ASER, has been one of the most awaited activity every year for the past nine years for me. Starting from the training session to field work i.e survey, rechecking, monitoring, it gives an opportunity to interact with different sections of the society. For me, the most interesting part has been training the college students who join as ASER volunteers each year in Sikkim and Darjeeling. The life of a college student in these parts is monotonous and routine and ASER provides an opportunity to these young and enthusiastic volunteers to experience something new and encounter new situations. Through this survey they are also able to know the quality and learning level of individual children. I feel so glad to see how eager they are to participate in this survey every year.
Over the years, conducting ASER, I have encountered many problems and incidents.One of them stands out–two of the surveyors of Namchi Govt. College (South Sikkim) met with an accident on their bike while going for thesurvey and one of them had to be admitted to hospital with broken arms,but the very next day he went back to the sampled village with his friends despite my strict instructions to rest. When I went to meet him to hand over his medical compensation, his arm was still in plasters but that did not prevent him to greet me enthusiastically, he also narrated his exciting experience of the ASER survey in the sampled village. It is for the people like him we have been able to accomplish the task of completing ASER survey successfully every year.
Through ASER, I have also realised the fact that no matter how much advanced our country has become still there is ample of work to be done. So, ASER has provided a platform for me to look into the grass root level of my society. Taking a lesson from this experience, I try for the betterment of our society in any possible way I can.
I want to congratulate all ASER team for completion 10 years and I look forward for many more fruitful experiences with ASER.
Mary Sada, ASER Manager, Sikkim
All views expressed in this post are the author’s personal views