History of the Institute

Majhihira National Basic Educational Institution, the founder body of Mahihira Ashram PTTI, was established in 1940 by a group of Gandhian freedom fighters in the remote village of Majhihira under Purulia district of West Bengal erstwhile Manbhum district of Bihar, with an objective of spreading Basic Education (Nai Talim) as enunciated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1937.The institution was inaugurated  by Shri A.W. Aryanayakamji , Secretary of All India Nai Talim Samity, Wardha and under the leadership of Shri Chitta Bhusan Dasgupta, who himself was a freedom fighter, ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi and pioneer of Basic Education in eastern India. Majhihira was chosen because of its remoteness, poor economic condition, social isolation and administrative neglect and apathy. It was thought that if the practice of Basic Education could be successful in such area, it would be a success throughout the country.

During the initial phase (1940-47), the institution had to face problems mainly from two sides, – a) The then prevalent social order did not accept such endeavor, and  b) The ‘Quit India Movement’ of 1942 resulted in a declaration that Majhihira Ashram was a congregation of unlawful activities by the British govt. and had to close down. The workers were imprisoned.

During the second phase (1947-64), the institution expanded its activities of spreading and deepening such practices and values of Basic Education. Children from far flung villages as well as urban areas crowded the school. Following the Gandhian concept, provision for spinning, weaving, agriculture, paper making, soap making, carpentry, iron work and Safai were taught in a secular atmosphere together with the different academic subjects and inculcation of aesthetic sense and love towards humanity and beauties of nature. Such entire process was believed to be a pathway for Sarvoday as advised by Gandhiji.

In the decade of 1960, signs of stagnation and decline was noted which was mainly due to a shift of the national policy makers from the Gandhian praxis to a non Gandhian consumerist model.  During 1970s, many of such Buniyadi/Nai Talim institutes were deprived from the governmental assistances and people with vested interest turned the devoted workers away from such institiutes. In 1991, under the auspices of H.R.D. Ministry, Govt. of India, Samagra Shiksha Movement enabled the organization to restart our endeavour. Work was started in 100 villages where 100 education centres were established. The experience of running the education centres for one decade in 90’s brought forth a band of dedicated teachers in this rural area apart from encouraging about 3000 ‘non-goer and dropout of schools’ children to attend the centres for achieving MLL. This experience propelled us to initiate a Teachers’ Training Institute where together with the routine training schedule, exposure would be given to attain a proper pedagogy for rural area. The said Institute was therefore established in 2003 and got recognition from NCTE in 2009. Apart from this Training Institute, Ashram Schools for Basic Education up to secondary level were also rejuvenated. During this period and particularly from 2004, MNBEI undertook the programme of Inclusive Education for physically challenged children of the region which later led us to the capacity building endeavour for such children towards making their livelihood. This pioneering step to address a long pending social necessity has led the district administration to bestow the responsibility to work as Nodal agency for the physically challenged populace of the district.

All the aforementioned activities are presently running in full swing with the endeavour of the workforce of Majhihira National Basic Educational Institution.