Bihar is the poorest state in India where Bodhgaya situated.
And it is famous by the most lowest literacy rate in India.
Surya Bharti School aims to give chances of education those poor children in villages here.
The gurdians of our students work as farmers helping other people's farm to harvest crops, or work as temporary labor at factory or constructing site, or work as migrant worker in big cities away form home, or work as rikshaw puller, and their income is very low. Our students help their family after school harvesting or taking care of annimals, or helping mother to cook. Some students use lump or candles to study at night.
Can you believe that the children live in house made of mud are preparing for IIT, the most difficult university in India?
They are doing their best efforts toward their dreams with self-help mind!
Visiting student's village (2011)
Bihar used to be the poorest state in India. After changing the state government, total environment has been turned to be better in these 5 to 6 years. It became safe, peaceful, having availability of business. Investors and brains came out from Bihar are coming back to their home state. Bihar state shows remarkable developing rate, but still many villagers are poor enough. The state government try to invest in infrastructure and make girls go to school. I met Nitish Kumar (Chief minister) in Feb. 2010. He thanked to our activity and said to continue to support education for villagers.
Our school is located about 3 km away from the center of Bodhgaya town. Our students come from adjacent village but some students come form 8 km away from our school. I and teachers visit student’s houses frequently and advise guardians to give students time to study at home, and ask them their situation at home. We are very strict on attendance to school, we ask guardians to co-operate to let students go to school everyday.
Textbooks and uniforms are treasure for students.Students’s guardians are provably seasonally worker as farmars or labours. Their income is not enough to give their children education.They are proud of their children having good education in Surya Bharti School. Children are hope of future.
Studying at Home
The textbooks and notebooks are provided by Happy Science. They are precious treasure for students. Students keep them in handmade bookshelves on the wall. Almost of their houses are made of mud and bricks.
A student says "I want to become a District Magistrate to help people and to make the society better."
Almost of the students don’t have any desks to study. They study on a floor or on a bed. They merely have enough light in their house, so they study at home before sunset or with candle light at night. Our students have discipline and they are very enthusiastic to study because they have dreams in future. Having dream is miracle for them. Before joining our school, they didn’t have much knowledge of various kinds of jobs nor recognition of huge world. There are still strong caste system in India, only education can help them to get out of the chains of poverty. I hope they can achieve their dreams and make the world better.
Some students works after school. They teach as a home tutor, help their parent’s job, and help house work as cooking. Some students take their goat or cows or buffalos around to feed grasses, some students cut grasses and bring big quantity of grasses putting on their head to feed cows. One day, I found a student cooking eggs for customers in a village. She works hard and also studies hard.
Home visiting in 2008
<Villages of our students>
Kolhoura(1.5 Km from our school), Bhalua(1 Km), Bappunagar(0.5 Km), Mahurar(1.5 Km), Tirkha(5 Km), Aura(7~8 Km)
<Foods in their houses>
It is not so many families that can afford to eat 3 meals a day properly, there are some families take twice or once in a day. Guardians are working very hard but their labor wages are very low, or they works for another farmer's land and get some grains by helping to harvest, and those grains are not enough to live whole year with family. Vegetables are also preciouse for them.
<Jobs and caste of guardians of our students and Caste>
The jobs of the guardians of our students are mostly farmer, labor, Rikshaw puller, migrant workers, etc. Most of their caste are lower. There is a caste system in rural area in India strongly still now. It is a hierarchical system that makes people's selection of occupations limited as same as their anscester's. However, now a days, there are new occupations appeared. It makes people to get chances to be educated and get good jobs by their talent now. Education has a power to cut the cycle of bad circulation of poverty.
I and our teachers visit houses of our students in villages randomly. So that we can know the situation of their life in their houses and villages. There are few light bulbs in their houses. TVs are very rare in their villages. They use cattle manure as fuel to cook. Their houses are made of mud, using bricks are better one, it is sometimes destroyed by heavy rain in rainy season.
There are students who go to school all the way from their village of 5 to 7 Km distance. When I raised conditions that only such students can remain in our school who goes to school everyday and stydy enthusiasticly, most deligent students were the students who live in far villages from school. I couldn't imagine how far they walk everyday. The students from the village of 5 Km away go to school by walking. The students from the village of 7 Km away go to school by hichhiking. When I went to their village, hald of the way I was able to proceed by a car, the road was very rough, and walking other half way made me very tired. I admire all the students come to school every day. The students from 7 Km away hichhike a car or bus, free for children. But it is very hard to hichhich a bus, it takes half an hour or more than a hour. I found the parents who let children go to school from far villages are more enthusiastic for education. They may know the importance of education. They are very poor, but they have hopes. The only way to get out of poverty is education.
is a farm village having rape blossoms.
Almost of all the houses are made of cray.
On the wall, there are dungs provided by cows.
They will be used as fuel.
The villagers have only a light bulb or nothing. They have never watched TV.
Children are singing a local song. They remember the songs from hearing their mother's and Gran'ma's songs. They don't know much songs and music on TV or Movies.
Children in the village.
Whenever we go to the village, children and villagers gather around us. They hurry to see us when they find our car is coming. Car itself is very rare for them.
Also, I (foreigner) come there, they are excited.
At first time, they were very shy. Seeing display of my video camera and digital camera, they were excited very much. It was first time to see themselves.
They seldom take a photo in the village.
The village, Mahurar, is belong to Gaya area, but a little bit far away from the center of Bodh-Gaya town where tourists come all over the world. So They have never seen foreigners.
They speak in their own language to me.
People in Bodh-Gaya speak diarect called Bihari Hindi. It's very different from Hindi in Delhi. The hindi in Mahurar is more different from hindi in Delhi.
We can't communicate in standard hindi.
Their parent had never gone to school, and there is no TV, therefore they only know their own language in the village.
The children started to learn 'abcd' in standard hindi in the school.