Cycle Yatra 2013 Report Day 6

  • Team shared the experience with Project Director, BEP, Patna that lasted for an hour on 17.12.2013
  • Director listened to the presentation and said that empowerment of children is just one small component, it has limited impact
  • Director, Saral Services argued about the power of empowering children

–     persuasive: can persuade teachers and parents to support,

–     gap filling: In absence of teachers, child from class V can take class of IV;

–     source of positive energy: needed to make the environment positive, constructive and forward looking

–     Unbiased: Children do not distinguish tasks ( cleaning and managing library)

–     Un stoppable desire: Once children enjoyed good habit of reading books, painting, dancing – no one can stop them, neither the late coming teachers or illiterate parents

–     Active Bal Sansad is the means and the goal is the quality education

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Day 5 Cycle Yatra 2013


This was a concluding day of the Cycle Yatra, our Executive Director Shri Subrat Kumar Mishra also arrived and participated in the yatra. We made a presentation, which included the Result of the yatra, issues shared by the Parents and Teacher’s, Road Map

Result of the Yatra:

Day Villages visited No. of Teachers Parents/Guardians interacted with No. of students interacted with
  • Kamalpur
  • Bhiman
  • Dalhar
06 10 60
Day 2
  • Reota
  • Belhari
  • Raghunathpur
05 50 150
Day 3
  • Belhari
  • Masaura
  • Gangapur
04 90 40
Day 4
  • Chodhdargha
  • Koinda
  • Mahoulis
  • Reota
03 90 120
Total 18 240 370


Issues Shared by the Parents and Teacher’s:

1. Lack of quality teachers
2. Lack of bathrooms
3. Lack of Drinking water hand pump
4. Parent’s perception, the stereotype created against Govt. schools.
5. SMC discusses primarily on the infrastructure and MDM rather than improving the quality of education
6. The assignment of Non academic work to teachers.
7. Lab and library is underutilized.
8. Inactive Baal Sansad
9. Lack of awareness amongst parents, teachers and students
10. PTA meetings not taking place.

Road Map:

  • Recommendation from District Administration for a pilot
  • Proposal from Saral Services to BEP and Funding agency
  • Implementation after the approval
  • Share the result during Gyan Abhiyan Cycle Yatra 2014

This was the day where the team shared the cycle yatra experience with Administration of State and District level of Sheikpura, Shri Pranav Kumar below are the discussion points:

  • Team presented the experience to ADM of Sheikhpura
  • ADM gave more than 30 minutes.  He accepted the issues that have shared by the teachers and they are real. We have to work within the system.  He wanted to know the school where toilet and water handpump are not there. He asked his staff to take action on this.
  • He said these findings are nice in the laptop, but it is hard to see the result on the ground.  Most NGO come and show result on the laptop.
  • Team clarified that before we take up a project we need to understand the area and the Yatra has provided appropriate platform to know them and
  • Team is now interested in implementing the recommendation (from the laptop) in one CRC of Sohadi (on the ground)
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Day 4 Cycle Yatra 2013

The yatra continued  towards Chorddargah where the school was running and the principal and the teachers were present this school had no boundary, bathrooms and the drinking water hand pump was more than 100 meters away from the school making it difficult for the students and the staff members. The food being prepared here looked better than that of other schools in comparison, Biryani (flavored rice), aloo Sabji(Potato curry) and Salad was being served to the kids and they ate in sitting in their respective places. The school building was good when compared to other schools and it had a well maintained library which kids hardly seemed to use other than that the school had carom boards and other such indoor games. The bal sansad and Meena manch in this school was active but it was not being implemented and the principal itself was not properly informed about the both the projects initiated by the Bihar Govt. The issues here were the lack of teachers, bathrooms, benches and a drinking water hand pump other than that the school is in a pretty good shape the students and the teachers seemed to be making a good effort.

