CyberFair Project ID: 4950

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations

    Raiganj,, West Bengal, India

6 students, ages 13-15 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 14, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2007

Classes and Teachers: Lorenz Barman

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The Santhal tribal community at Bajbindol, Raiganj, Uttar Dinajpur, is locally known for its rich and varied culture distinguished by highly refined group dances and colourful, elaborate ceremonies. As a people, the Santhalis at Bajbindol are also known for having uncomplicated ways and for generally being good natured. Their openness, generosity and unsuspecting character while admirable have in many occasions however brought them literally more pain than gain. The neighborhood of roughly over 1153 inhabitants already has 10 documented cases of individuals each having been duped into parting with a kidney for less than $200 or for just a song. And there has been 26 other reported victims of forcible or duplicitous organ extraction as well. At Bajbindol, poverty can be so strong as to tempt people into selling off body parts. It is that same poverty that has pressed the families to forgo their children's education and instead rope them into hard labour at somebody else's rice field somewhere for less than a dollar a day. And of course, it is the same poverty that has been pushing the same families to marry off their female children the moment they cross puberty.

2. Summary of Our Project

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:less than 20

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:1

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Students look forward to participating in real-time video link-up with students abroad once the Local Area Network of 10 workstations being set up for the opening session in June 2007 gets operational.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The International Schools Cyber Fair 2007 has opened doors for our students to collaborate with their peer groups on building capacity for the youth in rural communities.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Sarada Vidya Mandir students' participation in the International Schools Cyber Fair 2007 augmented the Indian CBSE National Curriculum's perspective on Development Education. It has also been a step in the right direction considering CBSE's recent overhaul and adoption of the Constructivist Approach to education. Participation in the International Schools Cyber Fair 2007 has therefore road tested this development perspective and constructivist approach to education. As a result our students had a hands-on experience in capacity building exercises, and collaborative work 'per se' and 'per quod' involving sustainable human development, and had a pleasant discovery of how the youth can become catalysts of positive social change with the Internet serving as the conduit for information dissemination.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

The students were particularly more excited with content than with form or steel and plastic but were visibly thilled to see what the new web, graphics, and animation applications could do with the basic text and images of raw information. They've realised to a great deal how in today's world of fast-paced development in technology, the face value of information could significantly depend on creative packaging and presentation.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

The students have become spokespersons for the Santhali community they wanted to highlight, and have in the process promoted the school's openness and active support towards dynamic approaches to socially-relevant education, as well as roadtested the new Constructivist leaning of the Indian CBSE Curriculum.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

The project has showed how the academe is no longer just concerned about ideas, and how students are not just preoccupied with simply arming themselves answers to questions in term exams. With education making itself relevant to the common man's life, sustainable development has ceased to become simply a likelihood. Until however we get both soft, and hard -copy feedback, it would be difficult to assess the impact of the project on the community at large.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

While almost everybody pitched in some help, it was the NGO workers who have helped the students fine-tune their project strategies. Contacts and relatives abroad have been particularly helpful in testing page download speeds. May all their tribe increase(no pun intended).

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

The students had a front-row view of how perceived human incapacity in dealing with seemingly hopeless situations could get blurred dramatically given the right set of social conditions or impetus. Sita, Pano, Sumi, Dipali, and Krishna's transformation from seemingly naive village girls into firebrands calling the entire community to action was a case in point.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4950)

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