To promote the intercultural dialogue between young people from Germany and India, we have initiated a variety of aid and cooperation projects. While the Indian Forum is responsible for organisation and implementation from the German side, our most important project coordinator in India is Mukut Bodra. Together with other helpers, he oversees and coordinates the activities in Chaibasa and around. Thereby he is in regular contact with the board of the Indian Forum and contributes with his experience and commitment to the diverse projects.
On this page you find information on our current projects in India and Germany. In addition, we regularly report on our current activities at our facebook page.
Our projects in Germany
Promotion and supervision of school partnerships
A central task of the Indian Forum is the promotion of the school partnerships, that have been established over the years. These were at first partnerships between the Mahatma Gandhi School in Berlin Marzahn and the Springdales School in Delhi, and with the Lutheran High School Chaibasa.
After the Mahatma Gandhi School had been closed, the Tagore School, which is also located in the Berlin district of Marzahn, continues the district’s Indian heritage since 2007. It maintains its contacts to the schools in Chaibasa, and has established an additional school partnership with Shantiniketan.
Lutheran Schools Chaibasa:
On the area of the Lutheran Gossner Church in the heart of the Indian town of Chaibasa (Jharkhand) there are 4 Lutheran Schools. In detail these are one girls primary school, one boys primary school, one mixed middle school and one high school for boys.
A significant number of students of the Lutheran Schools belongs to the group of the Adivasi (about 70%), the native inhabitants of India. The rest are Hindus of different castes, Mulims and others. Around 10% of the students are Christian.
Tagore School Berlin-Marzahn:
The Tagore-Schule is a linguistic and artistic oriented Gymnasium (German grammar school) in Berlin Marzahn-Hellersdorf. On the 2nd of May 2006 it was named Tagore School in presence of the ambassador of the Republic of India and of the district mayor. Within the framework of the connections to the Republic of India, every year the Tagore festival is being held, which is the highlight of the school’s cultural activities.
Within the framework of the visit of an Indian delegation at the Tagore School, we had also invited a teacher who is able to speak German. She spent most of her time in two primary schools in the district of Marzahn. During one week each she taught Indian dances, songs and poems of Tagore to the students of the Peter Pan School and the “Grundschule unterm Regenbogen”. The highlight of the visit was a farewell celebration at the Tagore School, during which the primary school students performed the learned dances and songs.
Student exchange trips
Between the Tagore School and the Indian partner schools there are regular student exchange programs in both directions. The Indian Forum manages an important part of the planning and organisation of these student exchange trips. We think, these intercultural encounters offer the students the opportunity to get to know each other and become aware of each other’s joy, wishes, hopes and sorrows. Usually a member of the Indian Forum accompanies these trips. Sebastian Keller has already accompanied multiple student groups and contributed to the success of the trips with his language skills and knowledge about the country and its people. Under the menu item Journeys some students have published experience reports, which let you read some first-hand experience on these exchange trips.
Workshops and seminars
Within the framework of different events we try to give German students an understanding of the Indian culture and society. The best results here have been achieved in cooperation with the Tagore school. There, a special course on the topic of India has been established. Several times, members of the Indian Forum have conducted the course and worked with the students on topics like “Globalisation in India”.
In addition, a Hindi study group has been established with out support, in which the students were able to obtain basic knowledge of this language, that is widely used in India.
Our projects in India
Our biggest project is the sponsorship programme for children who otherwise would not have the chance to attend school. The project was started in 2005 gives orphans, dropouts and children in need from slums the opportunity to achieve graduation.
Already more than 50 children have been supported by the sponsorship programme and we are happy about everyone who wants to become a sponsor to support a child in India.
The costs for a sponsorship currently amount to 8 Euro per month and include:
- School fee
- School uniform
- Writing accessories
- A warm meal every day
In addition, two Euro from the above mentioned amount goes into a joint account for emergencies, from which the costs for medical emergency care for the sponsored children can be taken quick and unbureaucratic.
German volunteers in Chaibasa
In September 2013, within the framework of the German “weltwaerts” volunteer programme, the first volunteer went to Chaibasa for almost one year, and has engaged in development aid and youth work there. In Germany, the main responsibilities for the deployment of young volunteers lie with “Deutsch-Indische Zusammenarbeit e.V.” (DIZ) and Gossner Mission. The responsible organisation in Chaibasa is the Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church (GELC).
The primary tasks during the volunteer service are the supervision of the children of the sponsorship programme, e.g. in the form of education awareness training during home visits, the organisation and implementation of the extra-curricular leisure programme (sports, games, and music) as well as English and computer lessons for interested students. The work is done in close cooperation with our project coordinator Mukut Bodra as well as other commited young members of the community in Chaibasa.
At the moment the programme has been interrupted by the German Foreign Department due to security concerns in the region.
Desks and benches, play and sports equipment
Many class rooms are not equipped with desks and benches and the students have to sit on the cold stone floor and use their school bags as desks. Therefore we are particularly happy, that thanks to generous donations from Germany more and more classrooms at our partner schools on the Lutheran Compound in Chaibasa can be equipped with desks and benches, and that the learning environments has been significantly improved already. All of the furniture has been made in a local carpenter’s workshop.
Furthermore, a wide range of play and sports equipment has been donated for the schools in Chaibasa over the course of the years, about which especially the younger students are very happy.
One of these projects was the establishment of a computer room in one of the schools. This computer room is now being used for IT lessons to improve the students’ abilities in handling computers.\
Another initiative was the sewing project. With the help of donations from Germany, we bought four sewing machines including accessories. Especially women are to be educated in using the sewing machines, to become more independent by earning their own money.
During a gardening project, Indian and German students helped with the cultivation of a field on the school compound, which was meant to be used for practical biology lessons.
During one of the students exchange trips, we initiated a garbage collection project, to raise awareness in both students and teachers for the problem of the omnipresent pollution with garbage in India. After prior consultation with the school management, all students and teachers of the Lutheran High School were called to clean the campus with us.