"भैया जंगल में हमारे पूर्वज 100 साल से रह रहे है, हम तो यहाँ की हर आवाज़, जानवर, पेड़ से वाक़िफ़ है'
As we carry on our work in Education with the motto of 'Education access for All, leading to holistic development of Communities' in the forest areas, the above lines from Van Gujjars and Taungyas are often shared with us. They highlight the human connect and message flow from one corner of the forest to the other. This was common practice even among Mising tribals in upper Assam region. I worked with the Mising tribe in and around the Kaziranga National Park and felt that human networks still overrule digital ones. As we travelled along the flood plains of Brahmaputra we often left a trail of 'humans' as markers for anyone to know that we were just there and direction we moved towards. Those experiences and the ones I have with the Van Gujjars in the region are synonymous. Here also human information exchange is so vital to the lifeline of the people on a day to day basis.
The manner in which we have carried on our at home learning with the children in the COVID times is tantamount to these realities. We prepared learning kits which reached the children as they travelled along cities, highways, forest check-posts, forest roads, milk sellers and finally to the parents who handed them to the children. The children have been continously engaged with these learning kits and are enjoying the process of ' learning through activities'. The Covid handbook and the activities related to it has gain maximum attention of the children as they enoyed sharing their learning with their parents and others around. In these times of COVID our at home learning kits have been a ray of hope for the kids who dont have access to online classes.