Links for Chaturang articles by Rajanitai in Loksatta Chaturang 2019

Rajani Tai has been writing a series of articles ‘शिक्षण सर्वांसाठी’ (Shikshan Sarvansathi – Education for All) in Loksatta newspaper. Below are the links to the original articles.

Article 1 – Jan 05, 2019 –

Article 2 – January 19, 2019 –

Article 3 – February 02, 2019 –

Article 4 – February 16, 2019 –

Article 5 – March 02, 2019 –

Article 6 – March 16, 2019 –

Article 7 March 30, 2019 –

Article 8 – April 13, 2019 –

Article 9 – April 27, 2019 – Not available online 

Article 10 – May 11, 2019 –

Article 11 – May 25, 2019 –

Article 12 – June 08, 2019 –

Article 13 – June 22, 2019 –

Article 14 – July 06, 2019 –

Article 15 – July 20, 2019 –

Article 16 – Aug 03, 2019 –

Article 17 – Aug 17, 2019 –

Article 18 – Aug 31, 2019 –

Article 19 – Sep 14, 2019 –

Article 20 – Sep 28, 2019 –

Article 21 – Oct 12, 2019  –

Article 22 – Oct 26, 2019

Article 23 – Nov 09, 2019

Article 24 – Nov 23, 2019

Article 25 – Dec 07, 2019

Article 26 – Dec 21, 2019

A book fair for all…

The Society for Door Step Schools was started in Mumbai in 1988-89 and expanded to Pune in 1993 with the aim to address illiteracy among the children from marginalized sections of society like children of construction labourers, pavement dwellers, slums (temporary and permanent) and other migrant communities. We have direct intervention programs where we cater to children at the construction sites, slums and migrant communities and school intervention program – Project Grow with Books (GWB) which focusses on improving the vocabulary and reading capabilities of children across 240 Corporation schools in Pune and PCMC.

To inculcate reading in children at any age, it is very important to introduce them to a variety of books and literature. Keeping this in mind, our GWB team organizes different events like Book Fair, storytelling, story writing competition etc. across schools we work in. Our team started this year with a Book Fair at Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s Dnyan Jyoti Savitribai Phule School in Mhetre Slum, Chinchwad in the month of January 2018.

Mr. Jangam, Center Head of the area inaugurated the Book Fair. He was accompanied by Corporator Mr. Dutta Kaka Sane, Ms. Sadhana Malekar, Ms. Yogita Nagargoje, Mr. Kundan Gaikwad & associates, SMC Vice president – Mr. Manik Mhetre, SMC members – Ms. Neeta Gawhane, CEO – Mr. Dnyaneshwar Nagargoje and other members.

The fair was visited by 22 teachers, 60 parents & 607 children from three schools and 10 book fairies from DSS, Pune. The items displayed in the fair included variety of books, teaching aids for First grade Marathi and Arithmetics, multi linguistic magazines & newspapers, art & craft and science projects for children. The objective of organizing a Book Fair was to introduce children to an assortment of book publications, magazines & newspapers and fun ways to learn.

All stalls were loved by children and adults alike. Specially the children between 3rd to 7th grades read all charts carefully and gave way to their curiosity by asking lot of questions. Teachers also encouraged children by explaining and conducting practical experiments wherever possible. Children exclaimed that they had never read the type of books and magazines displayed; teachers also expressed that they themselves were unaware about so many types of newspapers and magazines in different languages. Magazines like Champak reminded them of their childhood and how one book exchanged hands across an entire village and was enjoyed by all.

The corporator of Chikhli exclaimed that if such programmes were held during his times he would have surely become an engineer by now. A teacher teaching the class 4 students thought that the exhibition was extremely encouraging and would surely help in the academic development of all the students who attended.


