Vikalp organised ME Zone WE Zone in uphills of Himachal Pradesh

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Vikalp event in Himachal Pradesh
Vikalp event in Himachal Pradesh

Solan : Vikalp...Searching Together-Learning Together organised one of its Adolescent and Youth Development programme ME Zone WE Zone from June 6-8, 2018 for the students of Govt. Middle School located in a remote village Rugra, Distt. Solan, Himachal Pradesh. This school is well known for its new activities and inventions especially in Science and Mathematics in all over the State and also got recognition in the field of 'Khaas Shiksha' by Department of Elementary Education, H.P. Govt. 

Unlike any urban city school, the total strength of the students studying in class 6,7 and 8 was only 32 and it seemed all the more important to reach out to these students. But, the teachers, only 3 in number recognised the needs of their students to understand and explore physical, emotional and social changes and daily life challenges related to self and society and provided their support to organise this programme. 

The programme was conducted using the life skills approach for creating an environment for personalized learning for life. The activity based sessions tried to encourage the participants' yearning for learning by questioning the known and exploring the unknown. The activities were weaved around their lived experiences to observe gender based socialization and discriminations existing in our society, investigate the root causes of violence and abuse, differentiate between good touch and bad touch and how to react in such situations in their lives. For examining the role of media in reinforcing gender stereotypes, they analysed the visibility of men and women projected in different roles in newspapers. Through activities it was also tried that they realise that despite being different in many contexts, we all want to be happy and it can be achieved through practicing and internalizing the innate human characteristics of being kind, compassionate and empathetic towards each other. The students recalled their extreme and negative emotions from the past and replaced them with positive ones, learning positive expression of thoughts and feelings even in unfavourable conditions.  Theatre activities were also conducted for trust building, developing team spirit, better expression of oneself and valuing other's perspectives. In last session, students shared their takeaway learnings through an activity 'One step of Change' (Ek Kadam Badlav Ka) and also through their drawings which were showcased during culmination. The students actively participated in all the sessions and evinced their interest to be part of more of such programmes.

The three day programme reached to its end with its culmination event on the eve of June 8, 2018 amidst hilly thunderstorms and heavy rain.  The parents and SMC members were also present for the culmination session. Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, TGT Science, GMS Rugra and Programme Coordinator welcomed the Chief Guest and gave a brief introduction of the programme. Ms. Pooja Akshay, the programme coordinator and President of the organisation shared the intent and insights of the interventions along with outcome of the programme. Dr. K. R. Dhiman, Former Vice Chancellor from Dr. Yashvant Singh Parmar Horticulture and Forestry University, Nauni, District Solan graced the occassion as Chief Guest of the programme. He emphasized the role of parents in children's academic years and how a well groomed child has all the potential to contribute and create a better society and a better world for all. He requested parents not to judge their children on their academic performance but to identify and encourage their talent and potential to do the things which the child is interested in. Dr. Dhiman also promised to extend his support to organise next such programmes with parents and teachers in Himachal Pradesh. The programme was closed with certificate distribution to all the students. As thank you gesture, Chief Guest of the programme Dr. Dhiman, Ms. Pooja Akshay and Ms. Shivangi Tomar from organisation Vikalp...Searching Together-Learning Together were given mementos.