LITERACY DEVELOPMENT THROUGH MOTHER TONGUE
Nirmaan works with communities that speak unique languages that are different from officially recognised state languages. These languages often do not have well-developed literature, labelled as kutcha languages and its speakers marginalised. Nirmaan assists such communities, to help build their respectability through:
1. Creating scientifically and culturally acceptable scripts
2. Writing down the language’s grammatical and other rules
3. Creating tools in their languages to develop adult & child literacy
4. Organizing workshops and encouraging wider use of their languages
5. Publishing different types of reading materials in their languages
Every education system uses the state language as the medium of teaching. If a child speaks a different language, there is now an additional barrier to overcome. Such barriers create challenges for laying the foundations in a child’s education. Very often, the child drops out of school. Nirmaan’s approach is to lay the foundations of education through its mother tongue. As the child gains confidence, the state language is introduced. This approach works well for both adults and children. Having acquired reading and writing skills through the mother tongue, the child is better equipped to face life, and its many challenges.
Working alongside the community through these and other ways, Nirmaan empowers for ongoing growth and development of their language, the fulcrum of their culture.
ASSISTANCE THROUGH HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
Different state governments provide funding for building small, but neat and pucca homes for tribal families. This is a huge help that tribal families appreciate. However, due to various reasons such as inability to process papers on time, lack of skills in construction, difficulties in accessing approved funds etc., they are often forced to depend on an external contractor. In the end, the tribal family often do not get their house completed as originally dreamt of. Nirmaan assists the community through
1. Providing training and guidance in low-cost technology for building better homes
2. Mobilizing the community to support and help one another
3. Building the community’s capacity in house construction skills
With better skills and management, they are excited to complete the work on their own and happy to live in homes that they have confidently built. With the community equipped, they do not then have to depend on external contractors for their own needs.
SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH AGRICULTURE
Agriculture is the main source of income and sustenance for every community Nirmaan works with. There are three primary areas that these communities have expressed as needs for building sustainability in their agriculture practices.
1. Methods and practices in cultivating: Most farmers employ traditional agriculture practices that may be adapted to simple, but effective modern farming practices, giving better crop outputs.
2. Finding money for cultivation and staying out of debt: Farmers mostly depend on loans, often at high interest rates (20–60%) Learning to manage within their income and saving as much as possible can build their capacity to never lose money on interest; leading to better farm returns and no money loss.
3. Better Market: When a farmer is distressed with huge loans, he often sells his farm produce at whatever rates offered. Several farmers joining together to negotiate prices is a proven method that benefits the farmer.
Nirmaan focusses on developing these capacities in farmers so that they get better returns for their efforts and investments.
Projects In Our Horizon
EMPLOYMENT & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Create opportunities for employment, while simultaneously fostering entrepreneurial capabilities. This would lead to community based income generation projects that are self-sustainable in the long run.
RESEARCH & DOCUMENTATION
Seek to foster pride in the community in regards to their own heritage, culture and lifestyle through research projects that would help document a communities legacy. This develops the communities empowerment through self-respect.
Women serve as the bedrock for many marginalised language groups. Their empowerment would affect systemic change throughout the community, leading to higher quality of life and the prolonged well-being of their children.