Gadadhar Abhyudaya Prakalpa: A development project for poor and slam children by Ramakrishna Mission
–NAYAN SAHA, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, GOBARDANGA HINDU COLLEGE
The Gadadhar Abhyudaya Prakalpa (GAP) is a popular project of the Ramakrishna Mission for those children who were very far from the light of education and modern technology. India’s vast number of slum children, street children, and rural children are deprived of basic necessities like food, nutrition, medical care, and education. Through this project, Ramakrishna Mission provides them with food, nutrition, and moral, spiritual, and physical education.
On the occasion of the 150th Birth Anniversary Celebration of Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission, Kolkata implemented a project for street and slum children which is Gadadhar Abhyudaya Prakalpa (GAP). It was launched in October 2010. The aim of this project was all-around development of poor children in slums and other backward areas. There were a total of 174 GAP units in23 Indian states which benefitted more than 18,302 underprivileged children from different parts of India. Irrespective of their caste, creed, color, religion, etc., the project provided an opportunity to these children for their physical, mental, intellectual, and spiritual development.
On the 4-year long 150th Birth Anniversary Celebration of Swami Vivekananda Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India donate 100 crore rupees for social work to Ramakrishna mission, and the mission started this project with this financial assistance for the holistic development of poor children. The project ‘Gadadhar Abhyudaya Prakalpa’ (GAP), named after the childhood name of Sri Ramakrishna, i.e., ‘Gadadhar’, is being implemented for the betterment of the neglected slum and rural children who are often brought from the roadside and highly unhygienic areas.
The main objectives of Gadadhar Abhyudaya Prakalpa are –
1. Make moral and cultural values in children.
2. To provide special teaching to children in their school subjects.
3. To bring a sense of cleanliness and hygiene among those children.
4. To nourish them for their physical development.
5. To help them become good citizens of India.
The GAP is a composite program having threefold development of poor and slam children of 5 to 12 years. The three folds are
- Physical development,
- Mental development,
- Intellectual development,
The program is conducted daily for about 2 – 3 hours in the morning or evening though out the year. More than 1,000 children are regularly participating in these units. The actual goal of this project is moral, spiritual, and physical development of poor or slam arias children.
Activities for Physical Development:
For physical development, GAP takes some steps-
- Students have been trained on health and hygiene, toilet practice, the necessity of safe drinking water, brushing teeth, washing hands, clipping nails, using mosquito nets at night, etc.
- To keep them healthy, time-by-time health check-ups are organized to monitor their body weight and height, etc.
- The children participate in various games and exercises. GAP provided sports items for the children. The session starts with prayers followed by exercises.
- Developing a sense of community participation in keeping the living quarters and environment clean and hygienic, is taught to the children by creating general health awareness.
- Vitamin tonic & tablets, Minimum medicines, wherever required, are administered as per the doctor’s advice.
- GAP also provide the following items: school bags, school uniforms, study materials like notebooks, pen, pencil & eraser., books, footwear, umbrellas/raincoats, toiletry items like toothbrush & toothpaste, tongue-cleaner, oil, soap, nail-clipper, etc.
- After the end of each day’s program, nutritive food supplements are served to all the participants, to counter the problem of malnutrition. As a part of Physical Development. Nutritive food items milk, egg, and banana, dry roasted chhola , dry rotted ground nuts, germinated green grams, SAT Mix, and other items like fruits, Dalia, etc. Suitable nutritive food items may be chosen as per local availability.
Activities for Mental Development:
- The children are exposed to various arts & skills as per the local culture and tradition in music, drama, chanting, painting, etc.
- Universal prayers are taught to instill national integration and to encourage holistic living. The children are also guided to practice meditation and yoga under the guidance of competent teachers.
- Value Education as mentioned above, is also part of the GAP program. The lives of great personalities in literature, religion, history, and the freedom movement are taught to the students to imbibe their noble qualities and sacrifice for the cause. Periodically, films on Value Education and other inspirational themes are screened to the students for exposing our national heritage and culture.
- The dedicated teachers of GAP are the right mentors of the children with proper attitude and awareness. Gifted with a healthy mental frame, they instill a healthy mentality into the children. They try to help in Nurturing the child, Imparting values in the child, Moulding the character of the child, and Teaching good habits that a child can cultivate at home.
