PUKAR has innovated the concept of E-Sevaks based upon PUKAR’s 10 year old, globally validated concept of Barefoot Researchers.
This concept basically involves Community Based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR) conducted by the community based youth who are trained in conducting research on their community including needs assessments, analyze the results and based upon the evidence found, implement an action that bring about the change in their community. Drawing upon Professor Arjun Appadurai’s essay “Right To Research”, anchored in the principle of ‘experiential learning’, this concept uses CBPAR as a tool for alternative pedagogy, advocacy for and interventions in the community and transformations. This approach enables youth to become leaders and change-makers in their communities. PUKAR’s past experience has informed us that this unique process of knowledge creation through multiple epistemologies and community-based action-research from the lens of the youth has a strong transformative power for social change in the youth, their families, and communities. The youth become critical thinkers, conscious and assertive citizens and leaders of their communities, thus enhancing the quality of life for themselves and their cities.
E Sevak is the extension of the same innovation. We recruited 89 local youth from the these villages. Care was taken to maintain gender balance, ethnicity balance and spatial balance with representatives of each Adivasi hamlet being recruited as team members. This process of recruitment and training brought all these youth under one umbrella for the first time and helped to break down many barriers within them, of caste, gender, tribal identities, culture, language, education etc. We trained the community-based youth to be E-Sevaks so that they are able to communicate, educate and help their communities in issues related E-governance.