Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Dale Hess Calendar - 14-09-01

Tuesday 2 September, 6 pm for 6.30 pm: Anzac Centenary Planning Meeting. Uncovering the truth of past Australian historical myths and exploring how they influence our national life to-day and bringing all this into the public realm. Venue: the  Kildara Centre, rear 39 Stanhope Street, Malvern. Further info: Harry: 0424 950 852

Saturday 6 September, 9 am – 11.30 am: OASES Monthly Breakfast Conversations: Being Alive with Myth & StoryHosted by Robert Hoskin and Eleni Rivers. ‘People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive.’ – Joseph Campbell. Join us for a delicious breakfast and a conversation to discover how we bring vigour and meaning to our lives today, how myth and story help us to navigate the labyrinths of our lives and the myths and stories that are relevant to you. Eleni and Robert have deeply explored the myths operating in their own lives and in our broader contemporary culture. Recent travels to their homelands in Crete and England & Ireland have offered new perspectives on these landscapes. They will bring this experience and some practices from the OASES on Myth Mapping. Cost: $25/$15 including delicious buffet breakfast (with vegetarian options). Oases Graduate School, Community Learning and Research Centre | 2 Minona St | Hawthorn, VIC 3122.

Sunday 7 September – 8 September; Saturday 8 November – Sunday 9 November: Myth MappingIf you would like a taste of the OASES experience, please join us for this short course with experienced facilitators, Dr. Robert Hoskin, and Eleni RiversIn this workshop we explore several major myths that have influenced our Western consciousness as a way to understand what it means to be ‘Australian’ in the 21st Century. One of the key objectives will be to identify the myths operating in our own lives, explore what they have to teach us and to creatively engage with them through an art process to be developed over the course of the workshop. Cost: $800 - Four days course. For more info & to register, click here.

Tuesday, 9 September, 6.30 pm:  Ringbalin - River Stories. Join us for this unique film and storytelling event, hear from Uncle Major Sumner, elders from Indigenous groups along the Murray and ACF’s Campaigns Director Dr Paul Sinclair about spiritual connection to country and the drive to protect it.
Buy tickets to this unique event now.  Venue: 
Kino Cinemas, Collins Place, 45 Collins Street, Melbourne

Wednesday 17 September, 7.30 pm: Public Seminar: Our Oceans – Plastic Perils. Canadian marine biologist, Dr Jennifer Lavers has gained a unique insight into the health of our oceans from her 10 years study of sea birds on remote islands, from the Arctic to the Tropics. In these beautiful places, she has become aware of the increasing plastic pollution in our oceans, much of which begins as street, river and beach litter. The seminar will highlight these concerns and help us understand causes, impacts, and solutions to the plastic pollution problem. Join us afterwards for tea or coffee. Gold coin donation. Venue: High Street Road Uniting Church, 482 Hugh Street Road, Mt Waverley, Melway 62G12. Website: www.highstreetroad.unitingchurch.org.au

Sunday 21 September: People's Climate March. In September, heads of state from around the world will be in New York for a historic summit on climate change. To mark this global moment for climate action, rallies will take place across Australia demanding Action Now, Not Words.
Save the date and stay tuned for details!

Sunday 28 September – Saturday 4 October: Swan Island Peace Convergence. Nonviolent action. Further info:swanislandpeace@gmail.com 

Friday 29 September, 5.30 pm: The Sixth Extinction. Join New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Kolbert and ACF CEO Kelly O'Shanassy at the Melbourne Writers Festival to discuss one of the biggest issues facing humankind. Tickets are selling fast so get in quick! Deakin Edge, Fed Square, Melbourne CBD. Book online: http://www.mwf.com.au/session/talking-points-the-sixth-extinction/#tickets

Tuesday 7 October, 6 pm – 8 pm: The United States, Russia and China: The Prospect of a New Cold War.  Prof. Joe Camilleri at St Michael’s Church at 120 Collins Street, Melbourne. ‘I am greatly looking forward to a thoughtful conversation on the many challenges we face and possible responses in Australia and internationally.’ Cost: $15 or $50 for whole series of four lectures. Bookings can be made at:

