were also the World

were also the World T20 Champions.“There is no question of taking the West Indies teamlightly as they have always posed a challenge for us and Iforesee a close series although we have a clear edge in theTest match format and we are the number one team” he added Inzamam said Pakistan would need to win the Test seriesto retain their number one ranking as India were playingaround 13 Tests in their home international season startingwith the series against New Zealand For all the latest Sports News download Indian Express App More Top NewsChhapi Gujarat: A winter afternoon in Chhapi has all the components that go into the making of an idyllic countryside The gentle warmth of the sun a maze of alleys women running household errands men throwing furrowed looks at restless children and five young men staring blankly into the distance The buzz of the assembly elections only a day away seems distant The occasional goods train cuts through the somnolence only for the hush to descend again A young man idly takes out a newspaper others peer into it "Modi is a low caste: Mani Shankar Aiyar" screams the headline of the leading Gujarati language daily "See what this leader said Ye theek nahi hai (this is not right)" says Bhavesh Kumar carelessly folding the newspaper and throwing it on a heap of cartons The other four men nod quite uncaring of the twist the paper has given to the Congress leader’s statement by linking it to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s caste Away from prime time news and its fulminating anchors news that Aiyar called Modi a ‘neech aadmi’ (low life) has finally reached Chhapi which falls in Vadgam constituency of north Gujarat’s Banaskantha district The constituency voteson Thursdayin the second and final phase of the assembly elections File image of Mani Shankar Aiyar Reuters The young men laugh on hearing that the comment occupied prime time slots across TV channels prompting the Congress to suspend the senior politician Then an element of seriousness sets in the ennui giving way to searching questions and worries about the future "If only this much time was spent discussing the lack of jobs even for qualified people like us" Bhawesh laments Bhawesh a Dalit is the son of a government school teacher He runs a mobile repairing shop in the Chhapi village market abutting the local railway station The 29-year-old has completed MA (Master of Arts) as well as BEd (Bachelor of Education) "I had scored over 80 percent in the Class 12 board exam Subsequently I also completed the Primary Teachers Certificate (PTC) course But then the government made TET (Teachers Eligibility Test) compulsory and my PTC course had no value anymore" he says TET was made mandatory for recruitment of teachers in many states after the enactment of the Right to Education Act "I have taken the test thrice but missed out for a few points I don’t like it here (running a shop) anymore" Bhawesh says frustration writ large on his face After paying a rent of Rs 1500 and other establishment costs he is left with just Rs 8000-9000 every month He says the growing popularity of 4G high-speed mobile services has robbed him off a major source of income as people don’t flock to him anymore to get songs or movies downloaded Kaushik Rawat Bhawesh’s friend seconds him Rawat’s bloodshot eyes are a clear giveaway that he is inebriated not very surprising in a dry state with a flourishing black market Rawats are classified as a Scheduled Caste community in Gujarat "Look at you you are 29 and single But alcohol has turned you into a 40-year-old Who will marry you now" Bhawesh and Sanjay Thakore playfully admonish their friend who works at one of the many diamond polishing units in Vadgam for a paltry pay The much-touted Gujarat model of development seem to have skipped this part of Gujarat completely the youths say "In dry state Gujarat it’s not alcohol but jobs that seem to have dried up" quips Bhawesh They are not first-time voters and elections do not excite them anymore Asked about their voting choices the Dalits in the group say in a matter-of-fact tone that they choose Congress while Thakore says he supports the BJP "knowing well" that in this Dalit-Muslim dominated area its prospects are not that bright The constituency is witnessing a fight between Congress-backed independent candidate Jignesh Mevani and BJP’s Vijay Chakravarti Congress’ Manibhai Vaghela won the last election but has withdrawn this time following the party’s decision to back Mevani The results for the 9 and 14 December election will be announced on 18 December Click here for detailed coverage of Gujarat Assembly Election 2017 Mumbai: While two ‘Govindas’ — one each in Palghar district and Airoli in Navi Mumbai — died in Dahi Handi-related incidents 117 others were injured at different places in Mumbai while forming human pyramids as part of the festival that was celebrated with fervour on Tuesday officials said In Palghar the 21-year-old Govinda died after he suffered an epileptic attack during the celebrations while in Airoli the 34-year-old victim died of electrocution The deceased in Palghar was identified as Rohan Kini police said "He was a part of a human pyramid He got down from the pyramid after breaking