Reflecting voices from grassroots… Vol 24| Nov 2017

Welcome to the November edition of GRAAM Newsletter. In this edition, we bring to you stories about:
* How Health enRich, the ragi brand of products produced by Tribal Women Entrepreneurs is expanding it’s reach
* A brief about ‘State Level Community Education Convention’ at National Law School, Bengaluru
* Inclusive Education: JIGSAW Technique of Learning
* “Halli Habba” – a village festival by GRAAM
* A notification about GRAAM Scholar Program (GSP)



GRAAM has launched ‘Health enRich” Ragi Products in a mall at Mysore with a grandeur equivalent to any commercial product launch by large companies. As it is rightly said, ‘a well begun is half done’, GRAAM has been meticulous towards its effort in making Health enRich a ‘Socially Benefit-ted but Sustainable Business model’.

The city of Mysuru has a long tradition of celebrating the Dasara festival with grandeur and pomp to mark the festival. Mysuru Dasara (also refer, a state festival of Karnataka State, is celebrated for 10 days during navratri (a hindu festival celebrated during the month of September/October) is traditionally presided by the king of Mysuru. During this dasara (celebrated from September 21 – 30, 2017), GRAAM went an extra mile to ensure that the products prepared by the Tribal women entrepreneurs are exhibited and sold at Mahila and Makkala Dasara stalls & at Dasara exhibition grounds with the support of District Administration. The women entrepreneurs of ‘Prakriti Food Products’ were excited to showcase their products and sell it to the customers who visited the stalls. The stall has witnessed visits from many renowned female personalities, like Ms. Umashree (Minister, Women and  Child Development, Karnataka State), Ms.Manjula Manasa (an advocate and women’s rights activist, and also the chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Women) and many other celebrities who cherished the taste of Ragi Malt at the stall.
After receiving admiration for its taste and quality, Health enRich is now spreading its wings across the retail stores of Mysore and Bangalore. Soon, it will be available on online sites as well as in supermarkets. With this progress, GRAAM is confident of making Health enRich a Social business model offering Sustainable livelihood for Tribal community of HD Kote taluk of Mysuru District, Karnataka.

‘State Level Community Education Convention’ at     National Law School, Bengaluru

                                                -Dr P Rajendra Prasad

October 30 -31, 2017, Shikshakara Sadana, Bengaluru, Karnataka

Center for Child and the Law, National Law School of India University (Karnataka) and Karnataka State School Development and Monitoring Committee Coordination Forum’s organized a two days convention of ‘First State Level Community Education Convention’ from October 30 to 31, 2017 at Shikshakara Sadana, Bengaluru. The convention was supported by Kannada Development Authority, Karnataka State Primary School Teacher’s Association, Department of Public Instruction, Government of Karnataka. Around 500 delegates from all the 225 taluks of the State participated in the convention.

Topic/issues covered in the convention were:

  • Save, Strengthen and Transform each Government School into Genuine Neighborhood School.

  • Situational Analysis of Education in Karnataka – Effect on children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups.

  • Implementation of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 – Issues and Challenges.

  • Privatization of School Education – Problems and Solutions.

  • Role of SDMCs in strengthening of Government Schools – Possibilities and Challenges.

  • Common School System for Equality and Social Justice.

Dr. Rajendraprasad.P, Senior Research Fellow-Community Consultation from GRAAM has chaired one of the panel and spoke about “Role of SDMCs in strengthening of Government Schools – Possibilities and Challenges”. The major points of his presentation were: • Lack of autonomy of SDMCs, • Lack of clarity on the actionable point for decision making around various educational issues, • Resources available to SDMCs, • Difficulty in adopting SDPs in a rigid top – down planning system, • Formation of Gramapanchayath responsible for taking forward SDMCs agenda, • Creating social capital of SDMCs as institutions, • Ensuring that education is a political issue at the Panchayati Raj institutions (PRIs) and, • Capacity building of SDMCs and education functionaries.


The Convention was inaugurated with a speech from Retired Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India – Shri. Rajendra Babu, who is also a Former Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission and Chair Professor in National Law School of India University, Bangalore. Chief guest of the convention was Mr.Siddaramaiah, Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka; and other officials and dignitaries from State Educational Board, Kannada Development Authority, Department of Public Instruction, and academicians from prestigious universities of the State.

Inclusive Education: JIGSAW Technique of Learning-Dr Surashree Shome

GRAAM is an implementation partner of Aarhus University, Denmark to conduct the study named “Inclusive Education: JIGSAW Method of Learning”. The study, sanctioned by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghthan (New Delhi), is being conducted in two states, 50 schools with all the students (above 14000) of class VI, VII, and VIII students with an objective of identifying methods to reduce the learning gaps at the post-primary levels in India. The method of learning introduced is “JIGSAW technique of cooperative learning”, which is a method of organizing classroom activity that makes students dependent on each other to succeed. It breaks classes into groups and breaks assignments into pieces that the group assembles to complete the (JIGSAW) puzzle.

