As part of the SBI Youth for India Fellowship, Lakshmi Nair moved to Satbunga, a remote village in Nainital District, Uttarakhand, to work with the Central Himalayan Rural Action Group
After graduating from St. Agnes College in Mangalore, Karnataka in 2017 with a degree in Psychology, English Literature and Office Management, Lakshmi went on to work for Global, a technology services company in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Six months after starting work, the 25-year-old graduate began to realize that his real interest lay elsewhere.
“I am always enthusiastic about working in the social sector, but I don’t know how to make a career with it. I was not happy with the work of my company, and that’s what I got scholarship Indian That’s when I met SBI Youth for this. I think it’s a great opportunity to learn from practical rural development experiences. ” The SBI Youth India Fellowship allows participants to engage in local struggles with innovative ideas and benefit from learning through the experience of their surroundings. Under a 13-month scholarship, participants will collaborate with local organizations on ongoing projects and create new community projects to solve specific problems.
Lakshmi moved to the remote village of Satbunga in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand in October 2019 and worked with the NGO Central Himalayan Rural Action Group (CHIRAG). She embarked on a targeted project focused on improving her English skills in the 8th grade of two public schools. .. -Nasakkan and Tara Ramgar through an activity-based skills development program. Great opportunity in the midst of the crisis. Five months after the start of the stock market, in March 2020, a COVID 19 pandemic struck the country and closed schools. By closing the school, Lakshmi can come to the school and work on the project.
However, Lakshmi is not discouraged and proposes a new way to carry out his project. In the mountain villages of Satbanga, internet is scarce and online lessons are almost impossible due to frequent snowfall. “I had to think of new ways to reach children,” says Lakshmi. “I was a community educator at the time and Bal Shikshaks, a member of the community, was working on the way home with the village students.”Community educators are trained in math and Hindi, but Lakshmi emphasizes teaching English and how to organize online classes as much as possible using online tools like than Zoom and Google. He also created worksheets and programs that BalShikshaks can use to teach children.
Initially, the Lakshmi project targeted 60 8th grade students, but thanks to 20 community educators, the project eventually reached about 500 1st and 5th grade students. From culture to language, Lakshmi has faced many challenges throughout her career.
“At first the students were afraid to even try to speak English, and I could only speak English, so they avoided me. I work and play with them. When they feel affectionate with me, at the end of my scholarship period , the boys were so confident they wanted to direct their skits and plays in English, ”Lakshmi said. After completing her fellowship in October 2020, she is currently earning a master’s degree in development studies and hopes to continue working in education.