Samanta Foundation has been working towards developing localised content. The idea of doing so comes from the fact that Van Gujjar as a community have a spoken language called Gurjari. It is a mix of Dogri, Punjabi with some elements of Urdu and Arabic. Our work with the community over a period of almost 20 months has introduced us to the conversations, words, anecdotes, songs, stories, myths, customs, traditions and lifestyles. An important component of this experience has been - Spoken Language and Lifestyle (living in harmony with forest).
We have working on evaluating the potential to build a bridge between School Education and Forest Communities. Our experience and learnings while being with the communities for a substantial period have provided a good basis to develop localised content. This will have a direct impact on the interest, participation, engagement and learning outcomes of children. The ease of entry in schools this could provide to the children would have phenomenal impact in the long run.
Phase II - Process
We have followed a step by step process that involved
1. Mobilising community consensus
2. Identify youth and community members willing to be a part
3. Work on developing a word dictionary and documenting songs etc
4. Start working with children on identifying words
5. Work with children to draw word representations
6. Assemble anddesign
Contributions by Children and Youth
We have prepared a first draft and would be publishing it. This would be shared with the community and a feedback process is to be initiated. We will also be introducing it among children. We intend to complete the feedback process on a 6 month basis. The books would be revised as per the community guidelines and feedback.