About the project - A lot of the children and youth in the area have access to mobile phones and data. However much of this is used for entertainment, leisure and at best a bit of infotainment. YPS is keen that the children are also trained and made aware of the multiple other benefits of technology access, and are encouraged to start using their mobile phones to do better at school work, make better decisions about higher studies, be aware of important updates like college entrance exams, access free exam tutorials, keep up with news and current affairs and generally be able to leverage the vast opportunities available to them through the internet.
Volunteers will have to spend some time understanding relevant apps, forums and websites that will benefit the children and youth of the area, and then take sessions to train them in effectively using the same.
Typical work day - A typical work day will involve 4-6 hrs of work during or after school hours. Major work will include identification of relevant apps/ forums and then conducting training sessions, in collaboration with the local teachers to enable easier understanding for the children/ youth. Interaction with the children/ youth before and after sessions, is encouraged to ensure they are able to understand and make optimal use of the coaching. Volunteers may also conduct sessions with the teachers to enable and encourage better teacher-student communication through social media.
Evenings and weekends are free for leisure and going around.
Yerala Projects Society is a non government organisation working at the grassroots. The core project area comprises of 22 villages around Jalihal, in Sangli district and all activities are aimed towards integrated rural development. YPS has established a digital school for 8th - 10th std along with junior college for Science. A Science centre established here is to promote scientific approach in children and to be curious through handling 87 indoor & outdoor exhibits. YPS has also established a Community Radio station Yeralavani 91.2 FM for localised information and communication with people living in the area. The well developed campus has staying arrangements and meals facility through mess. The organisation is also working on several farming initiatives for the locals.
Located in the state of Maharashtra, Sangli is often called the turmeric city of Asia due to the high volume of production and trade. The district is a large industrial belt, housing many sugar factories and is also known for fruit production - primarily grapes and pomegranates.
The core project area Jalihal, is situated about 145 km from Sangli town very close to the Karnataka border. The language here is an interesting mix of Marathi and Kannada, with many people being more proficient in Kannada due to the proximity to Karnataka.
How to get there -
The project area can be reached from Sangli town, or even Karnataka if one is travelling from that direction.
Getting to Sangli -
By air - Belgaum (121 km), Pune (245 km)
By rail station - Sangli
By road - Pune (245 km), Mumbai (375 km)
Sangli is very well connected, with trains and buses plying from Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. Jalihal is another 145 km from Sangli.
Alternately, if coming from Karnataka one can directly reach Bijapur which is 35 km from Jalihal.
Things to do around - The project area is located in the middle of around 22 villages. Volunteers can spend their evenings cycling and exploring the nearby area, river. There are some light day treks that can also be done nearby hills, and number of 1-2 day trips that can be planned to Bikapur, Hampi, Almatty dam, Gokak waterfalls etc.
Leisure inclusions - As part of the project, there will be some time allotted for local experiences. These will be great for volunteers to get a feel of the place, meet and interact with the community and become truly 'little local'. These activities will vary basis season, but will include things like community interaction, sampling and cooking local meals, local festivals and markets, local farming and even a guest show on the community radio if you want!