Moghiya Education Programme
‘Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world’
The Mogyas are historically, a socially marginalized people. For centuries now, hunting has been the Mogya’s sole craft and something they proudly identify with. Their small numbers also ensured they did not benefit from any government programs for marginalized communities. Their low social standing coupled with their formidable bush craft made the Mogyas resort to poaching for sustenance. The world around them has gradually changed, but these hunters have continued to poach for a living. Punishment by law was an obvious solution to stop the poaching crisis, but this was only a part of the solution. Social upliftment was the second part, and Tiger Watch sought to bring the next generation of the Mogya community into the mainstream through education. The first candidates to go through the program were none other than the children of the poachers arrested in raids carried out by Tiger Watch.
Education is the stepping-stone towards social rehabilitation for the community and this understanding gave rise to the Mogya Education Program and eventually the establishment of the Mogya Hostel. Financial support from individuals and organizations poured in to take care of the basic needs of the Mogya children. Most of these young Mogyas were the first in their respective families to attend school, hence it was crucial to provide a nurturing environment and project education as a feasible alternative. A dedicated ground staff which includes a hostel warden, cooks and cleaners have ensured that the daily functioning of the hostel is hassle free, where volunteers from all over the country and beyond conduct various developmental activities for children.
After a humble beginning with a batch of 9 Mogya children in 2006 in spartan premises generously provided by a progressive Forest Ranger, the program has grown from strength to strength and now boasts 40 children under its wing.
Several children have since graduated both primary and secondary school with flying colours and have moved onto pursue higher education or vocational training, which will ensure their place in a growing economy. The biggest success story is that in the history of this community, 18 Mogya children have passed the metric, 5 have done ITI and are studying further, such as Jaggu Lal Mogya, a bright student, who is currently pursuing a higher education at the University of Jaipur and aspires to be a banker someday.
Today, the children live, study, play in the secure premises of the former Ranthambhore Sevika Hospital building which was given by the Prakritik Society in 2015. Sud Chemie, The Change foundation and the Ranthambhore Conservation Foundation, are the chief supporters of the program. The program was initially dismissed as a fool’s errand by some older conservation groups, but it is now recognized as a one of a kind initiative, which has turned a new leaf in the world of conservation practices.
The Mogya Education and Rehabilitation Program, has not only been covered by local journals and newspapers, but around the world as an example of best practices and change.
Address: Maa Farm,
Ranthambhore Road, Post Khilchipur,
District Sawai Madhopur,
322 001, Rajasthan,
(+91) 90015 07777