While coming back from Chorddarga we stopped to interact with the parents near a carpenter’s house as we sat down several opinions were shared and several issues came out. When we asked a parent whether he sends his kids to the school, he laughed and replied “Wahan Koi Padai Hotha Hai Kya”? (Does any education happen there?) This perception is lodged in the brain of all the people.  As the conversation continued with the parents, they told us about the lack of quality teachers and the corporal punishment taking place in schools but they had a positive opinion about a new teacher who had been transferred there and were confident about his teaching skills.

From there the yatra then continued towards Mahouli where we met parents and students and as the Bal sansad candidates came out and we got to know that the bal sansad candidates were chosen but had no actual responsibilities and they did not know the amount of duties coming under Bal sansad. Here we made the candidates read from the booklet and we explained the importance of bal sansad and its advantages. Here we met a young boy in second class who was immensely intelligent for his age as we tested him he surprised every one of us as he told the tables till thirty even at 27 or 29 he made no mistakes and he had started learning English and Hindi, his father taught him all the things required as his father was a metric pass and he proceeded to pursue his inter but had to quit due to financial constraints and had to take up farming.

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Day 3 Cycle Yatra 2013

The day started off with a successful meet with staff and students of UMS Reota, the main mission was to create awareness about the effective implementation of “Bal Sansad”and “Meena Manch”. The selected Bal sansad candidates were made to read from the bal sansad booklet provided by the Govt. a lot of students showed enthusiasm, by the end of the program the selected candidates were able to understand their responsibilities and were interested in participating actively in future, here the teachers promised to implement bal sansad more effectively in future and use it to its full benefits in all round activities even in MDM.

Later on the yatra continued towards UMS Belhari where the task was to have a meeting with the bal sansad candidates, parents and one teacher, here again the turnover was fantastic as the students had gone home to tell their parents about the meeting, interaction with parents was much more intense here and few valid points were raised during this interaction itself. The bal sansad candidates here were implementing it much more effectively than UMS Reota but the list of tasks given to them was not complete as all the ministers did not know the list of responsibilities given to them. The Bal sansad ministers here have taken classes in absence of teachers

but have not had the monthly meetings so far.
After this the yatra progressed towards Gangapur where the task was to create awareness about PTA meetings, Bal sansad and Meena manch, here there were good questions being asked by the parents few questions which stood out were:

  • When the Govt. schools have good education why doesn’t the education minister or any of the other influential political figures send their kids here?
  • Why is the MDM responsibility handed over to the teachers?

The cycle yatra from there progressed towards Raghunathpur, here by the time we had reached the school had closed but the purpose of the visit was to interact with parents and the students of the village and it was very much successful, as we came into the village people were curious and supportive they called their kids to talk to us. The few children we met here were candidates in Meena manch in singing activities, there was a young girl who had lost her father and she burst into tears as we were asking questions about her parents but even after this little emotional outburst she did not refrain herself from singing a song requested by us.

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Day 2 Cycle Yatra 2013

It was a nice Sunny day, after breakfast we started the day and reached the first destination Belahari village and met the teachers in the School.  Teachers really welcomed us and wanted to know the purpose of the visit.

Main complaint of the teacher was different – Number of teachers given to the school is less.  Though there are 6 teachers posted for the school, HM is out of teaching work. He has too many meetings away from the school, 2 have been transferred and now only 2 are remaining in the school and there are eight classes. Therefore, it is very hard for the teacher to control the classes.

We noticed a very good collection of books in the library but, the books were not really used and we could see the dust on the books. We saw there were 4 different books on computer, and I felt it is really a waste of because there is no computer in the school and no child could have read this books.

One of the teachers was very active and he persuaded us to have lunch along with children and we obliged in order to understand the quality of food that is served to the

children, quality and taste both were average and there was no complaint from the child. Compare to the standard of food that is eaten in the village the food was ok. Therefore, there is lot of scope to improve the standard of food.

We went to talk to the children in the classes, one of the students asked me to take the class because as there was less No. of teachers so, we took the class 8th and taught science and the other participants of the Yatra also took classes. Overall it was a good experience. In my opinion girl students were not doing well, whereas the boy students were more interested and enthusiastic to learn.