Wednesday 8 October – Friday 10 October: Is Prison Obsolete? Forget reform. It is time to talk about abolishing prisons in society. So what's the alternative? This puzzling question often interrupts further discussion of the prospects for abolition. Why is it so difficult to imagine alternatives to the current system of imprisonment? What about building the kind of society that doesn't need prisons with the redistribution of power and income, and a decent sense of community that can support every member. This conference will explore and encourage discussion about abolition and alternatives to prison over three days. Venue: Royal on the Park, Corner Alice & Albert Streets, Brisbane, QLD 4000. Further details:  http://www.sistersinside.com.au/conference2014.htm

Tuesday 14 October. 6 pm – 8 pm: Coping with Risk and Uncertainty: Volatile Markets, Anxious States and Tentative Social Movements.  Prof. Joe Camilleri at St Michael’s Church at 120 Collins Street, Melbourne. ‘I am greatly looking forward to a thoughtful conversation on the many challenges we face and possible responses in Australia and internationally.’ Cost: $15 or $50 for whole series of four lectures. Bookings can be made at:


Tuesday 21 October, 6 pm – 8 pm: The Middle East: Holy Land or Crucible of Conflict?  Prof. Joe Camilleri at St Michael’s Church at 120 Collins Street, Melbourne. ‘I am greatly looking forward to a thoughtful conversation on the many challenges we face and possible responses in Australia and internationally.’ Cost: $15 or $50 for whole series of four lectures. Bookings can be made at:

Tuesday 28 October, 6 pm – 8 pm: Australia Adrift: Navigating New Pathways.  Prof. Joe Camilleri at St Michael’s Church at 120 Collins Street, Melbourne. ‘I am greatly looking forward to a thoughtful conversation on the many challenges we face and possible responses in Australia and internationally.’ Cost: $15 or $50 for whole series of four lectures. Bookings can be made at:

Wednesday 3 December – Friday 5 December: Melbourne Disaster Risk Management (DRM) WorkshopThe purpose of the DRM workshop is both to develop practical skills for risk management practitioners who are involved in initiatives across the Disaster Risk Management Cycle (DRMC) spectrum in both Australia, and the Asian-Pacific region. Venue: 277 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Further details: http://www.torqaid.com/images/stories/melbdrmdec2014...pdf

Wednesday 10 December – Friday 12 December: Melbourne Participatory Project Management (PPM) WorkshopThe purpose of the PPM workshop is to develop practical project management skills for community development (CD) practitioners or project managers, working in either Australia or overseas, who are involved in initiatives throughout the Project Management Cycle (PMC). Venue: 277 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Further details: http://www.torqaid.com/images/stories/melbppmdec2014...pdf

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Green Left Weekly Activist Calender - 14-08-27

