Digital Literacy for Sanskrit and Hindi

PROFILES OF GRAMONNATI UDYAM TRAINEES

TRACK: DIGITAL LITERACY FOR SANSKRIT AND HINDI IN RURAL INDIA

The programme titled ‘Digital Literacy for Sanskrit and Hindi’ aims to develop the knowledge and skills of trainees in using digital platforms for Sanskrit and Hindi. For the purpose of the programme, selected candidates come to Pondicherry on a six-month training cum internship with Sri Aurobindo Foundation for Indian Culture (SAFIC), Pondicherry (https://safic.aurosociety.org). The candidates are trained under the guidance of Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, Director SAFIC and a renowned Sanskrit Scholar. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampadananda_Mishra)

Entrepreneurship Opportunities

During our work in rural schools for digital literacy, particularly in the Hindi belt of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, we observed that teachers in the subject of Hindi and Sanskrit struggle to learn to use digital platforms because of their poor knowledge of English.

The programme aims to address this gap. We are developing a course curriculum for trainings that will help people learn the right tools and use the resources on the internet for Hindi and Sanskrit. This will help the teachers and students to bypass the need to learn English and enable them to use the power of digital platforms and knowledge base for Hindi and Sanskrit on the internet.

For the three Udyam trainees (Arti, Bharti and Jyoti), this internship provides a great platform for cross-sector learning, to adopt innovative educational approaches for remote villages in India and to contribute directly for national progress by spreading awareness and helping rural youth take up entrepreneurship.

Over the next one year or so, Gramonnati will help the trainees set up an independent social enterprise that focuses on the following activities:

  • Conducting workshops and trainings for Sanskrit / Hindi School Teachers to enhance their digital literacy levels to be more effective in their subjects.
  • Translation work for Sanskrit and Hindi.
  • Undertake Programs for SAFIC and similar organizations to spread the awareness and knowledge of Sanskrit in rural schools.
  • Be associated with organizations engaged in working for Sanskrit and regional languages.

UDYAM PROFILES

Aarti Choubey

Background

Aarti Choubey has been a crusader from a very young age. Since her school days, she has been working for causes such as afforestation, environmental protection, student rights etc. She studied in a residential school, Navodaya School. Her education inculcated in her principled values of family, society and nation at large; embracing diversity, love for education, self-dependence and independence, and facing up to challenges with courage and determination. With the encouragement of her forward-thinking father, she was able to study much beyond what most girls are allowed in her community. She even became a student union president at her college. Her electrician father’s premature death compelled her to take up employment while she studied, but she never let circumstances defeat her. Her first job was as a customer relations executive (CRE) at a car dealership. She learned the basics of operating computers, writing reports and speaking in front of a public during her job.

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Experience with Gramonnati

When the Gramonnati team visited the NCC Camp and communicated to the cadets the aims and projects of the Udyam programme, Aarti, a participant at the camp, immediately registered. Having worked previously with an NGO, she could foresee the potential and impact of the activities to be organized by Gramonnati. She wanted to take advantage of this opportunity for herself as well as for her locality. As a part of her school trips, she had travelled to many parts of the country but with the support of Gramonnati, she was fortunate to work with international corporations such as Cisco and national-level organizations such as Sri Aurobindo Society at Pondicherry.

Arti can be reached at: artic019@gmail.com    

Future Plans

"I could have been another statistic of an educated rural girl who was married off at a young age and who did not contribute anything to my own, my social or my national life. I did not give in to hardships and now I want others (especially girls) to learn from me to be financially sustainable and successful even in their own villages and towns”-

Bharti Patel

Background

Bharti Patel, since her childhood, saw her father juggling the occupations of being a farmer and running an incense factory to make ends meet. She wondered why prosperity was so elusive in rural India. She realized that despite working harder at education and livelihoods, the rural populace lost out on the opportunities that were available to the people in towns and cities. Just after school, to pursue her bachelor’s degree, she started travelling 40 km every day from home and back (which she continues now as she is enrolled for her Masters) because she does not have the financial means to live in the town. Bharti is frustrated by these realities but she does not believe in giving up. She wants to open the door which was initially closed to her for all the people in her village.

