked on           an important journey on 21st April, 2013. It was a sunny Sunday while the club started off to conduct a Literacy Status Appraisal in the two nearby villages. We were to cover at least 30 households under the survey wherein general questions on education will be answered. The main aim of the survey was to discover the educational status of our immediate community and create awareness based on our findings. (The analysis report will give a deeper insight into the technicalities of the study)
All members were up by 6 in the morning. The first task was to prepare our lunch and the deed was done within no time, with all hands busy. Two curries and steaming rice found their way into the lunch boxes. Then we moved to the mess for breakfast.
After which we gathered and the coordinator briefed on the day’s task. Everyone was grouped in pairs and the forms were distributed to each group. Everyone was excited to their fullest… energetic and wearing broad smiles.
Then we marched, walked and strolled. On the way, laughter filled the air and Birds chirping amidst was an added adventure. It was so enthralling to be out of our normal routines.  Some were busy with sweet melodies plugged in their ears whilst few sang. We stopped occasionally and enjoyed the breathtaking view. Photo sessions were always interesting with some girls shying away from the camera though some gave their broadest smiles. We saw wide spread of fields filled with varied crops and we were greeted by the overwhelming fragrance of nature.
 An hour went by and we reached a small clustered village called Gyelekha. It was then that we started to get busy. In our respective pairs, we spread across the village and interviewed the villagers. The response from the community was encouraging. Some even offered tea and lunch. Few of our friends found the task difficult as they had to literally translate the questions. But it was fun and knowledge filled all the way.
Upon completion of our tasks in the village, we gathered near a chorten (stupa) below the village. The view from the spot was enticing and it was a treat after all the heat and sweating. Photo sessions and refreshment constituted the much deserved break.
A good rest taken, we moved towards the next village. After climbing some slopes, crossing few brooks and strolling over numerous terraced fields, we reached Nyishokha, the next village. The members did their best to get answers and yes, we were done.
The coordinator collected the data and found out that we were done with 40 households. We didn’t have more households to do owing to time constraint and absence of villages in the immediate vicinity.
Satisfied and relaxed, we started our return journey. We stopped in a shady oak forest to feast our much awaited lunch. We were all hungry and exhausted. The meal was awesome. We stayed for a while and resumed our trip. The lunch compelled us to stay longer or even take a good nap.
Though rejuvenated, we were feeling sluggish to walk. This led to a snail’s pace on our return journey. There was less laughter and talking.  But the tables turned when we saw our school, which meant something rewarding. The coordinator discussed and started yet another activity. We decided to clean the path as we walk- a cleaning campaign. Few picked up their first waste after much convincing from the coordinator and friends. The cleaning slowly gained momentum and everybody was busy filling the empty sacks. It was sad to see the filthy heaps of garbage here and there among the green beauty of our environment. The amount of refuse was so much that our sacks were not enough for the garbage in the wild occasionally used forest trail.  We had no choice but resort to leave the papers and just pick the plastics and other non-biodegradable. We had five overflowing sacks when we reached our school. We wondered the amount of pollution in the other parts of the society as it was more than shocking to see such amount of waste in a secluded and less travelled surrounding with very less population.
Thus we reached our school at 5 PM. We had various experiences- exhausted, fulfilled and “I need a refreshing shower” … feelings were all we had with us.


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