Green Left Weekly Activist Calendar
August 27, 2014
Rally: March in August
Sunday, August 31, 1pm. The people united for better government. State Library, Swanston St, City.Followed by march to parliament. Facebook event
Socialist Alliance Victorian conference: Building the fighting alternative
Saturday, September 6, 12.30-5pm. Also launch of Socialist Alliance Victorian election campaign. Panels on: Fighting back against Napthine and Abbott; Campaigning against the East-West Link. Workshops on the housing crisis, the Victorian police state, the fight against coal seam gas. $10/$5. Electrical Trades Union, 200 Arden St, North Melbourne.. For more info ph 9639 8622. Facebook event
Film screening: 'Radical Wollongong' Melbourne premiere
Friday, September 26, 6:30pm. Documentary tale of miners battling deadly working conditions, women fighting Australia's biggest company, activists jailed for resisting the Vietnam draft, and today's movement to stop coal seam gas. From strikes to community rallies, from work-ins to parliament occupation, it features activist participants from Wollongong's unemployed unions, communists forced to set up an underground organisation, the battle against 'Pig Iron Bob', and struggles for Aboriginal justice in the Illawarra. This is the action-packed, people-powered story of Radical Wollongong. New Council Chambers, Trades Hall, 2 Lygon St, Carlton South. Tickets at the door. $20 solidarity, $15 full, $8 conc. Snacks and non-alcoholic drinks available for purchase. Thanks to Victorian Trades Hall Council for its support of the event. A fundraiser for 3CR Community Radio & Green Left Weekly.
This is the regular Melbourne activist calendar compiled by Green Left Weekly. Emailed to subscribers each Wednesday fortnight, it is a one-stop listing of the main left and progressive events in Melbourne and Geelong.
Since it began in early 1991, Green Left Weekly has offered an indispensable alternative to the lies of the big-business media and has helped build the various movements for social change. To subscribe toGreen Left Weekly, visit our secure online website for rates and payment or call our national hotline on 1800 634 206.
You can also contact us at the Resistance Centre, 5th floor, 407 Swanston St, City; ph 9639 8622. In Geelong we are at the Activist Centre, Trades Hall, 127 Myers St (opening hours: Mon 2-4:30pm, Fri 10am-4:30pm); ph 5222 6900.
New email address? Not already receiving this calendar regularly? Want to subscribe someone else? Let us know at Greenleft Melbourne.
Thursday, August 28
Rally: Protest the Liberals' big business fundraising dinner. The Napthine Liberal government is using the East-West Link and other major road projects to leverage donations from their big business mates in the lead up to the November state election. Scrap the East-West Link; Invest in public transport; Rip up the contracts. 6pm. Regent Theatre, 191 Collins St, City. Facebook event
Friday, August 29
Public meeting: Media Makers: Freedom Fighters. Mexico’s fearless campaigner against corruption Lydia Cacho, and Australian foreign correspondent Jill Jolliffe are true freedom fighters. These two extraordinary activists discuss their personal pursuits of truth and justice in this Fifth Estate event hosted by award-winning anthropologist and broadcaster Sally Warhaft. 1pm. Deakin Edge, cnr Flinders & Swanston Sts, City. To book visithttp://www.mwf.com.au/session/media-makers-freedom-fighters.
Fundraiser: The Eighth Annual John Cummins Memorial Dinner. Come join us for our annual dinner, which raises money for the wellbeing of cancer patients diagnosed with a brain tumour, and scholarships for promising secondary students who are in need of financial support. MC: Danny McGinlay; Archie Roach & Band performing live! 7pm. Moonee Valley Racing Club, McPherson St, Moonee Ponds. Tickets $135. Bookings: online at Cummo; email Jo Little, ph Di Cummins 0411 614 519.
Sunday, August 31
Protest: March Australia: the people united for better government. 1pm. State Library, Swanston St, City. Followed by march to parliament. Facebook event
Fundraiser: Peace of art. Join Melbourne’s top emerging artists, musicians and designers for an evening of visual and performance art to raise money for the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund. 5-8pm. Brightspace, 8 Martin St, St Kilda.
Wednesday, September 3
Fundraiser: Tarkine Tango! Save the Tarkine seriously needs $10,000 by the middle of September to pay for their appeal against the new Tarkine mine at Riley creek. Come and Tango in Northcote and we can help end the mining madness! 6:30pm. Francesca's Bar, 222 High St, Northcote. Entry by donation.