the handi But soon afterwards he suffered an epileptic attack and he died while being taken to a hospital in Palghar around 630 pm" police said File image of Dahi Handi celebrations in Mumbai IBN Lokmat The victim in Airoli was identified as Jayesh Sarle police said "The incident took place at a Dahi Handi event organised at a school ground in Airoli around 630 pm Jayesh who was also a Govinda was standing near the gate of the venue when he came in contact with a live wire" a senior official attached to Rabale police station said The victim was taken to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead he said In Mumbai as many as 117 Govindas suffered injuries during the celebrations civic officials said A statement issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said "By 9 pm as many as 117 Govindas were reported to have received injuries while celebrating Dahi Handi at different locations of the city" "The injured are receiving treatment in different hospitals including KEM Nair Siddharth GT and Sion hospital All were reported to be stable" it said Across Maharashtra ‘Govinda’ troupes compete to form multi-tier pyramids and break pitchers of curd and buttermilk tied high above the ground on this day Rain and fear of injuries failed to dampen the spirit of ‘Govindas’ as hundreds of them were seen moving around in trucks and tempos travelling from one ‘handi’ venue to another in Mumbai The festival which marks the birth of Lord Krishna was celebrated with enthusiasm across the city including in areas like Ghatkopar Dadar Lalbaug and Bhandup Organisers of Dahi Handi competitions however said this year the celebrations were relatively low-key in view of the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) income tax woes and demonetisation Member of a mandal said "After the demonetisation several mandals substantially reduced the prize money offered to the Govinda troupes" Another member said "While demonetisation has slightly hit the cash flow the implementation of GST has made the people doubly cautious as they fear that the Income Tax department may come knocking any time Therefore many have decided to reduce the prize money" Last week the state government had assured the Bombay High Court during the hearing on a PIL that it would ensure that children below 14 years of age would not participate in formation of Dahi Handi pyramids The high court however had refused to impose any restriction on the height of human pyramid formations Secretary of Dahi Handi Samanvay Samiti Kamlesh Bhoir said "After the high court removed the restrictions on the height of pyramids we were only left with the task of ensuring that children under the age of 14 do not participate in forming the human pyramids" The year 2017 provided me the privilege of visiting over 200 teachers in 75 schools across districts as far apart as Yadgir in Karnataka and Udhamsinghnagar and Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand The schools I visited and the teachers I met were a selection from among those recommended by my colleagues who have spent years working in these regions My visits — let us call these Good Schools/Good Teachers — were meant to synthesise evidence and insights that could support or weaken the assertion that these were good schools (and teachers) Each school may be a case study by itself but when one looks at them in a panorama the richness of common threads that run across them is humbling In my earlier columns in this series (across parts one two three and four) I have written about some of the striking features that exemplify such schools and teachers In this essay I shall attempt to share my abiding memory of the many femaleteachers I met in these schools One observed how these teachers worked One tried to understand their perspectives on education and see how these translated into equity and quality in the classrooms We talked about pedagogy about children and learning about their own development as professionals — but one was also accorded the privilege of glimpses into their everyday lives and routines One marvelled at how they juggled multiple responsibilities without losing composure or hope and understood how much the progressive outlook and support of husbands in-laws and parents enabled and strengthened these women In our conversations the Scooty of the female teacher became a symbol of their spirit As did the unattended grocer’s shop whose owner had gone to help his teacher-wife receive children at the bus stand for a sports event I marvelled at the young mother with an infant at her hip leaving her ‘sasural’ with the blessings of a joint family to take up a posting at a distant village It was a journey of discovery and running through this was a core of self-belief courage and optimism that defines what it means to be a woman who isateacher in rural India A core of self-belief courage and optimism defines what it means to be a woman who is a teacher in rural India REUTERS/File Photo *** In the hills of Garhwal is the village of Gamdidgaon — a gentle winding uphill trek of around two km from the main road During monsoons the clouds pass softly over the roof of the school building Madhulika Thapliyal is the head teacher of the primary school and