Introduction

Mahatma Gandhi said “The path to development of the country passes through its villages” Taking inspiration from this thought, Surya Foundation has undertaken an ambitious project Adarsh Gaon Yojna (AGY) conceived with a view to develop and improve the quality of life in the villages. The scheme aims to involve the youth in shaping their destiny by harnessing their energy and tapping their potential. The project involves establishment of Surya Sanskar Kendra – SSK (Coaching Centres), Surya Youth Club (SYC) & Self Help Groups (SHG) in selected villages. The Coaching Centre is the focal point and the medium by which various developmental activities are conducted.
At present Surya Foundation has established over 300 Centres in 18 states of the country.

The Mission

The mission of the project is to:
  • Improve the literacy rate
  • Create a patriotic and cultural environment in each village through active participation of children.
  • Chanelise the energies of young children in the villages and improve their physical and mental strength with a view to developing their personality and making them good citizens.
  • Develop, through the medium of coaching centres, model villages with special reference to education, morality, health, hygiene & sanitation.
  • Help build peace and harmony in the villages.

The Plan

Each Coaching Centre is run by an educated youth, selected from the village itself, who is provided training by SURYA FOUNDATION. School going, dropouts, or illiterate children in the villages form part of the Centre. Various activities conducted in the Centre are:—

Each Coaching Centre is run by an educated youth, selected from the village itself, who is provided training by SURYA FOUNDATION. School going, dropouts, or illiterate children in the villages form part of the Centre. Various activities conducted in the Centre are:—

(a) Education and literacy programmes

(b) Games

(c) Yoga & Karate

(d) Adventure programmes

(e) Shram Daan through community participation

(f) Personality Development Camps for children

(g) Tree Plantation

(h) Promotion of Organic Farming

(i) Gram Gaurav Mela

(j) Health Camp

(k) Awareness of Animal Husbandry

(l) Swachhata Abhiyan

(m) Awareness programmes regarding various government schemes.

Refresher and Advance Training capsules for teachers and supervisory staff are periodically conducted by the Foundation to keep them updated and to improve their qualities.

Activities in a coaching centre

A SURYA SANSKAR KENDRA (Coaching Centres) usually has 25 to 30 children in the age group of 6 to 14 years. The Centre functions from a room in the village Primary School or a Panchayat Ghar or any accommodation voluntarily provided by village social workers. It functions in the evening for two hours. Activities usually held in each SSK are:—

  • Prayer & meditation
  • Education
  • Yoga
  • Games
  • Recitation of patriotic songs
  • Special classes such as painting and karate
  • Cultural activities
  • ‘Shram Daan’ activities

Shram Daan is undertaken by the children on Sundays. The activities include cleaning of drains, tracks, roads, and temple area, and village well, pond and so on. Such activities, more often than not, motivate the elder persons in the village to join hands in the Shram Daan which ultimately benefits the village.

Personality Development Programmes

The Coaching Centres focus on the growth and development of the children so as to make them better citizens. For this purpose, besides routine activities in the Centres, various Personality Development Camps (PDC) are organised during the year as under:—

(a) Teachers PDC : To train and develop the teachers of the Coaching Centres. The camp, besides the personality development also includes initial training of the Teacher.

(b) Mini PDC : This camp is held for the children of Coaching Centres during school vacations. The 10 days camp, is non residential and aims to develop the mental and physical strength of children, their character building and so on.

(c) Rural PDC : This is an advanced camp wherein a few selected children from each Coaching Centre in a region undergo a 15 days residential camp away from their homes. Staying with the larger group away from the parents builds the confidence and improves the personality of the children.

This project is run and supervised by a team of dedicated staff.

Adarsh Gaon Yojana Magazine