Brief history of Adimjati Shiksha Ashram (1952 - 2012)

Souvenir Committee of Adimjati Shiksha Ashram *

Introduction: The Unique service to the cause of education by establishing Ashram Schools and Hostels by the founding fathers of the Adimjati Shiksha Ashram at Imphal with an aspect that it is to play a significant role in the welfare and development of the tribal community in Manipur in particular and others in general was considered indispensable.

An irrefutable evidence of the sacrifice made and useful work done by Adimjati Shiksha Ashram Imphal is provided by the fact that the institution has been extending all possible help and engaged in the educational welfare by promoting their social culture, educational. economic progress and safe guard their constitutional rights with a view to enable them to take their legitimate share in the national stream of life in the country. Some of the activities taken up by the Ashram for last 60 years are highlighted here .

1. Adimjati Shiksha Ashram : The history of the Adimjati Shiksha Ashram, Imphal started with the arrival of (L) Shri Deshbandhu Adhikari, a Scholar and Social Worker from Uttar Pradesh who having occupied a small room in the Marwari Dharamsala, Imphal started the Adimjati Shiksha Ashram, Imphal on 23-03-1952. His relentless efforts yielded results when the Government of Manipur granted an area of land measuring 27 Bighas and 9 Kathas under Order No.HDE/119/ 51/19 dt. 9th Jan. 1953.

2. Soon after taking physical possession of the land, foundation for various infrastructures was laid by (L) Dr Rajendra Prasad, the Hon'ble 1st President of the Republic of India on May 01, 1953 with a cash donation of Rs. 10,000/- in the presence of (L) Smt. Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, 1st Union Medical Minister with a cash donation of Rs. 1,000/-, (L) General KM Cariappa, the 1st Commander-in-Chief of Army with a cash donation of Rs. 10,000/- and (L) Shri GD Birla, an Industrialist with a cash donation of Rs 5,000/-. and with a grant of Rs 25,000/- from the Manipur Government, construction works started immediately and the first building was inaugurated by (L) Shri GB Mawlankar, 1st Speaker of Parliament (LS) in the latter part of 1953.

When (L) Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru came to Imphal on March 23, 1953, he was about to visit the Adimjati Shiksha Ashram. But on security reason, he instead met some Ashram staff and students in the Raj Bhawan. It may be mentioned that it was under active initiative of Panditjee that branches of the Bharatiya Adimjati Sevak Sangh, were opened in many rural areas including Manipur and Arunachal (then called NEFA).

The main source of income of the Ashram is grant-in-aids and public donation and dedicated manpower service by Social Workers on Voluntary Gandhian principle of service and sacrifice as "Society of Servants of the Tribal People of India" under the aegis of the Bharatiya Adimjati Sevak Sangh started by (L) Thakkar Bapa in 1949 with HQ at Thakkar Bapa Smarak Sadan, Dr Ambedkar Marg, New Delhi to which the Adimjati Shiksha Ashram is affiliated.

3. Ashram Residential School : In the year 1952 the Ashram started running a residential Hindi ME School for the poor tribal children from the Hills of Manipur and Nagaland and about 150 boys and girls were accomodated in the Ashram. They were provided with free board & lodging, clothing, stationery etc. Residential Wardens for boys and girls took care of the children. The Hindi ME School was recognised upto standared VI at that time.

4. One outstanding contribution of the Ashram in the field of Education was the establishment of the Adimjati Technical Institute for promotion of Technical Education of Tribals of the North-Eastern State for overseas courses in Civil, Electrical, Mechanical and Allied Engineering under the Assam Board of Technical Education. The foundation stone for the Technical Institute was laid by (L) Shri Govind Vallabh Pant, the then Union Home Minister on 22nd February, 1956 which was declared open for use by (L) Shri PC Mathew, Chief Commissioner, Manipur on 21st February, 1958. In 1972, the Technical Institute was taken over by the Govt, of Manipur and thenceforth converted into Govt. Polytechnic with 30% seats reservation for ST/SC and shifted to Takyelpat, Imphal West District.

5. The Ashram also started Adimjati Hindi High School with free boarding and lodging upto class VIII in the Ashram campus with branches as under :

1) Adimjati Ashram, Imphal 1952
2) Ashram Branch, Churachandpur 1956
3) Tadubi Branch, Senapati 1957
4) Liwachaning, Komlathabi 1958
5) Motbung Branch, Sadar Hills 1958
6) Tamenglong Branch 1958

The Institutions are now closed down due to lack of fund.

6. Weaving & Tailoring Centre of the Ashram (1957 - 1962) : The girl students were taught weaving, tailoring and the boys were given training in basic brickmaking, and art of gardening along with the general curriculum of the school to make them self reliant in their future life. Wool Knitting centre also was opened with the help of the TD Department of Manipur for the benefit of the tribal girls.

7. 1958 - 1962 : Started Road Mohoror Courses for Under-Matric Tribals for 6 months with 30 students per course but discontinued due to poor response for further admission.

8. External Educational Tour : It was found that the tribal children were found very good in games & sports. They have been taken for external educational tour to New Delhi & Agra by the school authority and the football players of the school were sent to participate in the Subroto Mukherjee Cup tournaments several times.

9. Condensed Course of HLC Exam 1968 : With the help of the Social Welfare Board, Manipur, a Condensed Course for the Tribal girls was introduced for a period of one academic year. 20 tribal girls appearing in HLC Exams were provided Board and Lodging facility in the Ashram.

10. 1975 : Anganwadi Training for 75 Tribal Girls was imparted for Child Care who were all absorbed in the social Welfare Deptt.

* Published at The Sangai Express
This article was submitted by the Souvenir Committee of Adimjati Shiksha Ashram This article was posted on April 03, 2013

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