QUEST has reached out to around 20000 children through its various interventions pertaining to quality of education. These children are in the age group of 3 to 14 years and come from marginalized communities. QUEST has also reached around 1000 teachers through workshops and its online forum (in Marathi). QUEST's interventions have mainly happened through capacity building of teachers to ensure long term sustainability.
Once upon a time there was a fox. He was very hungry and he looked around for some food. He was very tired so he sat under a tall tree. Suddenly a crow flew up to the tree. The crow sat on a branch. But it did not caw because in its beak the crow had a piece of cheese. The cheese made the fox’s mouth water. Then the fox thought of a plan to get the cheese from the crow. He looked up at the crow and said, “Hello Mr. Crow, how are you today?” The crow did not say anything. He just looked at the fox. Then the fox began to praise the crow. “How lovely your feathers are,” he said. The crow just listened and said nothing. Then the fox praised the crow some more. “Your voice must be sweeter than a nightingale’s voice,” said the cunning fox. “Why don’t you sing me a song?” The foolish crow was very pleased. He forgot he had the cheese in his beak. He began to sing loudly. The cheese fell down and the fox leapt on it and ran into the forest taking the cheese with him.
Bruno the dinosaur sat under a large fern and watched all the other animals at play. No one played with him because he was so big. They ran away as soon as they saw him. There was a good reason for this. His cousins were very mean and rough with the animals. They thought he was the same.
He did not like to play with his cousins. They would fight with him. They would run around the forest and rip the trees. They would roar and grunt and growl at everyone in sight. They would pounce and stomp and shove to scare everyone to show their might.
Bruno was gentle. He loved the flowers and the grass. He liked to sit near the river and play in the water. He gave the animals a bright smile but they trembled in fright.
One lonely day Bruno’s eyes filled up. He wished someone would play with him. A rabbit who was new in the forest saw Bruno sitting with his head between his big feet looking miserable. “Hello,” said the rabbit, “I am Big Ears.”
Bruno wiped his eyes and smiled at the rabbit. “Hello,” he called back in a cheerful voice. “Will you be my friend? My name is Bruno.”
“Sure, Bruno, I will be your friend,” replied Big Ears.
So they played by the river bank happily, sailing leaves in the sunlight and watching the colourful fish swimming. Bruno felt better. He was not bitter anymore.
When the other animals saw them they were surprised. “Bruno is fun to be with,” they said to one another. “He is not like the other dinosaurs. He is all right.” Slowly, they went up to him and said hello. Bruno was thrilled.
Now Bruno has a lot of friends and he is never lonely. Naturally, Big Ears is his best buddy.
Usha Pandit (2011) Empowering English Grade 3 Mindsprings Publication
A huge banyan tree stood tall in the middle of a forest. In this tree there lived a pair of crows with their small family.
One day, a snake came to live in the hole at the bottom of the tree. The crows were worried but they did not say anything.
After a few days, the female crow laid a batch of eggs. When the crows went in search of food, the snake crawled up the tree and stole the eggs. When the crows came back they searched for the eggs but could not find them.
After a few months, the female crow laid some more eggs. This time the female crow stayed in the nest, while the male crow went out to fetch some food. After a while, the snake came out to sun himself. The female crow was keeping a watchful eye on her eggs. The bold snake swiftly moved up the tree, and took her eggs. The crow began to call for help. Hearing the crow shriek, the other crows came to help but the snake had already eaten the eggs and slithered back into its hole. The crows were miserable. If this went on, their eggs would never hatch into babies. They didn’t know what to do about the snake.
The male crow had a friend in the forest. He searched for him and found the big black bear scratching himself against the big oak tree.
The bear said, “Both of you seem to be very sad. What happened?” The crows replied, “We have a big problem. A snake eats up our eggs. We do not know what to do.” The bear was clever. He thought for a few minutes and came up with a good plan.
“Listen carefully,” he said, “In the morning, go to the river bank where the queen and the ladies of the royal family bathe. They keep their clothes and jewels in a large open box on the river bank. Go and pick up a necklace from the box and fly away making a loud noise. This will make the guards chase you to the tree. Drop the necklace into the hole of the snake. To get the necklace back, the guards will have to catch the snake.”
The crows did as they were told. The guards ran after the cawing crows and came to the tree. They saw them drop the necklace into the snake hole. The snake was sleeping inside its hole. To get it out, the guards gathered some twigs, and placed them around the snake hole at the bottom of the tree. They set a match to it. The snake came out of the hole and was caught and taken away by a snake catcher.
The necklace was returned to the queen. The crows thanked their friend the bear. Now they lived happily with their young ones on the banyan tree.