Activities for Intellectual Development: The children are provided special coaching in their academic subjects, as it is often found that these poverty-stricken children do not get good academic care in their schools. The non-school-goers are given special attention and gradually they get admitted to schools where they are found to excel.
The GAP units are implemented through branch centers situated in different parts of the country. Monks and volunteers look after this project with service-mindedness. Their loving attention and care gradually unfold the potentialities of the uncared-for children. The GAP teachers take classes on school subjects, exercises, meditation, painting, singing, value education, etc. as per the pre-scheduled daily routines. Apart from the paid teachers, our monks and volunteers render free services in this project to help the children learn different subjects.
GAP units are monitored and funded by the Headquarters from where the yearly required funds are disbursed to the implementing branch centers in installments. Hence, to run the GAP units as a whole, the Headquarters sincerely seek the financial assistance of service-minded individuals and philanthropic organizations. Central government donate 100 corer rupees for the 150 birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, and it was the initial funding of this project. But this funding was only for four years. After the end of this funding some private and govt. sponsored companies like ONGC, SBI, TCS, INDIAN OIL, and BHARAT PETROLEUM give financial support to this project. Some units are run by headquarters and some by privet sponsorships.
The total amount approved by the Central Govt. to run GAP during its Project Period was divided into different fiscal years which again was divided among each unit. So, an equal amount was not allotted to a particular unit in all the financial years. In 2012-13 and 2013-14, however, Rs.450000/- was allotted for each with the following financial guidelines.
|Estimated Expenditures to run one GAP Unit for a period of one year|
|Sl. No.||Particulars for 100 Students||Amount (Rs)|
|1.||Honorarium for 3 teachers (Rs. 1500 per month per teacher x 3 Teachers x 12 months) (where volunteers are not available)||54,000|
|2.||Honorarium for 1 attendant (RS.1000per month x 12 months)||12000|
|3.||Textbook and / or value education books and study materials ( Rs. 100 per student x 100 students)||10000|
|4.||School bag( Rs. 120 x 100 student)||12000|
|5.||Umbrella/ raincoat and footwear ( Rs. 100 x100 student )||10000|
|6.||School uniform ( Rs. 100x 100 students )||10000|
|7.||Nutritive food items||300000|
|8.||Toiletry items (Rs. 300 per student x100 students)||30000|
| Total Expenditure||4,50,000|
As there is so many popular projects of Ramakrishna’s mission, GAP is one of them, which includes three-fold development for those children who are deprived of education and modern technology. A vast number of Indian street children are growing up with a lack of basic necessities such as nutrition, education, and medical care. And here comes the main motto of GAP, to guide children from their first stage of development. This will help them to learn the basic values of life. This guidance will inspire them to choose the right path in life. Lastly, GAP is not only a project, it is a life-saving formula for Indian society where so many children from rural and slum areas can find out there hidden potential and enlighten their life for a beautiful future.
- Commemorating Vivekananda 2015, by Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math
- Gadadhar Abhyudaya Prakalpa (GAP), A Project for the Holistic Development of Underprivileged Children, A Brochure-cum-Appeal, Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, 5 September 2015
List of GAP centres:
Details of 177.5 Units of Gadadhar Abhyudaya Prakalpa (GAP): Nov. 2016
(One GAP unit implies implementing the project with around 50 targeted children.)