is assisted by Pavitra Rawat The two share the teaching of all subjects for the five classes Madhulika became a teacher in 1993 and it is now 11 years since she moved to Gamdidgaon where she has built a deep and lasting relationship with the community Madhulika lives in a place called Kutchidevi which is many miles away Her day begins at 4 am as she prepares food for the joint family By 7 am she takes a bus to the point nearest to Gamdidgaon From there she takes a shared auto to the base of the hill for the two-km trudge uphill Every monsoon on more than one occasion Madhulika sinks waist deep in slush at some point or the other duringher trek to the school A friendly tree branch enables her to haul herself up and proceed She must be at school by 745 am; she has never been late She has proven to be a fine teacher too If you ask Madhulika what makes her such a fine teacher she will just shrug and say ‘I am not doing anything special’ On observing her one notices a teacher of some skill who ensures every child is engaged Further observation reveals the children are completely at home in the classroom Even on the rainiest days 36 of the 39 children will be at school in time for the morning assembly — they do not want to miss even a day Often in lonely outposts like Gamdidgaon the learning achievements of first generation learners are only an incidental indicator of school quality The ability of children to discuss issues freely with their teacher or the way they take turns to write ‘the news of the day’ on the blackboard in the courtyard is a more nuanced indicator On this board one sees the news item — ‘Shivraj’s father is coming today from Dehradun’ — indicating what an important event it is for the village Or one might read ‘In our village the great-grandmother of Pankaj has fallen very ill’ demonstrating concern for the health of a classmate’s dear one For Madhulika this village news bulletin is an important indicator of children’s abilities to express themselves and the social values they are developing in her school The school at Gamdigaon *** Thousands of miles south is the tribal hamlet of Geddada Narayana Thanda in Surpur Block of Yadgir district one of the most disadvantaged regions in the country The primary school is the window to a better future for the children It is here that Kashibai began teaching in 2003 Married to an instructor in an ITI School she lives in a town some miles away and commutes to school on her Scooty Anyone observing her classrooms will see how well the children have been prepared to study independently and to help each other The quality of conversations with the children will indicate the quality of learning here In the Karnataka School Quality assessment a few years ago her school was rated the best among the lower primary schools in Surpur At her school in a small alcove Kashibai has curated a superb collection of teaching aids meticulously selected by her Even during vacations to Dharwad or Bengaluru Kashibai keeps an eye open for such material and makes time to visit book publishers and education fairs Kashibai’s remarkable work has not gone unnoticed In 2015 she won the best teacher award for Yadgir District and was among eight teachers from Karnataka who presented her experiences at the conference organised by MHRD in Bhubaneswar The people of Geddala Narayana Thanda will never let her go *** Gyansu is just a few kilometres from Uttarkashi town The Primary School is an old establishment Always a good school it has an even better reputation these days because of head teacher Rameshwari Lingwal and her colleague Darbeshwari Bahuguna Rameshwari joined the education department in 2001 and was posted to a remote village school in Chinyali Block many miles away from home On her first day she left home at 7 am but reached school only at 1 pm to be greeted by a locked gate Next morning a determined Rameshwari was able to reach school by 11 am but realised that the only way she could work would be if she were to live in that village Rameshwari was married and had a two-month-old daughter Leaving her husband and in-laws behind she found accommodation in the village and for the next five years she lived there with her daughter away from husband and family Once in two months she would visit home but otherwise was completely devoted to the school She would carry her infant to school and everywhere she went Very quickly she had won the hearts of the people of Banaut village In 2010 she was transferred to Gyansu Life is relatively better organised home is not far from Gyansu and her husband runs a shop in Uttarkashi Of course she does not have a minute to spare When home she looks after her 90-year-old father-in-law and other elderly members She gets up early to cook for the family and by 7 am she is ready to leave for school with optimism and good cheer Rameshwari maintains a daily diary and says ‘To reflect on what went well and what did not during the day is important because every day is a fresh experience’ In many government schools teachers go the extra mile for their economically and academically disadvantaged children Here at Gyansu while the government provides free uniforms for all the girls and all the children from the SC community there are