Usha Pandit (2011) Empowering English Grade 3 Mindsprings Publication
Once, near a field, there lived an ant and a grasshopper. All day long the ant worked hard, collecting little grains of wheat. She picked them up one by one and took them to her anthill home. She worked without rest, stopping only for a bite of lunch.
The grasshopper would look at her and laugh. “Why do you work so hard, dear ant?” he asked her. “Come and listen to my song. It is summer. The days are bright and sweet. Why waste the best days with rough work and sweat?”
The ant heard him but did not speak. She just worked on. “What a silly little ant you are!” the grasshopper said. “Soon the summer will be gone and you will be sorry for not enjoying these sunny days.” So saying, the grasshopper danced and sang around the ant.
Soon autumn came, and then winter. The sun was not to be seen. The days were short and grey, the nights long and dark. It became freezing cold, and snow began to fall.
The grasshopper was cold and hungry. He had nothing to eat. The field was dry and there was no food to be found anywhere. “Oh what shall I do? Where shall I go?” said the grasshopper. He thought of the ant. “I shall go to the ant and ask her for food.”
Then he remembered how he had made fun of the ant and laughed at her. How could he ask her for food now? The grasshopper was so weak that he sank near the anthill’s door. The ant peeped out and looked at the cold and dying grasshopper. She took him in and gave him some warm food.
“All summer long you worked hard while I made fun of you,” said the grasshopper. “I should have thought of the winter then. I have been a fool. Will you forgive me?”
“Of course I forgive you. You have been foolish. It is good that you know now that you must work hard and find food when the days are bright, so that you have enough to eat during the tough times,” said the kind ant.
Usha Pandit (2011) Empowering English Grade 1 Mindsprings Publication
There was once a man who wished his small, noisy house was larger and quieter. He went to the wise old woman of the town and explained his need. She said, “I can solve your problem. Just do as I say.” The man agreed. “If you have a chicken, some sheep, a horse and a cow,” she said, “bring them into the house with you.” “That’s a silly thing to do,” thought the old man. But he did it anyway. Now his house was already small, and with all those animals in it, there was no room at all. He returned to the old woman and cried, “I need more room! The animals are so noisy I can’t think!” “Take all the animals out of your dwelling,” she replied. When he had put all the animals comfortably back in the barn, the man went into the house. To his amazement, it suddenly looked remarkably bigger! Without the animals inside, his house was now quiet too!
QUEST's project supported by Read Alliance will now be operational in 20 Ashram Schools in Jawhar district! On June 22, 2016, a workshop was held for principals of these 20 schools to orient them about these various programs and activities. An exhibition was also set up to explain the activities of QUEST's 'Saksham', 'Lipi' and 'Pustakgadi' programs.
'रीड अलायन्स' च्या साहाय्याने चालणारे क्वेस्टचे 'सक्षम', 'लिपी' हे कार्यक्रम आता जव्हारमधील २० आश्रमशाळांत सुरू होणार आहेत!
Students of Grades 4-7 from Pali and Gargao Ashram Schools have prepared this magazine, 'पागेर'. It contains articles, stories, jokes, drawings and crosswords, prepared entirely by the students. QUEST runs the 'Literacy Enhancement in Ashram Schools' project in these schools. The QUEST team's efforts, along with those of the students, can be seen in this magazine!
गारगाव आणि पाली गावातील आश्रम शाळांमधल्या इ. चौथी ते सातवीच्या विद्यार्थ्यांनी बनवलेलं हे हस्तलिखित - 'पागेर'. क्वेस्टतर्फे या शाळांमध्ये 'Literacy Enhancement in Ashram Schools' हा प्रकल्प चालतो. त्या अंतर्गत मुलं आता छान लिहिती
सालाबादप्रमाणे महाशिवरात्रीला, म्हणजे 7 मार्चला, क्वेस्टच्या टीमने केले 'मासे वाचवा अभियान'. तिळसे (वाडा तालुका) इथल्या शिवमंदिरापाशी भरणाऱ्या जत्रेत लोकशिक्षण करण्यासाठी हे अभियान होते. मंदिराजवळ एका डोहात दुर्मिळ प्रजातीचे मासे आहेत, त्या डोहात लोकांनी कचरा टाकू नये म्हणून हा प्रयत्न गेली ७ वर्षं चालू आहे. पहिल्या वर्षी ७-८ पोती कचरा डोहातून काढला होता, पण या वर्षी एकच पोतं भरलं! क्वेस्ट टीमच्या अभियानाचा हा प्रत्यक्ष परिणाम!
महाशिवरात्रीच्या निमित्ताने राबविण्यात आलेले ‘मासे वाचवा अभियान’ खूपच व्यवस्थितपणे पार पडले या अभियानास मदत केलेल्या सर्वच सभासदांचे मनःपूर्वक आभार.