In­dus Resource Cen­tre Ser­vice with a cause

Enterprise - - Event -

The In­dus Resource Cen­tre cel­e­brated its 10 years of con­tri­bu­tion in ru­ral ed­u­ca­tion by hold­ing a sem­i­nar based on the ad­vo­cacy of is­sues of ru­ral ar­eas. The event re­flected the over­whelm­ing con­fi­dence of young stu­dents coming from un­der-re­sourced ar­eas and the ap­pre­ci­a­tion which IRC re­ceived on achiev­ing this mile­stone.

Around 6,686 chil­dren are get­ting ed­u­ca­tion from IRC’s in­ter­nal school­ing sys­tem, while a to­tal of 44,000 chil­dren are ben­e­fit­ing from the var­i­ous pro­grams con­ducted by the or­ga­ni­za­tion. In­dus Resource Cen­tre thanked all the phi­lan­thropists on this oc­ca­sion for their sup­port over a pe­riod of 10 years. Phi­lan­thropists, me­dia rep­re­sen­ta­tives and per­son­al­i­ties from di­verse walks of life shared some spe­cial mo­ments with IRC.

Sadiqa Salahud­din, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of IRC, started work­ing with mea­gre re­sources with young women who were ei­ther work­ing in fields or rear­ing cat­tle. Salahud­din ex­plained the be­gin­nings of IRC when, while work­ing with an in­ter­na­tional body, she and her as­so­ci­ates re­al­ized that things were mov­ing too slowly and the strate­gies were not fully ef­fec­tive. It was to achieve a more ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the ru­ral pop­u­la­tion that the In­dus Resource Cen­tre was set up and the roots to sus­tain a strong bond with the ru­ral sec­tor were laid.

At the 10-year event, is­sues of lit­er­acy, gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion, child mar­riage and other so­cial ills of ru­ral so­ci­ety were well­por­trayed through short the­atre plays pre­sented by stu­dents drawn from IRC schools. The plays were well-com­posed and the stu­dents dis­played a ma­ture un­der­stand­ing of each is­sue. IRC team mem­bers Farzana and Mariam shared their strug­gle and com­mit­ment which en­abled them and their fam­i­lies to come out of their de­pri­va­tions. They com­mended IRC for pro­vid­ing the op­por­tu­nity to them.

Ac­cord­ing to Sadiqa Salahud­din, the IRC agenda is based on equal­ity, ad­dress­ing is­sues of econ­omy, gen­der and so­ci­ety in gen­eral. The key pur­pose is make all the peo­ple feel that they are equal as IRC aims to bring de­prived peo­ple into the de­vel­op­ment loop, which is not pos­si­ble without ed­u­ca­tion.

To pro­vide ed­u­ca­tion in the ru­ral ar­eas, IRC had to re­solve is­sues of ghost schools and teach­ers and with the preva­lent mind­set pre­vent­ing girls from at­tend­ing school. IRC thanked the role of gov­ern­ment and the me­dia as­sis­tance in this re­gard.

Be­sides ed­u­ca­tion, IRC is run­ning three other pro­grams. The pro­gram for demo­cratic gov­er­nance en­deav­ours to bring pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives closer to the peo­ple as IRC be­lieves in strong gov­er­nance for bet­ter progress of the coun­try. The pro­gram pro­vides po­lit­i­cal aware­ness through IRC’s strong in­ter­nal net­work.

Un­der the pro­gram of sustainable liveli­hood, women from re­mote ar­eas of Sindh work on de­vel­op­ment of crafts, pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing through the plat­form of ‘ Khaz­ana’. IRC be­lieves in the sustainability of arts and crafts skills that are trans­ferred through gen­er­a­tions.

Un­der its risk re­sponse pro­gram, IRC is play­ing a role in pro­vid­ing re­lief and emer­gency re­sponse. The re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of flood af­fected ar­eas is a part of this project. Women of these ar­eas are made self­de­pen­dent and work as ma­sons in re­build­ing their houses.

In­dus Resource Cen­tre has gone through var­i­ous phases of de­vel­op­ment since its es­tab­lish­ment in 2000. The ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram ac­quired for­mal school­ing in the sec­ond phase of 2006-2008. Through agree­ment with the Pak­istan Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion Fund, the Cen­tre estab­lished for­mal school­ing with an in­crease in teach­ers’ strength and num­ber of schools. While the school­ing project was ini­tially tar­geted at girls, boys were also en­rolled on in­sis­tence of par­ents. From 2009 on­wards, IRC en­tered a strong re­la­tion­ship with the gov­ern­ment through pub­licpri­vate part­ner­ship and started work­ing on re­struc­tur­ing gov­ern­ment schools with ma­jor re­sources coming from the gov­ern­ment.

Re­pro­duc­tive health ed­u­ca­tion was also in­tro­duced in the cur­ricu­lum of IRC in 2009. Dr Hash­mat Ja­toi said IRC’s stress was on aca­demic ed­u­ca­tion but the de­vel­op­ment ob­jec­tives which IRC in­tended to meet were dif­fi­cult to achieve un­less aware­ness about re­pro­duc­tive health was not in­cul­cated among the peo­ple. Sadiqa Salahud­din’s ex­pe­ri­ence and re­search pro­vided use­ful in­sights and helped lay the ground for fur­ther progress

IRC stu­dents with Sadiqa Salahud­din

The­atre per­for­mance

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