We told the students to call their parents and will discuss about the Bal Sansad the Parents Teachers meeting. And then we went to another village called Raghunathpur. We met a teacher who was a handicapped but very enthusiastic and discussed the purpose of the Yatra. He also said that the no. of teachers in the school is less and one of the teachers comes for a very short period and comes late and goes early and hence, it is difficult to manage all the classes.

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Day 1 Cycle Yatra 2013


Day 1 Cycle Yatra 2013

As scheduled our team arrived Reota, a village in Ariari Block of Sheikhpura District.  It is one of the backward block of the District.

Reota is a village that does not have electricity.  There is an entrepreneur in the village who provides electricity to all house by running generator with diesel.  The power is there till 9 PM.

In Reota, Govind teaches tuition to 150 children.  Parent was very happy about the Govind.  Naval Mahato said that Govind has ensured that children can speak correctly in Hindi.  He was very appreciative about this effort.

No one can hide the energy of the children.   I saw the energy among the girls that girl children started playing Kabbadi.   It was nice to watch them.  They had shed the inhibition being watched.  There is a playing ground in the school and it was fully used by them.   It actually set the context of the cycle yatra.

Started the Yatra at 11 AM, after having flag off from the Head Master, Md Aminulla  of Reota School.  We visited three schools but the third school has closed by then.  It was 3:30 PM.  We were told that School had closed an hour ago.  However, our team interacted with two schools in two villages – Kamalpur and Beman.

School Kamalpur has 6 teachers including HM. It has problem of room and benches.  There are 240 students, 25% of them were sitting on the corridor.  School started from 1978. About 600 students have passed out from the school.  Only 8-9 have graduated (2 %).  What happened to 98% children passed from there?  No one knows…. Perhaps, most of them joined the labour force of the society.

Teacher was unhappy about the MDM management and SMC.  SMS is not for ensuring the education in the school but for demanding share in commission from MDM and construction work.  Teacher said that awareness building about Bal Sansad, Meena Manch, and PTA is limited among children and parents.  There is a need for building the awareness.    Recently there is a change in the format of SMC, now it will have 17 members  (parents of the bal sansad members have now been included).  In the view of the teacher, MDM should be closed to provide better education.  MDM translates into attendance but not in quality education.

There was equipment for the lab but it was only kept in the shelf.  It was not being used.

Beman school is also up to class 8 and has sufficient rooms for class.  HM Sri Makeswar Pasad, was very comfortable.  He has been there for last 6 years.   He is comfortable with Bal Sansad.  He has taken help of the Bal Sansad in managing the MDM better.  In Beman, children did not go back after the MDM.  Often teacher complain that children come there only for MDM.  It was not true here.  Though there were many new books in two Alminars but they were locked.  On asking for the books, one tried very hard but it could not be opened.  In this school had 7 teachers including one lady teacher.

We talked to Prime Minister of Bal Sansad.  He was confident and showed that there has been several activities in education, sport and MDM.  They often remind teacher to go to class, keeping the school clean, participate in the distribution of food and sending children back to class after the MDM.

Since 1958, 3000 children have passed from here, about 20 have graduated.

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Gyan Abhiyan Cycle Yatra 2013

Gyan Abhiyan Cycle Yatra 2013


Creating awareness towards community participation in ensuring quality education


Duration: 12th December – 16th  December 2013


Flag off point: Rauta Village, Ariari Block, Sheikhpura District


Route Map for the Cycle Yatra 2013





Organised by

Deep Kunj, Bangali Para, Rajgir,

Nalanda, Bihar

Ph: 06112 255486



Gyan Abhiyan Cycle Yatra, Bihar, 2013

(Quality Education Awareness Campaign)


In year 2011, Saral Services, not for profit social organization, had launched campaign for quality education in Nalanda District. There was 10 days long cycle yatra, named Gyan Abhiyan Yatra, where Saral Services contacted 50 schools including government and private ( Students and teachers welcomed the campaign and supported the effort for improving the quality of education in schools. Yatra was successful and created a network of people in Nalanda, known as Nalanda Nikhar.