Thursday, September 4
Public meeting: Apartheid university: Does your school profit from Israeli war crimes? Does your university promote genocide?'Whether it's taking blood-money from the corporations who sell bombs and bullets to Israel, touring academics who justify and promote apartheid, or providing PR for the 'enlightened' State of Israel, many Australian universities are complicit in the ongoing ethnic cleansing and occupation in Palestine. 6:30pm. RMIT University, 330 Swanston St, City. Organised by Students for Palestine.
Thursday, September 4-Friday, September 12
Film screening: Environmental Film Festival. Using the power of film, music and debate to unite filmmakers, environmentalists, politicians, scientists, experts, and the broader public in their desire to actively engage in issues that affect all of our futures. Kino Cimena, Collins Place, Collins St, City. Full programme at http://www.effm.org.au/
Saturday, September 6
Socialist Alliance Victorian conference: Building the fighting alternative. Launch of Socialist Alliance Victorian election campaign. Panels on: Fighting back against Napthine and Abbott; Campaigning against the East-West Link. Workshops on the housing crisis, the Victorian police state, the fight against coal seam gas. $10/$5. 12.30-5pm. Electrical Trades Union, 200 Arden St, North Melbourne. For more info ph 9639 8622 Facebook event
Public meeting: Uniting Ireland. Australian speaking tour by leading Sinn Féin representatives Mary Lou  McDonald TD and Francie Molloy MP. 7:30pm. The Celtic Club, 316-320 Queen St, City.
Thursday, September 11
Film screening: Gasland II. Coal may be the single greatest threat to mankind but now we have a new contender. In this explosive follow-up to Gasland, filmmaker Josh Fox uses his trademark dark humour to take a deeper look at the dangers of fracking, the powers that are driving this invasive industry and the realities we face if unconventional gas takes over as the next big energy resource. You won’t believe the corruption and the greed driving this industry or the reckless nature of the people in power. Hear from residents including Australian farmers who are living with the devastating impacts of unconventional gas mining. Films followed by panel discussion with Quit Coal. 6:30pm. Kino Cinemas, Collins Place, 45 Collins St, City. To book visit http://www.effm.org.au/gaslands-ii/
Tafanduhi: Ukeleles for West Papua. Relentless ukuleles for West Papua! Featuring: Black Orchid String Band (West Papua), Joe Geia, the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective, Rose Turtle Ertler, Helen Begley, the Ukulele Ladies, Cathouse and more. All money raised goes towards the ongoing campaign for West Papuan politcial prisoners. Five were recently released, but over 70 rermain in jail. 8pm. Bar 303, 303 High St, Northcote.
Wednesday, September 17-Tuesday, September 30
Exhibition: The art of silent protest. How do you protest without creating a disturbance? In view of new government legislation due to take effect in Victoria this year, a collective of Australian creatives respond to this question. Taking the form of the simple placard and exploring notions of social and ecological change, The Art of Silent Protest examines the visual impact of the art of activism. 11am-4pm (opening night: 6pm, September 17). The Snug, 447 High St, Northcote. Entry free.
Friday, September 19-Sunday, September 21
BRISBANE Conference: Australian Climate Action Summit. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. To book visit Climate Summit.
Tuesday, September 23
Comedy: Political Asylum at the Fringe Club. Featuring a fantastic lineup of smart and acerbic standup comics, this is the night for Abbott denialism, Labor lamentations and Palmer Party prophesising, all wrapped up in a flaming bundle of hilarity. Featuring: Rod Quantock; Stella Young; Toby Halligan; Nelly Thomas; Scott Abbot; Gerard McCulloch; Mick Neven. 9:30pm. North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne. Entry free!
Tuesday, September 23-Saturday, October 4
Comedy: Rod Quantock: Invitation to a revolution. For 45 years Rod Quantock has been hurling Molotov Cocktails of Mirth at the deserving, cutting through bullshit with his Hatchet of Humour and now, because 'everyone has the right to be a bigot', he is saying things about Tony Abbott that would make a misogynist blush! But enough is enough, says Rod. There's still time for the Revolution. So rise up, get organised, buy a ticket and bring it on. There’s still time! Viva el Rod! (Special Offer: Bring Jo Hockey to the show and you pay for his ticket too.) 8.15pm (Sun 7.15pm). 60 mins. Main Theatre, Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol St, North Melbourne. $28/$22. To book visit Invitation to a revolution
