Sarika Gharu’s ‘motherly concern’ changing lives of tribal kids

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 May 2018 09:30:09


By Tara Chettur,

Children living in tribal hinterland of Madhya Pradesh are not too close to science as is children of other parts of State. After noticing this difference, a government teacher from Hoshangabad, Sarika Gharu embarked on a unique mission that is to bring science awareness among tribal children and her efforts have started to bear the fruits.

“Prevalent superstitious beliefs among marginalised sector in tribal areas in Madhya Pradesh needed a breakthrough. During my internship studies after graduation, I realised that there is need to spread science awareness among tribal children so that they could be brought into main stream,” said Sarika Gharu while to ‘The Hitavada’.

Sarika Gharu’s endeavour to bring science literacy among tribal children has earned reputation of science communicator. She believes that children could be better taught when the relation between teacher children turns out akin to relation of mother children.
“School education hardly gives opportunity to children to love science and problem is more grave among tribal children who are very close to nature and learn scientific process through mother nature but are unable to express it due to raw knowledge” she said.

She is in mid-thirties and unmarried, but she is bringing science awareness into the young minds of scores of tribal children and her role in life of these children is not less than a mother.
“Giving birth does not make you mother, but empowering children with right kind of education is one of the main responsibilities of a mother,” she opines.

She added that there are many students in Gond, Bhil and Bhariya and Baiga community who posses immense knowledge of flora and fauna and are inclined towards scientific experiments. This innate ability of them got highlighted in highlighted in many workshops. The main tribes in Madhya Pradesh are Gond, Bhil, Baiga, Korku, Bhariya etc. Dhar, Jhabua and Mandla, Alirajpur, Badwani districts have a more than 50 per cent tribal population where she had conducted maximum number of workshops. In past 15 years, she had done many workshops and training programmes and has trained around 6,000 children from marginalised sector of society and this work she is doing at free of cost at voluntary level. Her small but significant steps to bring science literacy among tribal children has earned accolades for her. It was in February this year that she bagged the national award from Ministry of Science and Technology for outstanding efforts in Science and Technology for popularising science among children.