In the year 2012, the yatra was once again organised by Saral Services with support from Nalanda Nikhar and Jeevika. The main objective of yatra was awareness building on quality education and popularize Samjhe Sikhen, a 20 point quality indicator supported by BEP and GoB for ensuring quality education. The yatra was scheduled from November 26th to December 2nd, 2012. It was a success that there was participation from a large number of members of Village Organizations promoted by Jeevika. Nalanda District Administration also participated in the yatra.  During the yatra we focused on the two points from Samjhe Sikhen i.e. regular parent teacher’s meeting and complete and comprehensive evaluation of the child.

Enthusiastic with response in last two yatras, we have now planned Gyan Abhiyan Yatra 2013 with the following objectives



  1. To have cycle-adventure, fun and learn rural reality, especially the education
  2. To Carry out focus group discussion on the recommendations of the Study report  by Saral Services and UNICEF on strengthening of parent teacher association (PTA), Bal Sansad and Meena Manch
  3. To understand the education in schools of one cluster resource centre (CRC) in Sheikhpura District
  4. To Spread the message of quality education in both public and private schools of 10-12 villages covering one CRC
  5. To document the individual’s experience during the yatra, share the same at Block/ District and State level.


Output of the Awareness Campaign

  • The Yatra will cover 10-12 villages of one Common Resource Centre (CRC)
  • Report on the 9 recommendations of the Saral-UNICEF study.
  • Report on the experiences of the participants
  • Report for sharing at Block, District and State level
  • Identify local resources for quality education


Nalanda Nikhar and Saral Services propose to have cycle yatra for a week to meet people for building the awareness on quality education. A core team of 5-10 people will go on a cycle yatra from Rauta (Ariari Block and Sheikhpura District) and cover 10-12 schools in 5 days. Team will start from same place and visit different schools every day with a target to cover 2-3 schools per day. Team will start the day at 10 AM and end by 5 PM.

The team will halt at Rauta CRC School. On the 5th day, where a small function will be conducted with interested youths, parents on quality education


Abhiyan period

12th November to 16th December 2013 (Abhiyan will begin on November 12th from Rauta village and will conclude in the same village after covering all the villages of the CRC)


Participants – Types and Enrolled Participants

Nalanda Nikhar proposes to have three set of participants:

Yellow Participants: Participants for the entire yatra and their number could be up to 10

  1. Dr. Mithilesh Prasad, Principal Narayana Vihar, Griyak
  2. Mr. Subodh Gupta, Managing Director, Safal Solutions, Hyderabad

Blue Participants: Participants for one or two days of yatra, who will join in morning and leaves the yatra in the evening.

  1. Mr. Sangam Bharati, Teacher, Pureline, Biharsharif
  2. Mr. Ajun Akela, Principal, Gyan Jyoti, Biharsharif
  3. Ms. Smita Rawat, Group General Manager, IRCTC, Hyderabad
  4. Mr. Subrat Mishra, Executive Director, Saral Services, Secunderabad
  5. Mr. Bipul Kumar, Sr. Executive, Saral Services, Rajgir
  6. More………

Red Participants: Participants involved in organizing the yatra, who will ensure the arrangement for night stay, meetings and discussions. They will also be responsible for taking notes during the yatra and putting them on the web site.

  1. Mr. Santosh Kumar, Office Admin, Saral Services, Rajgir. Mobile + 91 + 9534393536
  2. Mr. Purushottam Prasad, In charge of CALC, Saral Services, Rajgir, , Mobile + 91 + 9431274205




Registration of Participation

All who have interest in education are welcome to join the yatra. Participants can register themselves for the yatra by sending their profiles to

We welcome donations to support the yatra.  Donation in the form of cheque / demand draft can be sent in the name of “Saral Services” payable at “Secunderabad”. Donations can also be transferred electronically using following details

Name of the account – Saral Services

Name of the Bank – State Bank of India

Account Number – 30012540053

IFSC code – SBIN0002802

Swift/BIC code – SBININBB321

Items to carried by Yellow Participants

Yellow participants who are willing to stay in night should bring sleeping bag, mosquito net / repellent cream, and torch.