Earned one more smile… Isn’t it beautiful one… (Volunteer Experience)

It all started when I was coming from office. Cab drop point is around one km away. As usual I was walking towards home with earphones plugged in… suddenly realized someone behind me.. was calling me… I turned off music… one skinny lady, with sac of recyclable material picked up from garbage on road, was following me. She came to me.
Maaay moh kaee kaam milate kate pahave maaay.. durun aalo amhi.. parabhani warun.. tya neo city chya labour camp madhye rahato.. tithach kaambi karite.. lek balantin zaliye.. pagar naeee dila malakane… chul petawayala roj hyo kachara gola karite.. 5-10 rupye milatat kacharyache.. moh kaee kaam milate ka bagha. (Please see if some work I can get. We came from parabhani. Living in neo city labor camp. Work there itself.. daughter came for delivery. Haven’t got salary yet. Need some money to make every day’s bread and butter, that’s y picking up this recyclable material from garbage. I get few rupees out of it. Please see if I can get some work.)”
She sounded very much honest. But she is just passed 8th standard. She felt reluctant to work in office. So I asked her to come home for house work.
Second day she came with her son, around 12 yrs old son. While she was finishing work , I started talking with her son. I asked him in which school he is studying and all. I got to know he doesn’t go to school. His mother told me they are finding it difficult to get admission here as they don’t have school transfer certificate. So her two sons are not being able to get admission here and indeed their schooling is abandoned.
I called Rajani madam from Door Step school. Told her all the situation. She told me , she will inform her DSS representatives here and they will help me.
On Saturday I got call from DSS representative, they told they will meet me on Sunday.
I went to Neo City (construction site) labor camp on Sunday by 11 am to meet DSS representative. We found that there are few more students who are out of school. We talked with their parents, identified problems they are facing. DSS representative told me that they will help all parents to get admission in school. Kid’s parents looked so much grateful as they were doing Namaskar to all of us. We returned with promise from parents that they will send their kids to school.
The boy in photo is younger son of the lady who has started working at my house. Another kid in photo is her granddaughter (in other word cute photo of mama-bhachi).
I asked this boy to read book, he read few pages fluently. I asked him to tell tables. He spoke 1-30 tables. He told full ABCD. Sang few poems.
While listening to him few thoughts were running through my mind which resulted in tears in my eyes- “Look at this boy.. he is so much talented.. he was about to miss his schooling.. could have just abandoned somewhere because of many more factors not just poor family…”
Feeling amazed… few incidences which happened randomly in last few days are going to result in something valueable.. This talented boy is indeed will continue with his schooling.. just look at his smile in photo.. His smile has reflected on my face with tons of amazed happy expressions…
Thanks to Door Step School representatives. Without their help this was impossible…
School chale hum… ohoho…
– Hemshri Lakhapati, Volunteer
(This is a nice example of how every citizen, without disturbing their own schedule, can contribute towards education of out-of-school children. Thank you Ms. Hemshri, for sharing this wonderful experience! – Door Step School, Pune)

Story of Ganesh Sutar – A Bright and Promising Student

Ganesh Baburao Sutar, age 16 years, is studying in class 8th in Mahatma Phule School, Pisoli, Pune. He has two younger sisters, Pooja, 12 and Poonam 11. Their mother passed away when Poonam was just 6 months old and same time their father left the 3 children to life’s mercy and went away.
Ganesh’s maternal aunts and his uncle, who works as a construction labourer, stepped up and decided to take responsibility of the children. However, the siblings are separated, each staying with one relative so as to distribute the burden of expenses.
With a broken home and no one to look upto, Ganesh’s life would have been very different. But with the support from his maternal uncle and his own determination, Ganesh is doing very well as a student and a human being today.
Our team met Ganesh 4 years back through our “Parents’ Participation in Children’s Education” program in Undri area in Pune. Ganesh was already in school then but not his sisters and he always wished for them to be in school too. While conducting survey to find out of school children on the site, Ganesh was a big help to our team. When he understood our objective, he enthusiastically accompanied us to all the houses of kids staying in that area. He also expressed his wish to enrol his sisters to school and our team was more than happy to help.
Ganesh is a smart and helpful kid. He is regular at school and is especially good in Mathematics. He also helps other students with their studies. The teaching staff is all praise for him as are we.
Ganesh’s prowess at Maths prompted our team to look for ways to further his knowledge on that subject. We approached Mr. Barve of Bhaskaracharya Institute, Pune for vacation course on Mathematics. After the workshop, Mr. Barve got impressed by the boy’s hard work and dedication and suggested to send Ganesh to attend Mr. Gore’s coaching class in Shanivar Peth, Pune. DSS team helped him to take admission in the coaching class.
The distance between Ganesh’s place of residence and the class is 11-15 kms. The class timings are in late evening, from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm and Ganesh has to take a bus to commute. He has never complained nor has missed a class.
He manages his studies and helps his sisters and classmates too. He sees to it that all the children in his surrounding area attend school; in case they don’t listen, he informs DSS team for intervention.

