The last newsletter on Shoshit Seva Sangh was issued on 16th November 2012, since then the following developments have taken place which may be of interest –
(i) As a very special gesture Shoshit Seva Sangh was requested by the producers of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) to nominate a student of the school run by SSS to participate in the show. KBC conducted by Amitabh Bachchan is by far the most popular reality show. The episode featuring Manoj Kumar, a student of the school was telecast on 13th January 2013. The student won Rs.25 lacs which he has donated towards the construction of the school building now in progress. He carried himself with great aplomb and was not overwhelmed by this great experience and the great personality that AB is. The episode was widely viewed in India and by the Indian diaspora abroad. SSS received many emails from viewers expressing their appreciation and support for the project. The episode is now on youtube and the link is
(ii) The final examination at Shoshit Samadhan Kendra, a fully free English medium residential school run by Shoshit Seva Sangh was held from 17th to 25th March, 2013. The question paper set were based on the norms laid down by the CBSE. The overall performance of the children could be considered as very good. The school closed for annual vacation for 10 days on the completion of the annual examinations on March 26th. On their return from vacation the children of middle and senior school were asked to write their experiences. After reading over a hundred such reports, I would like to make the following important observations –
(a) The level of education and the manner in which the students carried themselves in the village aroused curiosity and interest in them among the villagers particularly the musahar community. Within the community, notwithstanding their young age, they were treated with some respect and consideration. The intervention by the students with regard to undesirable social activities and practices made an impact. That many of these children could read and write English attracted a great deal of interest in them not only in the community but also among the villagers.
(b) Many of the students reported that they raised the issue of making illicit liquor and alcoholism prevalent in the community. In some cases their insistence with their parents to shun this bad habit was successful.
(c) Almost all the students of the school including those in the primary school helped their siblings and in some cases children of the community in their studies. Many of them talked about the importance of going to school. They really and effectively spread the message that education is vital for the future of the musahar community. Many students were invited by teachers of government village schools to take classes in the school. The village school teachers appreciated the knowledge of the student.
(d) Many children talked about the illegality of child marriage and why marrying off under age children particularly girls was bad for their health as well as their future.
Overall it can be said that the children of our school have already started making a healthy impact in the musahar community. Of course, there is a long way to go before this becomes very visible and brings about real as well as sustainable change.
(iii) All the children of the school were happy to go home on vacation. All of them in their statement said that they went out of the way to show respect and consideration for their parents as well as elders. In their own small way they tried to be a role model for the children of the community. Many of them took the children of the community to the nearest cyber café and showed the children the website of Shoshit Seva Sangh and photographs of their school and their activities in the school.
(iv) The construction of the school building is progressing satisfactorily. The total estimated cost for the G+1 building with a foundation for G+3 will be approximately Rs. 12 crores. The challenge is to raise the funds to complete the construction of the residential school building.
(v) 50 children have been selected to join the pre-school class. All these children are from remote villages of different districts of Bihar, most of them being the backward districts of the state. The idea is to spread the message of education and create catalyst of change in as wide a area as possible. With the new admissions the total number of students in the school for the academic year 2013-14 is 320.