In the first 34 years of its existence, AAEA successfully undertook projects like Non Formal Education (NFE), One Thousand House Hold Industries (HHI), National Adult Education Programme (NAEP), Women’s Health and Domestic Violence, and Lok Jumbish Project (LJP) to name a few.
During its infancy, AAEA worked to educate jail inmates and child labour. AAEA also made a breakthrough in educating Muslim women and girls living in the ‘walled’ Ajmer city. These women and girls were also empowered economically by relevant vocational trainings.
These experiences gave AAEA confidence and resolve to economically empower poor womenfolk in general. State Industry Department sponsored One Thousand House Hold Industries (HHI) project to realize the dream of economic empowerment. Similar efforts were made through Training for Rural Youth for Self Employment (TRYSEM) and Schedule Caste Youth Training for Self Employment (SCYTE).
AAEA strongly believes that education is the most powerful medium of change. In 1971 AAEA adopted a village Bisudani and was successful in making the village totally literate within a short span of two years. Bisudani was the first village to achieve total literacy in Ajmer district long before the concept of total literacy was even heard of.
Bisudani experience enthused AAEA to work more ambitiously in Central Government sponsored National Adult Programme. Intensive and sustained efforts were made in Arain and Pisangan blocks through NAEP, NFE and Post Literacy and Continuing Education programmes. An independent IIM(A) evaluation rated AAEA efforts very highly.
It was observed that many poor and deprived boys and girls in villages and towns left or dropped out of the mainstream of formal education. AAEA found it imperative to address their needs through NFE projects. Later these efforts continued under Lok Jumbish and Doosara Dashak projects. These projects aimed at universalization of adolescents’ and children’s education by enhanced community participation and qualitative improvement in government-run schools. IRANGAN Reading Clubs were added to some schools to make learning a more joyful experience for children.
Various trainings have been conducted from time to time to orient, re-orient and enable the functionaries of AAEA to be more effective in their efforts. AAEA has a number of capable, experienced trainers and resource persons who team up to train different groups.
In initial years of the organization AAEA effectively trained two groups of national volunteers under National Social Volunteer Scheme. Many of these volunteers later joined the AAEA team. Under Women’s Development Programme (WDP) of the state government, AAEA initiated a state-level resource centre for WDP functionaries, IDARA (Information Development and Resource Agency) and effectively-trained grassroot women functionaries. Many groups were empowered through IDARA’s trainings. Sathing Ro Kagad, a bulletin for semi-literate Saathins (grassroot women functionaries of WDP) and village women, was effective in keeping them abreast of concepts and developments.
AAEA, while working for WDP, felt a strong need to address adolescent girls. A training of trainers (TOT) was organized on reproductive health for grassroot social activists.
Dairying being an important and crucial means of livelihood in countryside Ajmer, trainings were also conducted for barefoot veterinary doctors.
Shikshakarmis, LJ functionaries, DD workers and instructors, supervisors of NAEP & NFE were effectively trained from time to time. Role of women panchs and sarpanchs is crucial in good governance, hence district- level trainings were organized to empower and orient these women leaders.
Ajmer Adult Education Association
Kanta Marwah Bhawan,
Vidyut Marg, Shastri Nagar Extention, AJMER 305006