In 7th grade, Ganesh stood 1st in his school and secured 85% marks with 96/100 in Mathematics. Since his last school was only till 7th, he has now been enrolled to a new school so that he can continue his education.

We, at Door Step School, strongly believe that every child can perform well with little help by right people at right time. Examples like Ganesh Sutar reiterate the importance and benefits of bringing all children into mainstream of education.

We wish Ganesh all the best for his further studies and look forward to help many other children out there waiting for support!

A journey of 10 years….in her own words.

I’m Mehraz Mullani.

While my father worked as a mason, we lived in a small room on a construction site. Our parents would be at work, and we used to idle the day away playing in sand and roaming around the site. One fine day, a small four-walled school called Door Step School (DSS) started on our site, and that was it. As soon as I heard school, I rushed into my house and curled up into a ball hoping that nobody will find me. I was terrified by the thought of going to school, but somehow – by tempting me with different toys and using a lot of other techniques – Chhaya Ma’am and Sunita Bhosale Ma’am would get me ready and take me to the school.
For a long time, I would sit in the school waiting for their eyes to wander, and as soon as I realized I wasn’t being watched I’d leg it and find a new place to hide. Without complaining even once, they would patiently find me and bring me back to school. This routine had become a part of our everyday life.
After a few weeks, I turned six – and that is when school really started to get fun. Our teachers at DSS started getting us involved in fun games, teaching us to draw, paint, and dance and organized a bunch of other fun activities along with distributing sweets and snacks. We would now be present in the classroom even before school began!  Our teachers would hold our tiny hands and teach us Hindi alphabet. I remember I was so fascinated with writing that I took permission to carry a slate and a pencil home and learned the entire alphabet.
Then one day, Bhosale Ma’am – along with a few other teachers – took my father’s permission and enrolled me in Nehru Education Society’s primary school in the first grade. I was seven years old then. The one prominent memory I have is of scoring 98% in the first grade and before telling anyone, I rushed to Bhosale Ma’am to give her the news. I can recall as if it were yesterday the way her eyes moistened and her face lit up as she saw the progress I was making.
Then life took an unfortunate turn. For certain reasons, my father took our entire family back to our village and decided to settle there. I turned my nights into days trying to establish some communication with Bhosale Ma’am, but to no avail. I cannot begin to describe my surprise when I found out that Door Step School had traced me down and my teachers were trying to convince my father to come back and enroll me in the school again. After heavy persuasion, my father agreed – it was one of the happiest days of my life.
I now went to school from 7 to 12 in the morning, and spent my afternoon from 2 to 5 at the Door Step School center. This place was a safe haven – all the things that I hadn’t understood in school or wanted explained again were explained to me here.  It was the best of times – my curiosity and ambition were being kindled and I was finding happiness.
When I joined 5th grade, I realized that the curriculum had started getting difficult and I wasn’t able to do well. Math had started giving me nightmares. As soon as I shared this with my teacher, she arranged for me to join Door Step School’s ‘Sandarbha Classes’ (Reference classes) and assigned a teacher who helped me  with math. I was a good talker, so Door Step School handed me the opportunity to anchor in one of their annual programs. They were kind enough to appreciate me for having done a good job by giving me small gifts.
After some time, I had to leave my primary school and enroll myself into a secondary school so I joined Shivajinagar in the 8th grade. Right from a very small age I had been interested in drawing and art, so I participated in the elementary exam for drawing and passed with flying colors. Later in 9th grade I also participated in the intermediate art exam and excelled. For this very reason, my photo was printed in the local Pune city newspaper “Sakal”. It was a moment of pride.
Because we used to go on quests in our childhood, I was not affected by a fear of facing people and sharing my experiences. Hence, throughout secondary school I always bagged the first prize for narration and anchoring.  We sang so many songs in Door Step School that I had developed a liking for singing. Hence, I was always the first to participate in all my school’s singing performances and competitions. I had a talent for dance, and won numerous trophies and awards in dance competitions in and around my school. I was also a good Hindi speaker, and participated in the national ‘Hindi Rashtrabhasha’ examination. Not only did I win the competition, but I was also felicitated with a gift and the certificate in front of everyone. Everything I learned while performing many science experiments with my Teachers at Door Step School helped me bag the first prize in the Science Experiment Competition held in my school when I was in the 9th grade.
Today I have completed my 10th grade and scored 72.40%. I stood third in my whole school. Although I’m 17 years old now, I am still the same student that I was when I was 6. Everything that I have been fortunate enough to accomplish I owe to Door Step School and their continued inexhaustible support.
For me, Door Step School was that first step on the ladder to success and achievement that lead to a land of limitless possibilities. It has been more than 11 years since Door Step School took that tiny little girl’s hand and taught her the Hindi alphabet, and I have never once looked back from there. Today, my eyes moisten and my heart jumps with elation when my teachers here at Door Step School call me their ‘All-rounder Queen’. I cannot thank them enough for providing me such wonderful opportunities and holding my hand whenever the road got rocky.
Now, I always tell all the small children in my area to go to the Door Step School center here, because I strongly feel like they should also make the most of the opportunities provided here.
I am eternally grateful to Door Step School for everything they have done for me.