Thursday, September 25- Sunday, September 28
FR!SK: Lucky Country. We have nothing to fear; we are the lucky country. We are entitled to equal opportunity and privilege is what we deserve. The only threat to our way of life is posed by the boats on our borders. It’s not our problem, yet we are accomplices in the denial of human rights. Lucky Countryexplores the struggle for human rights from the perspectives of asylum seekers and refugees, as well as their advocates and opposers. Thurs 6pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 2pm & 6pm, Sun 4pm & 8pm. Space 28, 28 Dodds St, Southbank. $19/$16. To book visit MFF14.
FR!SK: The Adventures of Ophelia Sol (The Bride). In an audacious crusade against the world’s hostility towards same-sex marriage, one soul augments our love for people, not gender. The one, and only, fabulously flamboyant, Ophelia Sol invites you on a spectacular journey about love, identity and self-expression. Thurs, Fri: 6.30pm-10pm (30min); Sat, Sun: 2.30-9pm (30min). Space 28, 28 Dodds St, Southbank. Entry free.
Friday, September 26
Film screening: 'Radical Wollongong' Melbourne premiere. Documentary tale of miners battling deadly working conditions, women fighting Australia's biggest company, activists jailed for resisting the Vietnam draft, and today's movement to stop coal seam gas. From strikes to community rallies, from work-ins to parliament occupation, it features activist participants from Wollongong's unemployed unions, communists forced to set up an underground organisation, the battle against 'Pig Iron Bob', and struggles for Aboriginal justice in the Illawarra. This is the action-packed, people-powered story of Radical Wollongong. 6:30pm. New Council Chambers, Trades Hall, 2 Lygon St, Carlton South. Tickets at the door.  $20 solidarity, $15 full, $8 conc. Snacks and non-alcoholic drinks available for purchase. Thanks to Victorian Trades Hall Council for its support of the event. A fundraiser for 3CR Community Radio & Green Left Weekly.
Sunday, September 28
Public meeting: Righteous rights at the round table 2014. Youth driven forum providing a creative space for culturally diverse youth expression and celebration. Hot topics for discussion this year include racial profiling, intergenerational relationships, gender relationships and intercultural relationships. For full program visit www.multiculturalarts.com.au. 12-5pm. North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne. Free entry.
Saturday, October 11
Rally: Protest the first anniversary of 'Operation Sovereign Borders'. No tow-backs! No offshore or onshore detention! Process asylum claims for permanent visas! Scrap 'Operation Sovereign Borders'! Organised by the Refugee Action Collective. (NOTE THE NEW DATE.)
December 2 - 13, 2014
2014 Australian solidarity tour to Venezuela will be a unique an opportunity to observe first-hand, learn about and be inspired by a grassroots movement that is transforming not only Venezuela, but all of Latin America, and is challenging the greed and destructiveness of global capitalism by showing that a better world is possible. The registration deadline is October 3, 2014. For more info visit Venezuela Solidarity.
Saturday, August 30
March in Geelong: Oppose Abbott's vicious budget. 2pm. Johnstone Park. Facebook event
Saturday, September 13
SALE Film screening: Gasland II. Coal may be the single greatest threat to mankind but now we have a new contender. In this explosive follow-up to Gasland, filmmaker Josh Fox uses his trademark dark humour to take a deeper look at the dangers of fracking, the powers that are driving this invasive industry and the realities we face if unconventional gas takes over as the next big energy resource. You won’t believe the corruption and the greed driving this industry or the reckless nature of the people in power. Hear from residents including Australian farmers who are living with the devastating impacts of unconventional gas mining. Prepare to be inspired to revolt.
6.30pm. Cinema, 50, Cunninghame St, Sale. 
Sunday, September 28- Friday, September 3