Saral Services would coordinate Gyan Abhiyan Yatra and will arrange -

i.    Night halt: staying, Bed, toilet, food

ii.    Documentation: day reflection, photographs, uploading to blog

iii.    Route plan: coordinate people joining for a day or for entire campaign

iv.    Resource Materials: Study report by Saral Services and UNICEF, Other ICE materials on quality education


Task Force to Support the Campaign

  1. Mr. Subrat Kumar Mishra, Executive Director, Saral Services, Secunderabad. , Mobile + 91 + 9491403310
  2. Mr. Mithilesh Prasad, Principal, Narayan Vidya Vihar, Griyak. Mobile + 91 + 9931961409



For any other information, clarifications please contact Saral Services, Secunderabad and Rajgir on + 91 + 40 + 27992961 / 27790176 and + 91 + 6112 + 255486 on any weekdays.


Route Map

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Celebration of National Education Day 2013

Today is the National Education Day. I asked this question in my office to three senior colleagues. What is the importance of today? It did not surprise me. Non of them knew that today is National Education Day. We know Valentine Day, other day my daughter reminded that about father’s day. It is indeed sad to note that National Education Day is not as popular as Valentine day.

National Education Day is celebrated on the birth day of our first Education Minister Dr. Abdul Kalam Ahmed Azad. He was a scholar, Nationalist and above a good human being.

We need to celebrate the National Education Day. School children should know the importance of the day.   I decided to do rededicate my commitment to education for all and quality education in all schools.

In School, students

Remember him for his knowledge and his commitment

remember Gandhi and Nehru. Hence Oct 2 and Nov 14 are important. Nov 14 is celebrated as Bal Diwas.

I feel strongly that we all need to celebrate the day and think about education seriously. I am happy to share that we will be having the cycle yatra once again this year for quality education.

Questions that come to me are -
1) Why is Saral Services organizing the Yatra this year?

Saral Services has committed to the idea of having cycle yatra for quality education. It started in 2011. It is not a good idea to have a break. Hence we are having the program. Such yatra brings some positive energy and that is what required for the organization to continue and exist.

2) We have to raise the issue of quality education at the primary level. If we do not do that we are producing illiterates from the schools.   We are not surprised when some candidate come for the interview do not answer very basic questions.   As a result, some of them get frustrated as they fail in the higher class or when they do not get job. Therefore the issue of quality education is important and hence Saral Services has to stick to its commitment.

3) Why I have to lead the Yatra even in the third year?
Now I am not the leader. Dr. Mithilesh is the Leader now. Because of his initiative we are continuing with the program.

I am interested this year with different purpose -
I am wondering if Cycle Yatra with such short period in a group may become a method of rural immersion program. It can also be a method suitable to bring young graduates from cities to know and learn rural reality.

Today we reiterate our commitment to quality education and announce the 3rd Gyan Abhiyan Cycle Yatra 2013 from Nov 29 to December 3.

I invite my colleagues to read the blog and send your valuable comments. we will enrich our views with your comments.

Best regards

Subodh Gupta

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Gyan Abhiyan Day 7: Quality Education Workshop

Gyan Abhiyan 2012 Day 7: Workshop at Nav Nalanda Mahavihar


This workshop was held in Nav Nalanda Mahavihar, a University located in Nalanda. About 60 people attended.


The seminar was chaired by Dr. Ravi Babu, Joint Director, NIRD, Hyderbaad. Other guest hounored the occassion were Mr. Prasad, Regional Deputy Director, Bihar Education Project, Patna, Ms Archana, State Project Manager, Jeevika, Patna,


District education Officer, District Quality Coordinator, DPM, Nalanda of Jeevika project were also present in the occasstion.


It was a great day, 50 parents from VO and some teachers also attended the workshop.


Government staff praised the effort made by saral Services, Nalanda Nikhar and Jeevika. They also said the such effort should be made more. Government also admitted the problems shared by the team. All of them said that point 6 and 20 in Samjhe Sinkhe need to work on. Point 6 talks about complete and comprehensie evaluation of child and point no 20 is weekly meeting with parents in the school.