All the Kendriya Vidyalaya’s under the Bangalore region are participating in the study, i.e. 50 schools (45 in Karnataka and 5 in Goa). To evaluate the effectiveness of the JIGSAW technique, the schools have been divided in four groups: Contro; groups, T1, T2, and T3 (refer the diagram below).


The study has been implemented in four phases:

1.Baseline: more than 14000 students from 50 Kendriya Vidhyalayas have participated in the baseline.
2.Training of teachers in JIGSAW Technique: Teachers from seven schools has participated in the training
3.Monitoring of schools: Monitoring of the selected school
4.Endline: Retest in all the schools to evaluate the progress of students under various groups.

Currently, we are in the third phase of the study, i.e. Monitoring of the selected schools. On November 03, 2017, we completed the second phase, i.e Training of teachers in JIGSAW technique. The paragraphs below describe the proceeding of the trainings.

Proceedings of Training for Teachers in JIGSAW Technique for “Inclusive Education” study

Date: November 03, 2017
Venue: Kendriya Vidyalaya MEG and Centre, Bangalore, Karnataka
Participants: Dr. P.Devakuamr (Deputy Commissioner),
Dr. AK Mishra (Asst Commissioner),
English and Maths Teachers from seven KVs school of Bangalore regional office,
Mr. Devakalpa Ghose (Resource Person)
GRAAM team: Usha, Sandhya Aiyaar, Harshith Gowda and Dr. Surashree Shome
Host school: Mr. Bhat (Principal, MEG Centre) and his staff

1.Inaugural session

Welcome note by Dr. Surashree Shome was followed by an inaugural session by Dr. P. Devakumar(Deputy Commissioner, KV RO Bangalore) where he emphasized the importance of research in general. Also, he asked the teachers from the sample schools to cooperate with GRAAM as teachers need to implement the JIGSAW technique in the schools and thus they are the key component for the success of the research. The session ended with the felicitation of the commissioners with mementoes.

2.Overview of the Study: Dr. Surashree Shome

The session provided the required details about the ‘Inclusive Education’ to the participants where the objective, methodology and the purpose of the study has been described.

3.Introduction to JIGSAW Method: Mr. Devekalpa Ghose

With an objective of introducing JIGSAW technique to the participants, the session provided details about cooperative learning and its various methods, introducing the JIGSAW Technique: its definition, processes, good practices in implementing the technique, usual issues/problems with implantation and

the benefit of the technique.

The presentation was followed by two video clips which have provided information about its developments by various educationists in the last 45 years (JIGSAW method of training was first introduced by Elliot Arentson in 1971, which was later restructured by Robert Slavin in 1986. Robert Slavin mainly redefined the technique to resolve its issues.) and its processes and benefits.

4.“Applying JIGSAW method to the English and Mathematics Curriculum in KV Schools of Karnataka: Opportunities, challenges and suggested approaches”: Mr. Devekalpa GhoseThe session started with an overview of the project where all the students of VI, VII and VIII of 50 Kendriya Vidhyalaya’s under Bangalore Region are participating. The presentation emphasized the importance of the study, specifically in the context of KVs where students are from a diverse social as well as cultural background, and explained the role of the teachers in the experiment. Then the presentation glanced through the curricula of the selected classes, and the norms to be followed for implementing the JIGSAW techniques of learning in their classes.

The presentation followed by a small video clip by Mrs. Moumi Ghose who is a teacher with KV Joka (West Bengal) and had participated in the previous study in their school conducted by Dr. Ritwik and Dr. Nabanita (Arhus University, Denmark). Mrs. Ghose shared her experiences while implementing the JIGSAW method of learning in her class. She also shared the benefits, like increase in interaction amongst the students on the subject, and issues, like delay in understanding the processes in the experiment.

5.Presenting a lesson in English and Math: Mr. Devekalpa Ghose

The session explained the lesson plan of the subjects for a day. Teachers have been explained about a day’s lesson plan and how would it look like, and how to involve students in their role as group and expert member. Mr. Ghose answered various queries of teachers regarding lesson plans and its implementation in their school.

6.Simulation Exercise: Mr. Deveklapa Ghose

After the lunch break, the participants participated in the simulation exercises, where two teachers played the role of the teacher and rest as students. Teachers understood the issues in arranging the students as per the requirements of the study and discussed the available solution. In the next simulation exercise, the subject teachers changed their role, i.e. English teachers learned the Maths lesson for a day and vice-versa. This exercise helped teachers to understand the difficulties of students while learning. As the teachers were grouped in expert and common group, the expert group learnt the lesson and tried to make their partner understand the topic.

At the end, two separate subject-wise WhatsApp groups are formed, where teachers can share their experiences as well as their issues during implementation of JIGSAW technique in their classes. Also, a gmail group would be formed which will be used for sending lesson plans and any other relevant information to the group.

