Now I can say ‘welcome’, ‘thank you’ and even write small sentences,” said Rajesh. It’s an achievement for a boy who belongs to a landless farmer’s family and speaks the Maghi dialect at home.
The programme covers nearly six million primary school students in 37 districts in the state and is broadcast through radio sets in government schools. “English for Fun” was launched by the Bihar government in December last year at a cost of Rs 40 million in collaboration with a Bangalore-based NGO, Education Development Centre, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
IIM-A alumni Abhinav Jain, Amit Kumar, Rahul Roushan, Kartik Laxman, Akshat Khare, Kaushlendra and Mayank Premi from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, are applying their management skills to develop Chandragupta Institute of Management, Patna, (CIMP), Bihar, on the lines of IIM-A. CIMP’s administrative structure, course curriculum and pedagogy have been modelled on the lines of IIM-A. Even its library is being constructed with the help of IIM-A. Roushan, who is part of the project team, said, “IIM-A students, especially those hailing from Bihar, used to discuss how to help the state come out of its backwardness.”
“One thing was quite clear — that brain drain had to be stopped — and for that local centres of excellence and opportunities have to be created. CIMP is an important step towards that and we are getting support from those who do not hail from Bihar but who believe in the cause,” added Roshan.