QUEENSCLIFF Protest: Swan Island Peace Convergence 2014. For the fifth year in a row, peace activists are returning to the Swan Island Military Base in Queenscliff, Victoria for a week of non-violently resisting the SAS's role in dirty wars, through peaceful direct action. Swan Island Military base is a key training facility for the SAS who continue to fight and kill in Afghanistan in Australia’s name. The SAS are a key plank in our contribution to US imperialism through the ANZUS alliance. Swan Island is also a key facility for ASIS, Australia’s oversea’s intelligence body. Many of us feel powerless in the face of an unjust war, but this is our chance to get alongside our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan, and learn how we can help and raise our voices. For more info visit http://swanislandpeace.org/
Friends of the Earth's Anti-Nuclear & Clean Energy (ACE) collective. Meets every second Tuesday. FoE office, 312 Smith St, Collingwood. For meeting times & more info email Zin.
Indigenous Social Justice Association. The Indigenous Social Justice Association was established in January 2005 campaigns to permanently stop Aboriginal deaths in custody. During 2013, ISJA will meet the first Thursday of every month. For more info visit ISJA.
Quit Coal: No New Coal Power for Victoria. A Melbourne-based collective which campaigns against expansion of the coal industry in Victoria. We believe this is important because building new coal infrastructure locks in decades of dirty, old technology, when we should be moving towards clean, renewable energy. Quit Coal meets each Wednesday at 6pm, at FOE, 312 Smith St, Collingwood. For more info visit Quit Coal or email us.
Refugee Action Collective. Established in 2000, RAC is a democratic, grassroots activist collective, representing a broad cross section of the community. It aims to mobilise opposition to Australia's inhuman refugee policies. For more info ph 0413 377 978 or visit RAC.
Stop the East-West Link:
  • Moreland Campaign Against the East-West Tunnel (MCAT) meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at the Temple Park Senior Citizens Centre, Hodgson St, Brunswick. For information contact Sue Bolton 0413 377 978; Michael Petit 0417 354 169; Riki Lane 0400 877 819 or go to Facebook.
  • Yarra Campaign for Action on Transport (YCAT). For information on the campaign against the East-West Tunnel (pickets, meetings, info) visit YCAT.
Timor Sea Justice Campaign. For info visit TSJC, email Tom Clarke or ph 0422 545 763.
Recent articles from Green Left Weekly
Check out Green Left TV: See https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/57178
To subscribe to Green Left Weekly visit our secure online website for rates and payment or call our national hotline on 1800 634 206. Join us on Facebook. You can also contact us at the Resistance Centre, 5th floor, 407 Swanston St, City; ph 9639 8622. In Geelong: Activist Centre, Trades Hall, 127 Myers St (opening hours: Mon 2-4.30pm, Fri 10am-4.30pm); ph 5222 6900.
Links: 'Socialism for the 21st century'
Links is an online journal which seeks to provide a forum for open and constructive dialogue between active socialists from different political traditions. It seeks to bring together those in the international left who are opposed to neoliberal economic and social policies, and reject the bureaucratic model of 'socialism' that arose in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Inspired by the unfolding socialist revolution in Venezuela, Links is a journal for 'Socialism of the 21st Century' and the discussions and debates flowing from that powerful example of socialist renewal.
Socialist Alliance: Broad, non-sectarian, activist
Socialist Alliance is a proud supporter of the Green Left Weekly project and contributes a regular column. Socialist Alliance is a broad, non-sectarian socialist party, dedicated to bringing together all those who want to resist the capitalist assault on our planet and its people and fight for a socialist society that puts people's needs before business profits. Anyone who agrees with the general approach of our policies is welcome to join and organisations are invited to affiliate. For more information visit Socialist Alliance or join us onFacebook.
See our recent statements:
Contact Socialist Alliance. Join with other socialists in the struggle.
Melbourne: Visit us at the Resistance Centre, 5th floor, 407 Swanston St, City; ph 9639 8622. In Melbourne, Socialist Alliance meets on the first Tuesday of each month, 6:30pm, at the Resistance Centre.
Geelong: Activist Centre, Trades Hall, 127 Myers St (opening hours: Mon 2-4:30pm, Fri 10am-4:30pm); ph 5222 6900.
Moreland Socialists
Moreland Socialists is open to anyone (even if you live outside the area) who wants to work constructively to support Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton and use her position to build up a stronger activist left presence in Moreland. In general, we meet monthly and alternate between Coburg and Fawkner.
Resistance Bookshop