       “Halli Habba” – a village festival by GRAAM

                                               -Ms.Chandrika Shetty


GRAAM is implementing SAMVARTHANA, a project supported by UNICEF and the government of Karnataka, to develop and demonstrate a comprehensive and a convergent implementation model for ensuring services to adolescents, mothers and children. Samvarthana project adopts Social Behaviours and Communication for Change (SBCC) strategy to addresses the issues related to nutrition, survival and development of child. The project is being implemented in selected 10 villages of Nanjangud taluk of Mysore district and 10 villages of Gangavathi taluk of Koppal district in Karnataka.

Village festival is one of the important activities of Samvarathana project, conducted at all 20 villages of the project area. It is a one day program conducted at every villages with the support of ASHA, Anganwadi teachers, Graam Panchayat members and the leaders of the village. It is a unique activity that recognizes the good health as well social practices followed within the village, so that it would motivate other people to follow the same. It is conducted to promote the mass participation of the villagers which brings the feel of festival in the entire village. GRAAM uses this forum to create awareness among people on health and nutrition. Different sections of the community come together and celebrate. It becomes a celebration of awareness, recognizing the health needs and work towards the better health of the community.


As a matter of prior preparations, the permissions are availed to conduct the school rally from head teachers, the slogan sheets are prepared for children. Women are identified to take part in different competitions.

On the day of village festival, the program starts with the school children rally with shouting slogans against child marriage, need for nutritious food, need for better sanitation in village etc. Through these messages children tried creating awareness among the villagers to change their social practices and make their life healthier. School rally is followed by inauguration of the village festival by the village leaders, Graam panchayat presidents, members, school head masters/ head mistress and other prominent people of the village.

The series of competition like Rangoli competition (with vegetables, green leaves and grains), nutritious food cooking competitions are organised to create awareness about the need for nutritious food in our day to life to keep our body healthy. Four judges were identified to select the winner of both the competition. The judges varied from Anganwadi teachers of neighbouring villages to Lady Health Visitors.

Baby shows are conducted where in the selected children of different anganwadi centres of the village participate in the village festival. The well-dressed children walk with their parents. The prizes are given to those children whose height and weight are in accordance with their age, children who come clean to the anganwadi centre, parents who take interest in their child’s education are chosen for the Best baby award.

The selected 10 students of every school at the project area have been trained on performing the street play. Different topics such as child marriage, need for open defecation free village etc have been trained by the professional theatre person. During the village festival children perform the streel play to create awareness among the community. This is one of the important aspects of the village fest, as the children of the same village try to spread the awareness among the community about the good practice such as either delay in marriage or link between contamination of water and ill health due to open defecation. Hence the impact of this activity on changing the behaviour of the people is very high.

The quiz competitions are organised for the women participants on health with special reference to pregnant women care and neo natal healthcare. The quiz competition organizer has the list of 15 to 20 questions. The identified participants are seated on the diaz and the viewers are on the other side of the stage. Three groups are made consisting of two or three participants in each of the group. For each question 1 point / marks are given and if they didn’t succeeded in giving the right answer the questions are passed to the next group and the marks are reduced to half for the pass questions. At the end of 20 questions, the scores of each of the teams are summed up to know the winning team. This is very interesting game as people get excited to give the right answers to the questions, during the process they learn about the right information about health. This activity has been well appreciated by the ANMs and LHVs. They recognised this as a unique way of creating awareness among people.

At the end, the announcement and distribution of awards are held for all the above competition along with recognizing the “Best Pregnant award” and “Best Girl of the village”. The “Best Pregnant award” is given to pregnant women of the village who has highest % of HB, who have taken two TT injections, whose weight has increased considerably. The Best Girl award is given to girls who are going to degree college and who have scored highest in their past exam. Both of these awards are given to promote the better food practises, increase health seeking behaviour and importantly to spread the message of drawbacks of child marriage and to appreciate the girls and her parents who have allowed the girls to attain higher education.

Through these various activities, information on maternal, child health and adolescent health information are spread across the community. Through improved awareness people’s behaviour and attitude towards health could be positively changed.

A notification about GRAAM Scholar Program (GSP)

Join GRAAMs month long Scholar Program to gain practical experience of conducting a research/policy study with the field partners under the mentorship of GRAAM, and also publish your work in the annual journal of the organization.

Why this program is different from other internship programs?

  • We mentor the students throughout their internship

  • We provide opportunity to work with grassroots organization.

  • We provide training on research methodologies.

  • We guide the student in designing as well as writing the report.

  • We would strive to take the output produced by the scholar to the logical end.

  • We provide an opportunity to work in research oriented environment.

Who should apply? (Age is NO bar for the applicant)

  • Indian and International citizens.

  • Post Graduate students in Social Sciences/Social Work/Development Management/Business Administration from national/international institution.

  • Researchers and practitioners in development sector.

Follow the link for more information: