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मंदार शिंदे
Mandar Shinde

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Innovative Teachers

Bridging the Gap between Online and Offline

1. Jagadish Kude is a primary teacher from Jalna, Maharashtra. During the lockdown period (because of COVID-19), he couldn't reach out to students in his school. They lived in Shriram Tanda area and most of the parents did not own a smartphone. Jagadish sir approached the youth that had returned to the villages from cities due to lockdown. They had smartphones with internet connection. Sir requested the youth to help at least one student each, living in the same area. The youth responded positively. None of the students in this area is left out now. The youth would visit the students on a stipulated date and time. The homework is communicated to students personally. Students take down notes in their notebooks. The youth would take photos of previous homework completed by the students, to be shared with Jagadish sir.

2. Keshav Pawar is a teacher from Vanisangam, Taluka Sonpeth, District Parbhani. He knew that some parents could not join the school Whatsapp group due to lack of resources. Worried about the students, Keshav sir approached the owner of a xerox (photocopier) shop in the village. Sir started sending photos of homework to the shop owner, who would make multiple photocopies of it and keep them available at the shop. Parents would visit the shop at different times during the day, to collect the copies. Keshav sir also prepares audio clips for students whose parents do not own a smartphone but use a simple phone. Teachers returned to the village due to lockdown are also helping in this activity, along with the member of local School Management Committee, Mr. Sandipan Zirape.

3. Prakash Chavan is a teacher from Karanjwan, Taluka Dindori, District Nashik. His self-discipline of preparing notes for further lessons and next month's activities has helped during lockdown period. The notes are laminated and distributed among students for self-study. Since the distribution took place before lockdown, the students already had worksheets with them during the lockdown period. The laminated sheets were rotated among the students in the village, so that entire homework was covered by all the students, without attending the school. Prakash sir cannot enter the village due to current restrictions, but he has collaborated with the health workers visiting the village for a health survey. The homework is distributed among the parents through the health workers. Previous sheets are also collected at the same time. Considering the huge cost of laminating sheets for every lesson, Prakash sir purchased a lamination machine on his own. The shops are closed during the lockdown period, baut Prakash sir is able to continue his work with the help of this machine at home.

(As reported by Vandana Dhaneshwar for Daily Divya Marathi, May 2020)


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Contemporary Art

Contemporary art is actually the documentation of concurrent objects and incidences. Be it in the form of paintings, stories, sculptures, buildings, and so on.

Many times I wonder what'll future historians conclude about architecture or art in our times? We're just making (substandard) copies of ancient and folk art/literary forms.

Temples built in the 21st century imitate the 12th or 16th century architecture. Wall paintings in the year 2020 demonstrate natural landscapes of imaginary forests and mountains, which we have destroyed decades ago. Even our clothes are full of Buddha and Durga prints (irrespective of religious affiliations). No contemporary motifs such as cars and bikes and machines are found in cloth print. Don't we have enough ideas about this? Or don't we feel these objects as our own creation? Or we're so overwhelmed with the past that we don't want to look around when we need inspiration for art...

We need deliberate efforts in creating something that would be called 'our own art' in the future history books. Is someone reading this? I hope you are.

- Mandar Shinde


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

MMS on Credible Policy Reforms

Important views on policy reforms by Dr. Manmohan Singh. We cannot afford to ignore such knowledgeable persons.

(Click on image to read)


Monday, May 11, 2020

The Great Indian Labour Crisis 2020

Shivam Vij has written an important and detailed article on the migrant labour crisis (The Print, May 11, 2020). https://theprint.in/opinion/indias-heartless-capitalists-deserve-the-labour-shortages-they-are-about-to-be-hit-with/418845/

As mentioned in the article, the labourers are not being paid at this hour of crisis, but it's unlikely to think of a revolt simply because they cannot afford to feel emotionally hurt and seek revenge against the heartless capitalists who've betrayed them today. They'll have to give in and return to work, thanks to our social security assurance, and I'm afraid there'll be increased scope for exploitation, since the labourers will be desperately in need of a job, in the absence of any concrete policy or support coming from the government.

Working hours have been increased from 8 to 12 per day, which is a significant example of the state facilitating further exploitation of the labourers. We need, without delay, a concrete policy about labour welfare and survival, with specific focus on the issues arising out of migration.

- Mandar Shinde