Ushering in Social Development in Villages with Night Education Camps
- Bhakti Kothari
- Published on 30 Oct 2021, 9:04 am IST
- 4 minutes read
- IRS Lokesh Lilhare has been actively working for the social development of villages for five years now.
- His whole work is based on the single belief that education is the biggest weapon one can use to go forward in life.
- Educating the girl child and felicitating children for doing well in their respective fields are part of this work.
- IRS Lokesh Lilhare presenting award to a student
Acute poverty and lack of employment opportunities in villages often lead people to migrate to big cities in the hope of getting employment and making a good life for themselves. Once they settle down to life in a city, very few go back to their villages. But then, there’s always the exception that proves the rule. And we have 2006-batch IRS officer Lokesh Kumar Lilhare, who is at present the Additional Commissioner of GST Bhopal. The officer, who comes from a village, has not only defeated poverty by entering civil services but is also helping others from his village to become self-employed and lead a comfortable life.
In an exclusive conversation with Indian Masterminds, Mr. Lilhare talked about the work he is doing in his and many other villages scattered over different states.
EDUCATION – THE ANSWER TO ALL ILLS
Like every person hailing from a village, Mr. Lilhare also dreamed of earning well and living in a big city. He realized at a very young age that he can achieve his dreams only through education.
“Education is the only medium that doesn’t differentiate anyone on the basis of their caste, creed, wealth, color, or status. When I needed support, people helped me; so now, it is my duty to help the ones in need to move forward. That is how I started focusing on the education sector,” he told Indian Masterminds.
FROM WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Being a sportsperson, the most memorable and proud moments of Mr. Lilhare’s childhood are those times when he received recognition and awards, and certificates for his performance. It motivated him to reach a higher level and made him more confident and ready to achieve.
“I realized that in order to motivate kids, they need to be appreciated and recognized for what they do. So, that’s what we decided to do for our social development campaign,” says Mr. Lilhare.
ENCOURAGING KIDS WITH FELICITATIONS
To go forward with his idea, he decided to organize ‘samman samaroh’ or felicitation ceremonies in villages every week and honour the children for their little achievements.
“Along with that, I go to my village every year and organize felicitation ceremony in my school on Republic Day, where I distribute certificates to toppers from class 1 to 12. I also organize camps where we bring ex-students back to school to motivate the present batch and guide them to excel in whichever field they choose,” he said.
He initially started felicitating students on a national level, and slowly brought it to the state, district, block, and ground levels during Covid. He got certificates printed and presented them to young kids in villages to motivate them.
“Kids who get felicitated are motivated to do better and go forward in life, while the kids who did not get felicitated, but observed their friend getting recognition, get motivated to achieve something in life so that they also get recognized the next time.”
CHANGING MINDSET THROUGH CAMPS
The officer organizes these ceremonies on a weekly basis from 8 PM at night wherein he talks to the villagers about development and, also, destruction. He explains how we can either choose to develop ourselves into stronger personalities through education, respect, and strong will, or we can choose to destroy our lives through crime, drugs, and a pessimistic approach towards life.
“As an educationist, it is my duty to guide them on the good path. I organize our weekly camps at night when everybody is done with their daily chores of the day and dinner. People were skeptical about my initiative and stated that hardly anyone would come, but I was happy when the women and young girls of the village proved them wrong and attended my camp, listening to my words till late into the night. Gradually, I’m able to see huge changes in the mentality of these villagers,” stated the officer.
He is also getting an app developed that will contain videos related to competitive exams, sports, art, culture, etc., so that people can access them. Videos related to UPSC preparation and interview will also be provided on the app.
He has also launched a book by the name of ‘Chhoo lo aasmaan’, which contains interviews of over 50 people – IAS officers, soldiers, clerks, and candidates from all over the country.
Furthermore, he is even tutoring UPSC aspirants and other competitive examination candidates for free and has opened a library for them. Encouraged by the success, he has spread his camps to villages of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and the Bundelkhand region.
END OF THE ARTICLE
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