a few boys who cannot afford to buy the uniform Rameshwari and Darbeshwari fork out their personal money for these boys For Rameshwari the concept of Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) never seemed like a new introduction She says ‘We know each child intimately and know what she has learnt Our children do not even know whether we are assessing them it is a natural part of a day’s teaching and learning at school’ Rameshwari’s work has received more recognition recently In 2015 she was awarded the Rajya Shikshak Puraskar She modestly says ‘This was always a good school and all the teachers here were always dedicated’ At the Gyansu school *** The district of Udhamsinghnagar is all flatland and plains On both sides of the road as far as eye can see are vast fields In the winter they are green with the early shoots of wheat and by March they are tall and brown ready for harvest The district shares its southern border with Uttar Pradesh and has more in common with this state than with the other districts of Uttarakhand It was on a crisp winter morning that we visited the primary School in the village of Matiyayi in Sitargunj Block Managing the school of 107 children was Meena Rana Matiyayi is made up of people from the Tharu tribal community and the Sikh community Meena belongs to the tribal community and 15 years ago began here as a temporary help and a shiksha mitra Over time with a dynamic head teacher called Nemaichand Matiyayi developed into a good school Meena learnt and grew along the way and was appointed teacher in due course After Nemaichand’s transfer Meena now manages the school Married at the age of 16 she went to her ‘sasural’ where her father-in-law was more than a father to her He gave her a cycle and insisted that she complete her Intermediate course in the nearby town of Sitargunj She did her BA too By then she was also the mother of three children It was after her third child that her father-in-law encouraged her to take the shiksha mitra role at Matiyayi Primary School Her husband too was a pillar of support During her college days if she offered to work in the fields he would say ‘Abhi tumhare padhaayi ke din hain’ Some years later as she settled into her teacher’s role in Matiyayi her husband encouraged her to learn farming It was a big thing says Meena since farming is considered a male bastion and to this day Meena admires her husband for encouraging her to work at the farm Her school has a fine library and she is inordinately proud when she says ‘Bacche koshish karke padh lete hain’ She is shy but her confidence peeps out when she says ‘If the school is good even the rich farmers will send their children here Now I just phone the parents if I have to discuss anything and they come immediately’ It is — one must remember — a world where gender equality is a far cry but these women are navigating their path through their actions rather than words. Gaining that equality sometimes in a supportive environment of the immediate family and sometimes not These are just a few vignettes and glimpses from the lives of these heroes ordinary people doing extraordinary things Next time when someone discusses rural government schools do remember to share the stories of Rameshwari Meena Kashibai and Madhulika There are many many more S Giridhar is the Chief Operating Officer of Azim Premji University and can be contacted on [email protected] Panaji: Goa Forward Party an alliance partner of the ruling BJP on Tuesday said the Centre’s notification on sale and purchase of cattle for slaughtering may lead the farmers and meat traders to penury Representational image Reuters The new rules notified recently by the Union environment ministry ban the sale or purchase of bulls cows camels for slaughter houses or for sacrifice for religious purpose "I am not happy with the new rules The new rules can lead the farmers and meat traders to penury and affect the leather and hospitality industry" GFP leader Vijai Sardesai who is also Goa’s agriculture minister told reporters in Margao Sardesai said the rules were formulated haphazardly However he was quick enough to add that "this is the opinion of Goa Forward Party and should not be considered as that of the government" The Centre recently banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter The environment ministry notified the stringent Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules 2017 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act Sardesai ruled out that the notification has resulted in beef shortage in the state as reported in a section of media and instead blamed the "market forces" for trying to take advantage of the situation "One day there is beef shortage in Goa and another day there is enough supply There is a possibility that some market forces are playing a role in it Someone is trying to increase the rate of beef in guise of the recent developments" he said The meat selling community in the state has expressed fears that the Centre’s notification may lead to shortage of beef However the state-run Goa Meat Complex Limited (GMCL) has ruled out any such crisisinspired by Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes.

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