Kali Ratri is a village deep in a forest 24 away from the urban population. Kids are gathered in the courtyard of one of the ten kutcha houses that were recently built in the village. This kutcha house is a school. This school, named Shriramkrishna Vivekananda Seva Kutir, is not just a school, it is part of a Parivaar(family). Parivaar NGO runs 254 such schools in Madhya Pradesh, teaching 25 thousand tribal, destitute children, who are deprived of basic facilities like electricity and water. The children are also provided with nutritious meals twice a day free of cost. The kids are also given clean clothes. Currently, the school runs from nursery to VIIIth standard, and preparations to provide higher schooling are on their way.
Started Parivaar’s Seva Kutir in 2003: Vinayak
Vinayak, former alumni of IIT Kharagpur and IIM Ahmedabad, started Parivaar’s ‘Seva Kutir’ in 2003 with his 3 children in Kolkata. “This fight is only against illiteracy, malnutrition, and inequality. My initial studies were in MP and my father has been an IAS here. I have seen the ground reality here with them,” said Vinayak.
Vinayak explains that in 2016 he expanded the service cottage in MP. At present, 8 districts are running ‘Seva Kutir’ in Dewas, Sheopur, Mandla, Sehore, Chhindwara, Khandwa, Vidisha, and Dindori. Residential education centers are also being built, where these children will also be able to live. At present, Parivaar has the largest free residential educational institute in West Bengal, which has more than two thousand children.
254 Seva Kutir schools in MP alone
The target is to start 500 centers by 2023, in which 50 thousand children will be able to study. The cost of a center of ‘Seva Kutir’ is about 12.5 lakh rupees. is. There are 254 centers in the state. The institution relies on the CSR funds of large companies and single donors to run them. Recently, the construction of 5 residential centers has been funded by Sachin Tendulkar.
Siddharth Parmar, who is looking after the cottages running in 5 villages, says that all these children also go to government schools. In government schools, there is 1 teacher for every 200–300 children. The ‘Seva Kutir’ fulfills these deficiencies. These children spend 3 hours in the morning before school and 3 hours in the evening after school in the ‘Seva Kutir’. We do not build a building separately, but choose a house in the village where there is a little space and the children can sit.