Events: 2011

The following are a brief summary of important events that took place in 2011, at, or with the involvement of, the Pratichi Institute and the Pratichi (India) Trust.

Reading Festival: An Educational Innovation
On 18 November 2011, the first reading festival -- organised by the Pratichi-CRY project team in Shantiniketan -- took place at the Rabindra Shiksha Niketan primary school in Bolpur. Students from four neighbourhood schools met to read, share the stories they read, sing, draw, paint, and dance, and concluded with writing little notes about their experience at the festival. These documents have now been added to Pratichi's research library. Lunch, provided by the Pratichi-CRY team, was prepared and served by the MDM cooks, and children showed remarkable independent initiative in managing preparing for, and micromanaging parts of the events themselves, including the meal.

Pictures of the festival can be found here.

Inauguaration: Teachers' Resource Centre
Summary of events (PDF)
The Teachers' Resource Centre, established in partnership with CRY, was inauguarated at Santiniketan on 31 October 2011, in the presence of Antara Dev Sen, Kumar Rana, Pratichi Institute's adviser Gautam Ghosh, and about sixty primary and secondary school teachers. The Resource Centre will be housed at the Trust's Santiniketan Project Office, and will include a meeting room and a library for teachers. The Centre plans to arrange visitis to and from primary schools in other districts, to foster greater communication and teaching excellence across the state.

Workshop: Implementation of the Mid-day Meal
On 9th November, 2011, the Pratichi Institute, in association with the Directorate of the Cooked Mid-day Meal Programme, organised a workshop on the implementation of the programme at the primary school-level in West Bengal. The workshop was attended by primary school teachers of seven districts (Murshidabad, South 24 Paraganas, Howrah, Kolkata, Bankura, Purulia and Purba Medinipur), leaders of three teachers' unions (the ABPTA, WBPTA and BPTA), nutrition and education activists Dr. Mukherji (Pushti), Jayanta Ghosh Majumdar (Sahajogi), and Atanu Sain (Vikramsheela), government officials from relevant departments, and members of the Pratichi team. The meeting was presided over by N. N. Barman, Director of the Mid-day Meal programme in the state, and saw a rare direct conversation between programme implementers and policy-makers about the problems and possibilities of MDM.

Workshop: Enhancing Excellence in Primary Education
Summary of concept note
The Primary Teachers' workshop, organised by the All Bengal Primary Teachers' Union in association with Pratichi Institute, was held on 17 September 2011 at the ABPTA Samiti Bhavan in Saltlake, Kolkata. UNICEF Kolkata, representatives of Sarva Shiksha Mission West Bengal and primary teachers from all districts of West Bengal participated in the workshop, which proposed several points for the improved delivery of primary education in the state. Teachers from diverse districts were divided into five discussion groups, to talk about their districts' scopes and challenges, and debate reforms and innovations. The meeting was concluded by four representative speeches, one from each discussion group, accepting the workshop's resolution for excellence and suggesting improvements on it.

Talk Series: Nigel Hughes
Details of the events
On the 17th of August, Dr. Nigel Hughes, of the Department of Earth Sciences, University of California, Riverside, spoke to us about his forthcoming book for school children, titled Monishaar Pathorer Bon. The narrative, featuring the young, curious and bright Monisha, is set in Birbhum and is about local geology. The talk was held at Pratichi's Kolkata office, and was attended by members of the Department of Education, development planners, and child education experts.

Amartya Sen Centre for Research: Foundation
Summary of events [PDF]
On the 14th of July, 2011 the foundation for the Amartya Sen Centre for Research was laid at IB-184, Salt Lake Sector III, the site for the future Pratichi building. The Pratichi website was also inaugurated during the event.

Pratichi Annual Workshop, 2011
Summary of events [PDF]
The Pratichi (India) Trust's annual workshop took place in Bolpur, Birbhum, on the 12th and 13th of July, 2011. The theme of the workshop was 'Girls' Education: Experiences and Challenges'.

The workshop was presided over by Amartya Sen, and attended by a wide spectrum of people associated with education, gender equality, policy planning and implementation, development, and social justice.

Dr. Chandrakanta Patil Memorial Eastern Health Assembly, 2011
Summary of events [PDF]
The Pratichi Institute hosted its first Health Assembly on 9th July, 2011 at Kolkata, in collaboration with the Liver Foundation, West Bengal and the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), Patna. The Assembly was supported by UNICEF Kolkata.

The Assembly looked into the social determinents of health, its reciprocal influence over inequality, and various ways in which public infrastructure and interventions have changed public health in eastern India. It is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Chandrakanta Patil, who embodied the ideas of equity in health services, and lost his life trying to save flood victims in Bihar. Dr. Patil was only twenty-four years old.

Sir Michael [Marmot] and Amartya Sen presided over the Assembly, and the panels were chaired by Dr. Abhijit Chowdhury, Dr. Poonam Mutthreja, and economist Achin Chakrabarty. The Assembly was attended by health workers, doctors, public health administrators and academics from eastern and north-eastern India.