Christianity, Islam and Atheism: Reflections on religion, society and politics

Indian-born and Catholic-educated, author Michael Cooke migrated to Australia in his teens. He moved away from religion and towards the political left. In this stimulating new work he focuses on issues where religion intersects with the secular society. He engages variously with the Catholic George Pell and the Muslim Waleed Aly. He also takes issue with Richard Dawkins and the so-called ‘New Atheists’. 124pp, $15.
Available from Resistance Bookshop, Level 5, 407 Swanston St, City or online from Resistance Books.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ground Report India: News from on the ground to keep us grounded


In our daily lives, in one of the best of the western developed countries, how often do we stop to think of the reality of the daily lives of people far away from us.  Dropping into my email from time to time is information from India by way of a site called Ground Report India.  India is a massive, diverse, and heavily populated country.  In so many ways, the very opposite of Australia.  Ground Report aims to do what it says - to keep us all grounded by giving news from on the ground - not higher up the food chain.

Below is the latest missive which is an extract from a book by Vivek Glendenning.  He can be found on Facebook.

Excerpts from the chapter from the first draft of the Book “Social Experiments and Experiences” by 'Nomad' (Vivek U Glendenning) :: part one ...


www.localgovernance.org chiefeditor@groundreportindia.org via googlegroups.com 


to groundreport Unsubscribe
Running Education centers for beggars and migrant unorganized labourers 
……………
Opening and running eight education centres for children of migrated construction labours and beggar children/ adolescents (teens) during student life 15-16 years ago.
At that time, I was establishing education centres at different places in Kanpur. As I was alone, I used to teach at every centre twice in a week and attended two centres every day. Thus, I could manage six centres in one week. For few days of week college finished off at 3 o’clock and some other days at 4 o’clock. The day when college finished at 3, I used to go centres which were far away and the day when it finished at 4, I preferred to go centres which were bit near.
I got very small monthly amount from home as student hence I had to cover a distance of 6 to 9 kilometre daily on foot to reach different centres.
Some professors from IIT Kanpur, IIT Madras, IIT Bombay, HBTI Kanpur gave away Blackboard, chalk, copy, pencil, books and emotional support to start these centres. Basis of this support was my personal relation with them.
While running these centres I gathered innumerable experiences and enhanced my understanding towards ground reality. I am grateful to supportive professors and will be obliged forever.
………
An Education centre for Beggar Children/Teenagers at CTI Crossing, Govind Nagar, Kanpur :
-
There is a place in Kanpur known as CTI crossing and it is adjacent to Govind Nagar. A big and stinking sewer-nullah (sluit) flows and local people call it ‘Ganda Nala’.

And on the bank of this nullah many families of beggar-children/teenagers used to live in hut-like structures made up of thrown away poly bags and torn clothes joined together and fixed on old spoiled bamboo sticks.
Stench of that sewer nullah, which we cannot bear even for one minute while moving on the road parallel to the nullah, had a round the clock lively relation with those families.

During rains, level of sewer increased and flowed through their so called huts.
Except few starting days, I had to search out these children and teens while begging and then I took them to the education centre holding their finger.
An SDO of UP Electricity Board had donated his portico for teaching for two hours, during which he used to keep his car out.

He also helped for copy, pencil, chalk and blackboard.

Sometimes children and teen used to pose strange conditions such as if you would not eat in our hut we would not study.

So, sometimes I had to eat on the bank of sewer nullah whatever they cooked and ate.

These children/ teens did not know how to read or write and it took many days to teach them how to write first letter of Hindi alphabet but in physical labour, making food and reading people’s psychology they were very dexterous .
Their talks and practical understanding surprised me numerous times and taught me so much. This relationship continues for only for one or two years but these memories are still afresh in my mind/ are still lively in the corner of my mind.
………
7 education centres for displaced Bilaspuriyan Construction Labours’ children/ Teens and bagger children/teens :
-
These centres were established and ran at Awadhpuri, Lakhanpur, Kalyaanpur, Vikasnagar, Naubasta and Barra.

Characteristics of these centres were same as sewer-nullah centres, there were only a few differences which I am going to state in following lines.
I no need to go far away to search these kids/ teens because these children usually found playing in their huts or near about areas.

Their parents met almost every day, hence sometimes they also came to study.
Place of study was hut of any of them, which changed after few days. These centres never continued for more than few months because after accomplishment of construction work of colonies they had to leave the place.
So, every time after few months, these centres displaced 2 to 3 kilometres.
I never showed false dream to children/ teens for study, never tempted them, never tempted them for sweets etc. I did not want them to suffer from any frustration or indulge in some impractical dreams. I knew these children/teens would face bitter reality
hence I had no right to hurt their understanding of life showing them false dreams.

As I was not showing any dream, not posing any lie and never tempted them so every time when I go to teach them first I used to walk 2 to 3 kilometre to find them and fetching them to the place for study and had to face their moods.
I have candidly stated to children/ teens and their guardians that study was not going to change their status. Only thing is that there will be less possibility of being cheated and perhaps this study may be useful for a few.

Today, when I remember this time, I find out, if I have not done during my student life, today I cannot be socially integrated, socially honest, sensitive and could not move ahead towards fundamental understanding of the society. 

Regards
Vivek U Glendenning ‘Nomad’
.

--
Dear Mentor,
Thank you for your continuous support.

I am trying to establish a "Social Accountable Media".
I go to the villages to see the ground works done by the common people. Some time for a report, I have to visit one area a few times.
Please support the idea and visit at
http://www.groundreportindia.org

I am also organising 206 community conferences and a 1,00,000 kilometres long inclusive national tour in the time span of 2012-2015 covering thousands of villages of hundreds of districts in all over India.

Your all kinds of supports are needed.
For more information, please visit at
http://www.environmentconferences.org

Thank you
Vivek U. Glendenning "Nomad"
http://www.nomadhermitage.groundreportindia.org