Trip Report

May 2004

Shriram Narasimhan












Dhamma Dipa School - Visited By: Shriram Narasimhan in May 2004


What Asha can do?


Put them in touch with other NGO's for- learning resources, teacher training, etc. Sponsor teacher training, and collect learning material and notes on teaching from other project sources and channel these to Tripura. Dr Dhamma was looking forward to this.††

Give qualitative inputs - infrastructure inputs can be done by the Dr but human resource inputs - give single point of contact in US who will fish around for info. learning techniques and methods, philosophy of learning, issues with mainstream education system, remedies when operating within the constraints of the same system, stress on local language and cultures etc.

Put them in touch with Biju from the Asha Darshan project and see if they can work with TAGS/KHADI Ė get Dr Dhamma to visit them in Assam so he may start similar weaving units in Tripura.



My personal recommendation is that Asha continue to support the teacher salaries for a couple of yrs, and make a lot of qualitative inputs in other critical areas viz teaching and learning and training in which much is left to be desired.During discussions with Dr Dhamma, and when I shared my findings and opinions with him, he was very interested in issues related to education and admitted that they hadnít paid much attention to these things. The infrastructure requirements of the school - according to the Dr's plans are very large and best left for him to gather from the Govt.and other resources within their reach. - This should not be a difficult task for them.

Teachers should have a good understanding of education. They need to be given adequate training. teachers should be exposed to various teaching methodologies, tools and techniques, using objects, essence of learning, etc. Besides all this, how will they stress on the local culture, and its history ? How will they imbibe the kids with a strong sense of identity, self-respect and dignity for who they are ? In a state like Tripura, people feel isolated from the mainstream as it is. this leads to a variety of complex developments.

They need 1 education coordinator cum teacher with good understanding. This is because I think the Dr feels tied down right now by his responsibilities here. The young woman who is the administrator seems well suited for the job.


Source of funds not very clear. I am pretty confident that the funds would be clear, only they didn't seem to be readily available - the person with the keys to the cupboard had left for home, and I was to leave the next day. I have asked for balance sheet from the Dr. giving income from various heads, and expenses against various heads -a simple statement should do. Does a CA audit the accounts ?