Content Curator : Rajeshwari
April 14th is significant as it celebrates the birth anniversary of Dr. Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar as Ambedkar Jayanti. He was born in 1891. He has greatly contributed to the society as a Philosopher, an Activist, a Historian, and a Juror.
His contributions towards spreading messages of equality and annihilating caste system, organising campaigns for political and social freedom of Dalits, and architecting the Constitution of India as the chief architect, has deeply moved the masses, significantly shaping the establishment of the modern state of India.
The Reserve Bank of India was set up based on the recommendations of the 1926 Royal Commission on Indian Currency and Finance, also known as the Hilton–Young Commission. It was conceptualized as per the guidelines, working style and outlook presented by Dr. Ambedkar in his book titled “The Problem of the Rupee – Its origin and its solution” and presented to the Hilton Young Commission.
At the 7th Session of Indian Labour conference, Ambedkar changed the working hours in India from 14 hours to 8 hours.
As a homage to his contributions, his birth anniversary is declared as a public holiday. It is customary for the senior national figures, the President, the Prime Minister, and major political leaders to pay homage to Baba Saheb’s statue at the Parliament of India in New Delhi. Ambedkar Jayanti is celebrated throughout the world, especially by Dalits and large number of people who have embraced Ambedkar’s ideals and principles.
Apart from commemorating the birth anniversary of Ambedkar, this day is also marked by Sidereal Vernal Equinox, and is celebrated as a New Year across many South and Southeast Asian cultures including Assamese, Bengali, Burmese, Hindu, Lao, Nepali, Tamil, Sinhalese, Thai, etc. Many of the festivals like Vishu ( Malayalam New Year), Bohag Bihu (Assamese New Year), Baisakhi (Punjabi New Year), etc., signify the time of harvest.
All the festivals are marked with celebrations according to different traditions adopted by the cultural milieu. People observe their festivals by paying their respects and thanks to their deities, preparing special dishes, visiting their family and relatives, and celebrating through processions, fairs and singing songs.
Activities for your classroom:
- Architect your Constitution: Bring alive your classroom by Constitution Drafting Activity. Engage your students to draft a constitution on their rights, roles, and responsibilities for their classroom. Talk about the challenges faced by the drafting committee of the State of India and the importance of the Constitution in a democracy.
- Homage to Ambedkar: Conduct quizzes, essay writing, debate, and assembly activities to educate students abouts Ambedkar’s principles and ideals.
- Harvest Project: Ask students to gather information on how they celebrate the harvest festivals in their families and communities and share it with their class.
Resources for Teachers:
This week we bring to you diverse podcasts (an audio series on a certain theme) that you can use to engage your classrooms with fun and innovative activities and strategies, and engage in the larger debate around educational reform.
Podcast series started by Regional Resource Centre for Elementary Education, Delhi, to bring to fore issues around education in India and across the world with the focus on creating educational reform for social justice.
Teacher Created Materials:
Podcasts for educators looking for new strategies to use in the classroom. Podcasts are arranged by topic and cover all subject areas.
Power to Learn:
Cablevision’s Education Initiative offers a podcast that highlights user-friendly strategies and tips for teachers. Some examples of topics include plagiarism, common core standards, and mobile teaching ideas.
Schools are considered as a miniature ecosystem of the larger society, an important institution in building citizenship in a democracy.
As teachers, what role do you think the school has towards creating a just and inclusive society?