Kosamdih Chhatravas: A Center of Social Change

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Source: Seva-English      Date: 10 Jan 2013 16:49:51

$img_titleSeva Bharti Balak Chhatrawas
, situated in the lush green surrounding of Kosamdih in Dindori district of Madhya Pradesh is not just a hostel of the Gond janjati boys. It is more than what meets the eye of a first time visitor. It is a multi-dimensional project which includes a temple, residential school, mobile dispensary, health care unit, gaushala, library and a meditation room for the inmates of the hostel. It is the center of social change.
The project, which houses 185 students from the surrounding areas-mostly inhabited by Gond janjati, was launched on July 13, 2003. Prior to this the idols of Lord Ram, Mother Sita and Laxman were consecrated at the temple built within the premises on June 2, 2002.
The middle school started in 2006. Every year 5-6 students are selected for admission in CBSE hostels run by Seva Bharti at Delhi, Gwalior and Bhopal. Two of them are selected for foreign tour also. There is government school located almost at every kilometer but the Seva Bharti School is always flooded by students and their parents who are keen on seeking admission here. At present the school caters to the surrounding 80 villages situated in 8 development blocks. The school charges a fees of Rs 150/- plus 12 kg rice, and 3 kg dal per student.

$img_titleThe temple situated in the school premises has become a centre for promoting social harmony and unity among the villagers. A unique appeal was made to the people to deposit a rupee daily in the piggybanks kept at the temple. This fetched a whopping sum of Rs 50,000/- which was used for organizing samrasta bhoj (Community lunch) on the occasion of Ramnavmi or Dol Utsav. Special programs are arranged during Diwali when the villagers, especially womenfolk gather to worship the cows reared in the Gaushala.
How does this project bring about transformation in the lifestyle of the rural folks? Kauslyabai from Binzori village, whose ward studies in class 7, has this to say: “We appreciate the teaching method and especially the sanskars that are being inculcated in our wards. Never before my ward touched my feet in obeisance which he learnt to do so at the school.”
Dhiraj Singh Dhurve, another parent, withdrew his son from a government school and admitted him in this school because “this school is best”.
“Our school has topped the list in forest area of the state”, says Principal Shivkumar Dhurve, who too comes from Gond janjati. The multifaceted activities at the school includes besides regular and rigorous teaching, stories from great personalities, antakshari competitions, games and sports, religious programs like Ramnavami, Dol utsav, and guardian meetings. The students and teachers go to the villagers and interact with them regarding the progress of their wards and activities at the school.
$img_titleIn an informal meeting with the managing committee members including Chairman Udayram ji Paraste, Secretary Shivkumar Baroha and Treasurer Krishnakumar Dubey at the school premises revealed that the people of the region like this school very much. They run the school  in most efficient way as such there is always a rush for admission in this school.
Many a households have been freed of liquor menace. A very simple but effective method is applied by the school authorities for this. They gift a Tulsi sapling to a family and ask them to worship it, take care of it in order to get rid of drinking habit. The result is astonishing, says Dr Ramshankar Rajput, the 84-year young doctor who looks after the entire project as its guardian. There is a mobile dispensary which caters to the surrounding villages and distributes medicines to the needy persons.
Shri Hari Satsang Samiti, Kolkata has come forward to sustain the project financially by donating Rs 11 lakh. 

Sewa Bharati Awaasiya Vidyalay
Development Block: Bajaag, Dist: Dindori
(Madhya Pradesh, India)
Phone: 07644-2762158

How to reach
Kosamdih is 30 Km from Dindori.
By Air: Jabalpur airport (137Km) is nearest to Dindori.
By Rail: Jabalpur is the nearest railway station to Dindori, which connects to maximum number of main stations in India.  
By Road: From Jabalpur and Mandla private and govt bus service is available.

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