Outcast and Discriminated on basis of caste and class, the Pardhis have faced persecution for centuries. In 2017, while documenting their cases and realising that lack of Education is an important factor in their disrcimination. The PPT started the first ever Educaion and Cultur Center for children of the Pardhi Tribe.
Aher Vahegao was the home to 14 Pardhi families, surrounded by lush green fields of cotton, bajra, jowar, and sugarcane. In an attempt to oust the Pardhis, the villagers broke their utensils, charred their belongings, thrashed their people and burnt their houses down to ashes. The Pardhis had to relocate to the interior of the farmlands, cast away from the village. They live without water and electricity. Most of the children have no proper clothes to wear, some run around naked in harsh winters. Noor Khaas Bhosale, a resident of Aher Vahegaon, had to deal mental suffering by the hands of the local police who killed her husband in the pretext of a robbery in police custody. This is the harsh reality that the Pardhis face on a daily basis. No awareness and no education have driven the Pardhis to lead an improvised existence on the fringes of society, repeatedly being forced to move from one area to another. Travelling in small groups they carry with them essential items of daily needs along with it - cattle, goats, hens and plastic sheets on bamboo poles to make their temporary homes. No access to food security, water, healthcare the tribe was dangerously taking chances with malnutrition and diseases.
A Meeting was convened in the fields and it was decided to start the center as soon as possible, with a few bamboos, a shade, and cloth as walls. The first ever Education Center started amidst crowing chickens and curious faces.
The Pardhis and most of the community till date have had no access to proper education. Living in the fringes of civilisation and society for so long, they have lost touch to what kind of a life a globalised world (Even in rural areas) was living in. The Pardhi Education Center is a bridge between the tribal community and the main stream society they have been sidelined from. It is not only an attempt to rehabilitate, but also give them fundamental rights while also preserving their unique culture and traditions.
With this in view, the main aims of the center are:
We are all that these kids have. The government is of no help. Before the school started, it was difficult to get them seated in a place for more than an hour. Now, a change is clearly visible in their personality and also in their appearance.
- Kududas Kamble / Social Worker
I used to play in the jungle and collect insects. I like coming to the school now and sitting there, it's more fun.
- Sonali Neva Bhosle, Student, Age - 7
As a non-profit, all resources go towards funding workshops and other educational/documentation activities. You can donate any amount to support our different projects or invite us to conduct workshops for you or your institute. We are also looking for long-term funding to mount national projects in communities across the country.