India is a diverse land and a homogenous mixture of multiple tribes and ethnicities . The tribal communities in India form the lowest strata of the society as they are often left unnoticed. Governments come and go and the urban urbanise further but minimal attention is given to the development of the tribal areas.
Sometimes it takes the people to reach out to the government and not the leaders. Mohan Lal Ahaari is one such name. Belonging to the Meena tribe of Khervada Block, Udaipur, Rajasthan; Mohan was born to a father who worked in a factory and a mother who worked as a domestic help. Hailing to a family with a conservative mindset, Mohan grew up believing that education and literacy were futile. As a result, he dropped out of school after 10th. Expecting to search work just like his parents, destiny had something else in store for him.
It was his contact with Seva Mandir, a nonprofit organization in southern Rajasthan that gave his life meaning and direction. In the company of his friends, he came to understand the importance of education and decided to complete his education. He did volunteering at Seva Mandir for about one and a half years. Born to an illiterate couple, it was almost ironical how his relationship was going to strengthen with the Education sector.
He joined the Alpha Education Society and started working as a volunteer while continuing his studies. With the help of his acquaintances in these organizations and his friends, he started a Youth Club in 2012. The first task he took up was to get the roads paved which otherwise were just a trail full of dust. The word spread and the local youth came forward for the initiative. This felicity abled and boosted Mohan to go forward. He wanted to reach out to the government and work in accordance with the government. This led to his introduction to CYC Pravah. Due to the success of his Youth Club initiative, he got selected for the “Smile Internship”. As an intern, he got to visit villages and raise local issues such as nursing, education, effectiveness of government schemes,etc. It was during this time he came to know about UnManifesto which was a nationwide campaign initiated by CYC-PRAVAH and supported by UNFPA. With the objective of engaging youth participation in the political process and bringing social inclusion and effectively involving government bodies for a change, this campaign ran across 20 states and Union Territories of the country.
Mohan wanted to spread the light of education in his area. UnManifesto served as the ideal platform for him to raise issues regarding education. Along with his team mates, he set out to understand the true condition and nature of education in his district. They tried to find reasons as to why children dropped out of schools. After a laborious ordeal, they handed a manifesto to the Education Officer, Ashok Gupta, stating their demands regarding Right To Education. The manifesto included a total of eight villages. Further he worked to help the tribal people get their land and also went on to convince the local governance to open Information Centres or put Information Boards in front of their offices so that the local people can become aware of various schemes of the government and benefit from them.
Story by : Ashita Rathore | TOC
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