Written by Mehraaz. Translated by our volunteer – Kshitij Kothari.

Creating An Aware Future Generation…

Children living in slums are more exposed to hard facts of life. In absence of proper guidance, they can easily fall for any wrong habits. Addiction to smoking and drinking is one of such obvious threats. Children witness the effects of addiction on people’s health, personal, family , and social life. It really depends on the situation how children respond to this.

Door Step School runs Community Learning Centers (CLCs) in three slum areas of Pune city. This is an effort to provide learning resources and learning environment to children. Along with helping them in studies, we also try to impart life skills and good habits through various activities at the center. Kumar Nirmaan is one such programme, in which children are encouraged to identify and solve their own problems. The children from Dattawadi area on Sinhgad Road, Pune recently decided to act upon the noticeable problem of smoking and drinking addiction among the community.

Children came up with the idea of holding an Anti-smoking Anti-drinking Rally in the slum. They discussed this with the CLC teachers and Kumar Nirmaan volunteers. Around 40 children between 10 and 15 years age participated in this activity. They prepared slogans and placards, assigned tasks and responsibilities among themselves, and conducted this rally from Ganesh Mala to Dattawadi center on 18th of March 2017. Volunteers Shailesh and Pranali helped them organize the activity. Children from Dattawadi and Vaiduwadi slums were involved in this.

People in the community were curiously watching these children shouting slogans and displaying placards against smoking and drinking habits. We don’t know how many of them would take the children seriously, but we are very sure that the children themselves would be more serious and aware about this issue when they grow up. And that is precisely what we wish to achieve through education – Creating an aware future generation!

(Reported by Sunita Bhalerao, Door Step School, Pune)


Annual Exhibition by Parivartan Training Center – Comprehension 2017

Door Step School’s Parivartan Training Center organized their annual exhibition, based on the theme of ‘Comprehension, from 1st to 10th of February 2017. It was held at Annabhau Sathe School on Kumathekar Road, Pune.  This was the seventh successful year of the exhibition. Theme for last year’s exhibition was ‘Multiple Intelligence’.

Learning is a continuous process. Also, comprehension and intellect go hand in hand. These two fundamental goals were considered centrally while designing this year’s exhibition. How children can grasp better with school’s teaching methodologies and which educational aids can be used for achieving better understanding for children… These points were considered while explaining various concepts of different subjects.