Some of them highlighted the use of sports, cultural programs, TLM including computer education and elearning (point no 9,10 and 11 of SS).


Yatra member told that we should activate Bal Sansad and Mina Manch (given in point no 13 of SS) for all round development of children.


Vikash, Project Leader highlighted the features of the Yatra.

Yatra started on November 26 after DM rode the cycle and moved with the yatra and flaged off by officer from Education Department and ended on December 1, 2012. It covered 100 KM and 25 Schools. During the journey the team interacted with 75 teachers, 21 Village Organizations, 355 Parents and more than 500 children.


It is successful journey, parents realised that they have to take interest in their children and visit school. They should attend the weekly meeting in the school and discuss about the progress of the child. The social committee from each VO will take the lead in collecting and parents and going to school every week class wise.


We also discussed with teachers, they also agreed to make a roster for such weekly meeting and share with the parents.


In joint meeting with parents and teachers we discussed the importantce of point no 20. We need to be clear about the agenda in such meeting. Agenda will be point 6 and then others points in SS.


Director Saral Services prepared action plan and promised to have such abhiyan in the next year.


SPM, Jeevika suggested that we should start a pilot in Rajgir for quality education. For this she said that she will discuss with Saral Services.




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Gyan Yatra 2012 Day 6

Dec 1, 2012: (Prepared by Dr. Sekar )

After a sumptuous breakfast at the house of the VO officials in Seema, the team once again split into two, with one group going to the Seema Primary School, while the other proceeded to Jhalar village. I was in the first group and met with the head teacher of the school. Here too, I found the head teacher to have sincere intent and passion to do good for the children, but handicapped by shortage of staff. The teacher-student ratio hovered around 1:80+. Only some of the teachers could cover all subjects and there was a shortage of specialist teachers in science and math. The head teacher was happy to get one science teacher that very day. The story on parent-teacher meeting was very similar – parents showed no interest in these meetings, and did not provide any time for the meeting. The head teacher was also burdened with several other non-academic duties – such as coordinator for the mid-day meal scheme, writing of various routine reports and attending several meetings, also acting as the block level officer for the village, and so on. With all these distractions, he too had very limited time to spend with children in school. This story was similar to what we had heard in other schools. Dr. Mithilesh met with children and urged them to have dreams, study hard, and reach their potential.


From Seema, we cycled to Hasanpur village. We met with the teachers (there were 2 in number, and the total was 4, with the head teacher having gone to attend a meeting on the mid-day meal scheme and one teacher on leave). The total enrollment was about 400, with daily average attendance varying from between 80 to upto 200. The issues articulated were similar – parent-teacher meetings on a weekly basis did not happen, as parents did not give time and were not interested; while there were 8 grades, most of the time, the teachers just occupied the students due to paucity of teachers; mid-day meal scheme was not operational for a few days due to non-supply of rice; while teachers too are committed and interested in delivering quality education, lack of teacher resources (and in many cases, under- qualified resources hired as teachers) result in poor implementation of Samjhe-Seekhe guidelines.


From Hasanpur, we visited our last village in the cycle tour – Nahaub. We met with the deputy head teacher (as the head teacher was attending the mid-day meal scheme meeting). Here, for an enrollment of 408, and about 45-50% attendance, they had a total of 4 teachers. With head teacher having several other duties, effective teacher-student ratio hovered around 1:100. Many students were absent during harvesting season, as they were called by their parents to help in harvesting (when we were there, one girl asked permission to leave early as her mother had sent message asking her to join in the harvesting task). Without addressing the resource challenges, meeting the Samjhe-Seekhe objectives effectively is an uphill task for the teachers. We also spent time talking to students on their own life goals which education can help them achieve. I found that such talks had not happened with either teachers or with parents, and impressed on the need to have life goals early on, so that there is plenty of time to prepare and succeed. The students were very attentive during the discussions and seemed to understand the import of the address.


With this visit, we ended the cycle yatra with a lunch at the VO elders’ home in the village, and then

cycled to Nalanda for a visit to the ruins and terminating the cycle yatra.


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