Nandurbar district in Maharashtra lags behind on all socio-economic indicators. Since the tribal population of Nandurbar migrates in search of employment after the October harvest, children stay in school only four months a year. This takes a heavy toll on learning and leads to early drop outs, exacerbating the lack of schooling and affecting literacy. As per 2011 Census, the average rate of literacy in Nandurbar is only 63% — the lowest in the state; literacy among women is even lower — 54%. Literacy hurdles were also aggravated because the medium of instruction is Marathi; the tribals spoke either Pawari or Bhilori.
To mitigate the problem, Tata Trusts has been supporting education projects in Dhadgao block since 2008. The focus of the interventions has been on demonstrating improved quality of education at pre-schools and primary schools. Currently, Tata Trusts is partnering with Jan Seva Mandal and Janarth Adivasi Vikas Sanstha to operate Balbhavans in schools. The objective is to improve students’ learning outcomes, especially in Marathi and Mathematics by offering them additional classes. Apart from this, a sports programme and a resource centre in the block education office have also been operationalised.