|Sl. No.||Place of Implementation||Our Implementing Branch Centre||# of Units|
|State / U.T.||District||Place|
|Andhra Pradesh||Krishna||At Kummarikuntla||Vijayawada||2|
|Arunachal Pradesh||Tirap||At Devabhumi||Narottam Nagar||2|
|Assam||Kamrup||At the centre||Guwahati||2|
|Karimganj||At the centre||Karimganj||1.5|
|At Sawtal Tilla||1|
|At the centre||1|
|Patna||At the centre||Patna||1|
|Muzaffarpur||At the centre||Muzaffarpur||2|
|Gujarat||Porbandar||At the centre||Porbandar||1|
|Kutch||At Khandek, Pirdhar and Bazarsamiti in Rapar area||Rajkot||3|
|Vadodara||At the centre||Vadodara||1|
|Jamtara||At the centre||Jamtara||1|
|Ranchi||At Soba||Ranchi Morabadi||1|
|Singhbhum||At the centre||Ghatshila||2|
|Ranchi||At the center||Ranchi Sanatorium||2|
|Karnataka||Mangalore||At the center||Mangalore||1|
|Mysore||At the center||Mysore||1|
|At a nearby area||1|
|Kodagu||At the centre||Ponnampet||1|
|Kerala||Kottayam||At the centre||Palai||1|
|Kozhikode||At the centre||Koyilandy||1|
|Thiruvananthapuram||At 04 nearby places||Thiruvananthapuram||2|
|Madhya Pradesh||Indore||At the centre||Indore||1|
|Maharashtra||Aurangabad||At Chhatrapati Nagar, Satara Parisar||Aurangabad||1|
|Pune||At the centre||1|
|Meghalaya||Ri Bhoi||At Umden Arka||Shillong||1|
|East Khasi Hills||At Umkaber Lyngiong||1|
|At Harijan Colony||1|
|West Garo Hills||At Dalu in Tura||1|
|Jayantia Hills||At Nartiang||1|
|Odisha||Bhadrak||At the centre||Kothar||2|
|Puri||At Bohi sahi||Puri (Mission)||1|
|At Mallick sahi||1|
|Rajasthan||Jhunjhunu||At a nearby area||Khetri||3|
|Tamil Nadu||Chennai||At North Chennai||Chennai (Math)||1|
|Coimbatore||At the centre||Coimbatore (Math)||2|
|Tripura||West Tripura||At a nearby area||Agartala||1|
|Unakoti||At the centre||Kailashahar||1|
|Uttar Pradesh||Allahabad||At the centre||Allahabad||2|
|Kanpur||At the centre||Kanpur||1|
|Lucknow||At the centre||Lucknow||1|
|At Katra Bakkas||1|
|Bara Banki||At Ramvan Kutir||1|
|Sonebhadra||At Lohara||Varanasi Home of Service||1|
|Uttarakhand||Dehradun||At the centre||Kishanpur||3|
|At Bauri Shiv Mandir||1|
|Rudraprayag||At Kotma, Ukhi Math||1|
|Champawat||At the centre||Shyamlatal||1|
|West Bengal||Burdwan||At Sitarampur||Asansol||1|
|Cooch Behar||At the centre||Cooch Behar||1|
|Kolkata||At the centre||Baranagar (Math)||2|
|At the centre||Baghbazar||1|
|At Ambedkar Colony||Baranagar (Mission)||2|
|At the centre||Belgharia||1|
|West Medinipur||At Bhula||1|
|At the centre||Garbeta||2|
|At the centre||Lalgarh||1|
|East Medinipur||At Bilaspur||Contai||1|
|Darjeeling||At the centre||Darjeeling||1|
|Hooghly||At the centre||Antpur||2|
|At the centre||Gourhati||1|
|At the centre||Ichapur||1|
|At the centre||1|
|At the centre||Kamarpukur||1|
|At the centre||2|
|At the centre||Ramharipur||2|
|Malda||At 02 nearby places||Malda||2|
|South 24-Parganas||At 02 nearby places||Manasadwip||1|
|At the centre||Naora||1|
|At Govindpur, Bhangar||1|
|At Dakshin Ishwaripur||1|
|At the centre||Sarisha||2|
|Purulia||At Ayodhya Hills||Purulia||2|
|North 24-Parganas||At Arpatna in Bandipur||Rahara||2|
|At the centre||Bamunmura||2|
|At the centre||Rajarhat-Bishnupur||2|
|At 04 nearby villages||Sikra-Kulingam||4|
|At Gholapara||Swamiji’s House||1|
|Murshidabad||At 03 nearby places||Sargachhi||2|
|West Medinipur||At Daspur||Tamluk||1|
|Total No. of the above GAP Units running in 71 Districts of 19 States with the Financial Assistance through the Headquarters||177.5|
Note: Out of the above GAP units, 137.5 units are being funded by some Corporate Houses and 40 units by the Headquarters’ own funds.