Name of NTI Alumni: Shanti Devi aka Harshita
Name of the Project Initiated: Jagdish Shikshan Sansthan (Jagdish Educational Academy)
Haibatpur, Tehsil Bilgram – District- Hardoi – Uttar-Pradesh
Alumni background Before studying at NTI
Before coming to Nagaloka, she was undergoing her Graduation in Arts, and teaching in Sardar Patel Inter College at Bhangarh at Hardoi District of UP. Her family is inspired by the mission of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and the teaching of the Buddha. In addition, she was also closely working with the Youth Buddhist Society of India based in Sankisha, which works throughout India. People from Sankshi believe that Bhagwan Buddha had given his first preaching to Mahaprajapati Gautami who was Siddarth Gautama’s step mother. Mrs. Harshita’s father was appointed as a president in the Youth Buddhist Society of India and she was also working in disseminating Buddha’s words and Buddhist culture around Hardoi District of Uttar-Pradesh. She was informed by the Youth Buddhist Society of India about Nagaloka and its Dhamma-Shekhiye training. Then she came to Nagalaka in 2013 and underwent the training.
Changes occurred after the NTI course
She was unaware of the Meditation, vast teaching of the Buddha as well as Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar thoroughly. She gained immense knowledge of the same and sharpened her understanding as to not only Buddha-Dhamma-Sangha but also the crucial role of Babasaheb Ambedkar in the revival of Dhamma in India. She developed confidence in terms of her skills and capability. Currently, she is utilizing her confidence and learning at Hardoi District of Uttar Pradesh by disseminating the words of the Buddha and the Social Movement led by Babasaheb Ambedkar. For the past few years, she has been persistently healing people through the Dhamma.
She is now a Principle of a School which is named Jagdish Shikshan Sansthan (Jagdish Educational Academy) is a middle school (1st – 8th class) where she along with her husband teach students. Apart from the curriculum, they also teach Chikun, Meditation, and the basic teaching of the Buddha and the life and the Mission of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. The students of school get inspired by both Personalities and their work towards reconstructing a society based on the Buddhist Principles.
The School was established by one of the Ambedkarites-Buddhist, in 2016-17, who was inspired by the Mission of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The school charges a minimum fee (100 RS per Month) from the students and offers free education to those who are from marginalized communities and are extremely needy and cannot afford the same. Moreover, the school also provides Oats, stationeries, etc to the students. There are also a few orphaned students who are pursuing their education free of cost. A total of 160 students are currently pursuing their education in the School.
Marginalized students and orphans
At present they do not have a donor who can support students financially.
There are 8 staff members, including Harshita and her husband who play a crucial role in teaching and administration of the teaching and admin of the School. All staff members are paid very little, around 2 thousand per month.
Mrs. Harshita wants to arrange a vehicle for students so they can come without waiting for any private vehicle. The students come to school around 5 KM away. Some of them come by walking, bicycle, etc. The school is till 8th class, and students who passed out from the same school used to have no idea of what they should do next. Therefore she wants to scale her school at least till the 12th class.
The principal outcome of the project is that the girls who studied in the school gained immense confidence to get higher education out of their villages. Many of the Girls students studied in her school are currently pursuing their higher education out of their villages. Not only the students but the parents of such students also got reasonable confidence to send their children out for higher education, including reasonable knowledge about the Dhamma and the contribution made by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar for reconstructing the just society.
Mrs. Harshita and her husband need a few experienced and trained staff members at school who can take the activities and school forward and provide proper guidance to the students and their families. Many genuine students did not get any financial support for pursuing their higher education. There are no such schools where students can get admission after 8th class. Other schools charge high fees, which cannot be afforded by them.
Many students cannot even afford stationery and uniform, she needs support for that. Moreover, she teaches meditation and other dhamma teachings to the students but they do not have a proper place or vihara for the same. If it constructs, students get inspired to do so.
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