Once; it was hard to find someone having studied beyond class 8th in Aasarsa, a small village of fishermen with population of 1000 inhabitants located at the seashore in Gujrat. But now; one could even spot youth of this village in IIT’s also. Unbelievable! Astonishing? Yes it is. To understand this educational leap this village experienced, we must travel back in time to year 2004, when Ambalal gohil, a RSS Swayamsevak, made his way to Assarsa. He noticed no one in the village was much concerned about the education. Studying up to 8th standard was considered more than enough among the villagers. Besides this there were financial hurdles too.
Ambalal gohil and his team of veteran swayamsevaks chalked out a creative plan to uplift the educational graph in the village. With the cooperation of Bank of Baroda they established Children Saving Fund, which proved to be a turning point. With this initiative day to day hurdles faced by the youth of this village in pursuing education got evaporated.
“Me and 60 other youths wouldn’t have succeeded in pursuing higher education if hadn’t got the support from this fund”, shares Kalpesh Ratan Chand, one of the a young man from this village who is currently studying at IIT, adding that till two years back Aasarsa lacked a High school and children had to go to Jammusar that was located 30 km away from the village if they wanted to continue studies after 8th class. According to him daily commuting was impossible and bearing hostel fee was beyond the capability of parents. In this crucial phase Children Saving Bank Fund aided the hostel fee and other expenses of these youths.
Started with donating the 1 rupee from the savings by every villager, now this Children Fund possesses the amount of 3 lakhs. Divyesh Ji, who has been served as an associate teacher at the School in Aasarsa tells that recently villagers have got the two new rooms constructed in the school. Moreover not only the children but their elders too benefitted with this framework as they got the access to character building literature available in the tiny library at the school. That resulted into having every single wall in the village got painted with motivational and inspirational quotations. With the efforts of Swayamsevaks; volunteers of Gayatri Parivar also landed in the village and launched a drive against alcohol addiction. Many villagers got themselves rid of alcohol addiction through this drive.
Not restricting themselves only to educational reforms, Ambalal Ji and team took a step further and introduced Cow based farming in the village. Sea salt effected barren land of Aasarsa village is now thriving with various rich crops. Compound of every household here could be spotted with Avala, Haritika and Udusi trees.
Begun with educational reforms, now this cooperative movement has transformed the every aspect of life in Aasarsa in very inspirational way.