Comprehension, being a vast concept pertaining to brain functioning, was explained in the exhibition with help of theory as well as other aids. The theory consisted of history before dawn of ‘Study of Comprehension’ and the journey till ‘how to achieve better learning through comprehension theories’. This was illustrated with the help of many examples, diagrams, drawings as well as few poems based on concepts of comprehension. While arranging the display of comprehension concepts, various subjects such as languages, mathematics, sciences, geography, social sciences were touched upon considering children’s age. Since emotions also carry impact on comprehension of children, this aspect was as well considered while preparing educational aids.

The exhibition was visited by Door Step School staff from all projects, representatives of other NGOs, dignitaries from Government Education Department, teachers and students from Municipal Corporation, Zilla Parishad, and private schools. Around 1,260 visitors were registered during the span of 10 days of this event. The event was received well and response was positive.

Looking at the written as well as face-to-face feedback from visitors, a common opinion was heard that “The comprehension concepts and overall theme were well explained in simple and easy manner, with help of various tools and charts.” We are satisfied that we could illustrate the topic of comprehension convincingly to the large number of visitors.

Few chosen feedbacks from all we received…

“Scientific information about comprehension is very useful. All the trainers explained the concepts with in-depth knowledge. Very good illustrations. Excellent presentation. All the content presented is extremely child-friendly. Many congratulations to all! This initiative is very helpful for children from Municipal schools.” – Smt. Shubhangi Chavan, Education Officer, Pune Municipal Corporation’s School Board

“Comprehension concepts explained very effectively. Presentation was very relevant to the subject. Wow! Such complicated subject… displayed and explained with lot of ease.  Science, Mathematics, languages, emotions, geography… All the material presented will surely help development of learning experience for children.” – Shirish Kulkarni, Professional Trainer

(Reported by:- Rutuja, Vandana, Neha – Parivartan Training Center, Door Step School, Pune; Translated by:- Gauri Joglekar, Volunteer)

परिवर्तन प्रशिक्षण केंद्राचे वार्षिक प्रदर्शन – आकलन २०१७

‘डोअर स्टेप स्कूल’अंतर्गत चालणा-या ‘परिवर्तन प्रशिक्षण केंद्रा’त दरवर्षीप्रमाणे यंदाही वार्षिक प्रदर्शन आयोजित करण्यात आले. ‘आकलन’ या संकल्पनेवर आधारीत हे प्रदर्शन दिनांक १ फेब्रुवारी ते १० फेब्रुवारी २०१७ दरम्यान कुमठेकर रोड, पुणे येथील अण्णाभाऊ साठे शाळेमध्ये भरवण्यात आले. प्रदर्शनाचे यंदाचे हे सातवे वर्ष होते. गेल्या वर्षी ‘बहुविध बुद्धिमत्ता’ या विषयावर प्रदर्शन भरवण्यात आले होते.

शिकणे ही निरंतर चालणारी प्रक्रिया आहे. बुद्धिमत्तेचा आणि आकलनचा सहसंबंध असतो, या उद्देशाला धरुन यंदाच्या प्रदर्शन-विषयाची मांडणी करण्यात आली. शालेय शिक्षण पद्धतीमध्ये मुलांचे आकलन कसे होईल किंवा कोणत्या शैक्षणिक साधन- साहित्याच्या माध्यमातून मुलांचे आकलन अधिक चांगले, होईल याचा विचार करुन विविध विषयातून संकल्पना स्पष्ट करण्याचा प्रयत्न केला.