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Experience with Gramonnati

During her schooling years, Bharti wanted to join the Indian Armed Forces, but because of personal circumstances she was unable to. She joined the National Cadet Corps (NCC) instead. During the ‘C’ Certificate Camp she was introduced to the Gramonnati programme. The aims of the programme listed by the resource persons were so aligned with her own aspirations that she immediately enrolled to participate. Since the first day of joining, her experiences have been phenomenal. She had never switched on a computer before and the concepts of operating sophisticated hardware, software and internet were alien to her. Within a week of her orientation course in Delhi, she not only learned how to operate a computer, but she was trained in typing Hindi, sending mails and navigating the web as well. She was also introduced to the fundamentals of digital literacy.

Bharti can be reached at: bp80636@gmail.com    

Future Plans

"Gramonnati Programme gives me hope that children in my village and in hundreds of villages like mine will get world-class education at their doorstep and I will be a part of this revolution. I may not have joined the armed forces, but I will work to defeat two dangerous enemies within the country—illiteracy and poverty.”- Bharti Patel

Jyoti Sengar

Background

Jyoti has faced adversity from a young age. She lost her mother when she was 11. Soon she had to adopt the roles of a mother and mentor to her two younger sisters. She ensured that not only did she and her siblings never stop pursuing education, but that they also performed very well in school. As a teenager she saw many children in her neighbourhood drop out of school due to poor academic performance and aptitude. She decided to start her career as a tutor and trainer. She began conducting private tuitions and counselling for children who needed extra attention, which they didn’t get in the government schools where some times 75-80 children were enrolled in a class. She taught most of the children for free but soon some parents started paying her to help their children. Consequently, Jyoti became a financially independent woman.

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Experience with Gramonnati

Jyoti graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and then enrolled for her Masters in Chemistry. At the end of a National Cadet Corps (NCC) Camp, Ved Prakash who was setting up a Gramonnati Kendra in Jabalpur addressed their batch. He spoke to them about the aims and programmes of Gramonnati and how they could in addition to working for their own future also contribute to the growth of the society around them. She immediately signed up for it and was shortlisted for the enthusiasm she exhibited.

Jyoti can be reached at: jyotisengar928@gmail.com    

Future Plans

"I want to ensure that the youth in my area do not have to leave their homes to earn a living. Gramonnati has taught me that I can help the future of India grow and prosper in the villages. The technological advancements which have resulted in the economic prosperity of the urban areas should be available in every village of our country, and with Gramonnati I will be a channel of this growth of rural India. I want to be a professional in the field of Digital Literacy for Sanskrit and Hindi; and take up programmes for awareness of Sanskrit in rural schools, enabling Sanskrit and Hindi teachers to harness the power of internet and technology.”- Jyoti Sengar

Ongoing Training / Internship

July 2018 onwards: Training and internship with SAFIC for “Digital Literacy for Sanskrit and Hindi”. The training / internship includes:

  • Sanskrit language: Fluency in writing and speaking Sanskrit.
  • Digital platforms for Sanskrit and regional languages
  • How to get right information from internet and use them effectively
  • Text processing programs for handling Devanagari scripts
  • Use of Online Dictionaries
  • Translation tools
  • Online resources for Sanskrit and Hindi
  • Use of Social media for propagating Sanskrit and other Indian languages
  • Transliteration methods
  • Effective online collaboration
  • Creating digital content for Sanskrit Trainings
  • Be part of the team developing innovative Sanskrit training programs for children
  • Calligraphy in Sanskrit
  • Learn basic Yoga at Sri Aurobindo Society
  • Participate in exhibitions and events for SAFIC as volunteers

Trainings Completed/Ongoing

  • January 2018:   Orientation Workshop and Digital Literacy Training for Udyam Trainees at Delhi
  • May – Jun 2018:  Digital Literacy Trainings in Gyan Ganga Institute of Technology and Sciences (GGITS), Jabalpur.
  • June 2018:   Introduction to Indian Culture and Languages Workshop at SAFIC, Pondicherry

Upcoming Trainings

Upon completion of the ongoing internship/training with SAFIC, Pondicherry, Aarti, Bharti and Jyoti will undertake short training in the following subjects:

  • Conscious leadership.
  • Communication Skills – effective presentations, effective writing (articles, blogs, official documents)
  • Finance basics.
  • Micro-entrepreneurship basics.