An organisation of tribal youths has started two coaching centres in western Madhya Pradesh to help the poor and scheduled tribes prepare for major competitive examinations, including civil services, medical and engineering, for free.
The Jay Adivasi Yuva Shakti (JAYS) runs the two coaching centres in Thandala (Jhabua district) and Kukshi (Dhar district), in which 500 students have already enrolled. While the first coaching centre was opened in December last year, the second centre started the classes last week, on April 19.
JAYS started as a social media group on Facebook in 2012 to spread awareness about education and rights of tribals among the community members. Later, the group transformed into a community organisation working for the tribals’ cause on ground.
The two coaching institutes, which have been named after tribal leader Tantya Bhil, are becoming popular in the tribal areas of Jhabua, Alirajpur and Dhar.
“Some youths come to the Kukshi coaching centre from Jobat, about 70 km away. The idea is spreading day-by-day and more tribal students are eager to join our institutes, which are free for the tribals, dalits and poor,” said Arvind Munjala, who runs the Kukshi coaching institute.
JAYS members are also planning to make the coaching institutes residential by pooling money among themselves. The movement currently has over 3 lakh members in the tribal-dominated Jhabua , Alirajpur and Dhar districts. Most of the tribals inhabiting these districts are Bhils and Bhilalas.
“The idea is to empower the tribal youth,” said Hira Alawa, the founder member of JAYS and assistant professor in AIIMS, New Delhi.
On Monday, a scientist from an agriculture institute visited both the coaching institutes and provided guidance to the tribal youth.
“We have also invited some of people who have already selected in the civil services to guide the youth here. We also urge the people to come here and guide poor tribals for competitive exams and on any subject,” Hira told HT.
A student, Shobhit, who is taking coaching at the Kukshi centre, said, “I am from a very poor background, and this coaching has given me hope that I can compete. My dream is to join police services.”