The children of Santal tribal community in Tamulpur, Baksa Dt., Assam need to be educated so that the whole community can move towards a brighter future. Santal tribal community in Lingurkatta and Saphkatta is very poor and illiterate. Many of them do not have their own land, often cultivating in other’s land for a 50:50 share of produce. Three social evils of alcoholism, illiteracy and superstitions keep them poor and undeveloped. Santals are looked down by other communities due to these reasons. They don’t have sufficient self-esteem when they interact with other tribal communities, and hence they are easily exploited. They are also illiterate without any knowledge of the value of education and they don’t bother to educate their children in good schools. There are several Government schools where they get free food, clothing and books. Many send their children to these schools to avail free food. But the education in these government schools is pathetic as the teachers are frequently absent. These schools also don’t have good facilities for the children to learn.
The only way to help them to come out of their illiteracy, alcoholism, superstitious beliefs is EDUCATION. Through regular visits and conscientization, our contact person has been able to convince some of the parents, and 10 children are ready to be admitted an English medium school. The villages are 6-7 kilometers away from the school. In order to assure the regular attendance, learning and dignified behavior these children should be in hostels. Even if they are provided with all facilities to study, due to their deep rooted stigma they may struggle to compete with others or even drop out. But the aim is to help this generation to begin to change the stigma attached to their tribal community by interacting and competing with others in a healthy atmosphere. Their stay in the hostel will help them develop social, psychological skills needed for a healthy life, and in the long run, help the community as a whole.
The total fee per child for the year comes to Rs. 23,400 per year including admission, tuition, school accessories, and hostel.