1. Description of Our Community
Our school is situated approximately 10 km away from Churu district and close to Bissau, a very small town of Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan in India. Since our area is a part of the Thar Desert, so this dry land offers little possibility for agriculture & farming but it has a rich heritage of ancient ‘Havelies and Frescos’. That’s why the main occupation of people of Shekhawai region is business. The trend of settling down abroad in search of employment is also very prevalent amongst locals. Bissau presents a perfect blend of multi-cultural communities living together in harmony. The major two communities of this area are Hindus and Muslims. The lives of people are free from any kind of pomp and show of metropolitan cities. In terms of status of women, there is not much difference in both the communities. For generations women are strictly associated to household chores. Their contribution in the outside world is almost nil. Inspite of this rigid division of their roles, some brave women like Ms. Poonam Gupta (Social Worker and Business Women), Dr Lakshmi Sharma (Principal), Ms. Rehana Riyaz(Politician), Ms. Archana Bhardwaj (Administrative Officer), Mr. Rajendra Rathor (Politician) etc went against the wind and have acquired a significant position in the society.
2. Summary of Our Project
Gender equality and women empowerment are excessively talked about topics in the whole world and especially in Indian society. When it comes to Shekhawati region, we find this issue irrelevant, insignificant and a matter which is prohibited to be discussed upon and raised amongst common mass. Shekhawati for generations have been a patriarchal society and discrimination against women is part of this culture. In this fast pacing and progressive modern era too, expecting gender equality is a myth in our region where birth of baby girl is considered as bane and foeticide, abandoning girl child are very common practices. Girls here are deprived of their right to education. Consequently the data showing sex ratio of this region is very dismal and disheartening. Despite these odds, women of Shekhawati are exclusively known for their grit and determination. Inspiring stories of such women have been focused upon in our project to create awareness amongst people about gender equality. Our project highlights tribulations and troubles of women of this area and showcases the achievements of some successful women of Shekhawati region who have acclaimed national and international fame, all because of their outstanding talent and undying spirit to fight with oppressive rituals and traditions.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
The computer and internet facilities are very good. A lease line has been procured for the whole school with speed of 100 Kbps. The school campus is WiFi enabled and access given to all staff and students working on projects.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
A. Age old social rituals and traditions:- As per the belief of locals, women are supposed to keep themselves locked inside the house and if they come in front of strangers and elders of their house they must veil their faces. In this scenario, it was very difficult for us to strike up a conversation with them about the problems and hardships which they suffer from in their day to day life. Wherever we succeeded in making them speak about gender inequality and lack of opportunity to attain education, we found them in surrendered position or rather supportive to all the restrictions imposed on to them. This thinking of women about themselves is responsible for the male chauvinism. B. Time constraints:- Ours is a day school which runs for specific hours and we the students are not residing at one place, instead many of us are from different villages. So, it was nearly impossible for us to meet after school hours to work upon the project together. In the school, we have to attend our lectures. So it was an uphill task to meet and discuss about project and share our ideas within a very short span of time. C. Interviewing torch bearers of Shekhawati region:- The eye opener task for the people who underrate women and their capabilities was to make them aware about the achievement list of those indomitable and courageous Shekhawati women who are pioneers in their fields. But it was not so easy as to say. We couldn’t meet some of them personally as they don’t belong to our town and city so, we had to contact them on phone or we had a talk with the people concerned to them.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Our project gender equality and women empowerment aims at removing biased behaviour and mentality of Shekhawati people towards women and this goal has been substantially supported with success stories and direct interviews of many women of this region who have proved themselves dynamic, vibrant, sincere and perfect in almost all the fields ranging from sports to politics and many more.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Being a team member of this cyber fair project is like unlocking the door of new horizons of learning. The first learning was to come across with minute complexities and intricacies of technological world. Apart from internet and technology, the research work of this project encompassed a wide variety of other subjects’ knowledge like English, History, Geography, General Knowledge and effective public speaking and communication skills. This project also taught us how to make survey reports. The learning through real life experiences is the most riveting aspect of this project.