Combining its experiences with those of the MV Foundation, Hyderabad, and Lok Jumbish, Rajasthan, DD suggests that greater learning and inculcation of habits in persons in difficult circumstances takes place in residential education programme. A deliberate effort has been made in DD to draw learners from different religions and caste backgrounds to enable them to overcome age-old prejudices. Residential education has also helped in the inculcation of healthy habits.
Curriculum for learning in residential camps
The curriculum includes the following perspectives:
Residential Camps: Most of the adolescents who join these camps are from deprived background with limited exposure to the outside world especially in the tribal areas. They speak local languages, they are shy, and have problems in articulation. Initial 15-20 days are required for them to be able to familiarize themselves with the changed environment and to get into the habit of learning and living together.
These camps are run in rented buildings hired for the duration of the camp. Generally, a building with sufficient covered and open space is taken which includes 6-8 rooms, a hall to accommodate 55 persons, enough lavatories and bathrooms and playground.
The objective of Doosra Dashak camps
Every effort is made to see that majority of beneficiaries come from SC, ST, OBC and Muslim. The level of learning achieved due to the intensive work done with the learner’s high order. A curriculum framework has been prepared, essential teaching/learning material developed and methods evolved for training of teachers. The programme for each day envisages shram dan, prayers and group singing and games in the evening. The time between 9.00 AM and 5.00 PM (with one hour lunch break) is kept for specific training programme. Literacy and numeracy figure prominently for illiterate trainees. All trainees get proper orientation in life skills, civic education, health/reproductive health, awareness about HIV/AIDS, sanitation and a proper understanding about environment and natural resources. An effort is made to inculcate the values enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution. Each day there is a 2-hour night session during which the day's learning is revised through self-study, role play, evaluation exercises etc.
These residential camps seem to change the lives and vision of participants. They become conscious about health and sanitation and gain in self-confidence. Since the project deals with deprived sections of society, all of whom face neglect and discrimination, special attention is given to human rights. Effort is also made to see that participants question long-held beliefs on caste, social status, and religious division. In each community women are worse sufferers; therefore, the residential education programmes become veritable training in gender sensitivity and empowerment of adolescent girls. Some other important gains which have been shared by all participants include enhanced capacity to reflect and analyze;