आकलन ही मेंदू-आधारीत व्यापक संकल्पना असल्याने, प्रदर्शनामध्ये त्याची मांडणी थिअरी व साधने यांच्या स्वरुपात करण्यात आली. या आकलनाच्या थिअरीमध्ये आकलन शास्त्राच्या जन्माअगोदरच्या इतिहासापासून ते ‘आकलन-आधारीत शिकणे आनंदाचे कसे होईल?’ इथपर्यंतचे मुद्दे विविध उदाहरणे, आकृत्या, चित्रांच्या माध्यमातून, तसेच आकलन आधारीत कवितांच्या माध्यमातून मांडण्याचा प्रयत्न केला गेला. आकलन आधारीत साधनांची मांडणी करण्यासाठी विविध शालेय विषय जसे की, भाषा, गणित, भूगोल, सामाजिक शास्त्रे, व विज्ञान यांवर आधारीत शैक्षणिक साधने मुलांच्या वयोगटाचा विचार करुन बनविण्यात आली. तसेच मुलांच्या आकलनप्रक्रियेवर ‘भावना’ या घटकाचाही परिणाम होत असल्याने याचाही समावेश शैक्षणिक साधने बनविण्यासाठी केला होता.

सदरचे प्रदर्शन बघण्यासाठी ‘डोअर स्टेप स्कूल’चे सर्व प्रकल्पांमधील कर्मचारी कार्यकर्ते, इतर स्वयंसेवी संस्थांचे प्रतिनिधी, तसेच मनपा शिक्षण मंडळातील सदस्य, महानगरपालिका, जिल्हा परिषद, आणि खाजगी शाळेतील शिक्षकांनी व मुलांनी या प्रदर्शनास भेट दिली. प्रदर्शनाच्या या १० दिवसांच्या कालावधीमध्ये एकूण १,२६० लोकांनी प्रदर्शनास भेट दिली. या प्रदर्शनास लोकांचा चांगला प्रतिसाद मिळाला.

प्रदर्शन बघण्यासाठी आलेल्या लोकांकडून मिळालेले लेखी व तोंडी अभिप्राय यांचा आढावा घेतला असता, “एकंदरच ‘आकलन’ या विषयाची मांडणी तक्ते व साधने यांच्या माध्यमातून सोप्या व साध्या भाषेत अतिशय चांगल्या प्रकारे केली आहे,” असे मत अनेकांनी व्यक्त केलेले दिसते. ‘परिवर्तन’ने सादर केलेला ‘आकलन’ हा विषय जास्तीत जास्त लोकांपर्यंत पोहचवता आला याचे आम्हाला समाधान आहे.

प्रदर्शनास मिळालेल्या अभिप्रायापैकी काही निवडक अभिप्राय –

“आकलनासंबंधी शास्त्रीय माहिती खूप उपयुक्त आहे. सर्व ट्रेनरची माहिती देण्याची पद्धत अभ्यासपूर्ण आहे. स्पष्टीकरण उत्तम. विषय मांडणी उत्तम. सर्व साहित्य चाइल्ड-फ्रेंडली आहे. सर्वांचे मनःपूर्वक अभिनंदन ! मनपा शाळेतील विद्यार्थ्यांसाठी अतिशय उपयुक्त उपक्रम आहे.” – श्रीमती शुभांगी चव्हाण, शिक्षणप्रमुख, पुणे मनपा शिक्षण मंडळ

“आकलन या संदर्भातील माहिती, मांडणी अतिशय प्रभावी आणि सुसंगत. इतका अवघड विषय इतक्या सुंदर पद्धतीने मांडलाय, की व्वा….! सायन्स, गणित, भाषा, भावना, भूगोल इथली साहित्य अतिशय कष्टपूर्वक मुलांच्या विकासाला खात्रीने मदत करतील असे !” – श्री. शिरीष कुलकर्णी, व्यावसायिक प्रशिक्षक

(अहवालः- रुतुजा, वंदना, नेहा – परिवर्तन प्रशिक्षण केंद्र, डोअर स्टेप स्कूल, पुणे)

Shikshan Utsav 2017

Pune Municipal Corporation’s Shikshan Mandal has organized Shikshan Utsav 2017 – an education fair – at Pathare Primary School (PMC School No.181 B), Kharadi, Pune. Door Step School got an opportunity to present teaching tools and reading material at this fair. Teachers, education associates, government officials, and students are visiting the stalls with curiosity and interest. Some of the children even started reading books put on display.
The Shikshan Utsav will be open on 11th and 12th of January 2017, from 8:30am till 6:00pm. Visit us at stall No.21.