Assunta Bhavan, is situated in the ranges of the famous Aravali Mountain (oldest in the world) of Rajasthan, in an interior village called Ogna. Ogna is a small village town in the Jhadol tehsil of Udaipur district. Assunta Bhavan is involved in socio-pastoral and other human developmental activities such as health, education, and economic development etc.   Ogna is a Panchayat and has its office there. Ogna is also adjoining the Vahder and Wakar, the two famous valleys in Arawali mountain ranges. It is also at the border of Jhadol, Kotra and Gogunda tehsils. Our work consists in these three tehsils of Udaipur district, namely Jhadol, Gogunda and Kotra.

95% of the total population is of the tribal who belong to Bhil and Graacia tribes. They are very poor and backward in all the spheres of life. The rest 5% population belongs to others casts. They are living mostly in village towns. They are Brahmins, Rajputs, Kumhars, Malis, Harijans and other backward castes. There are a few who belong to business class and play a vital role in the lives of tribal. Actually they are the people who are controlling whole economy of the tribal.

Since the tribal people are very simple and illiterate, these business men exploit them. When they go to sell the grains at the time of harvesting, the business men buy the grain at a very low price. But at the same time, if they have to buy the grain, it is sold to them for double the price. The businessmen are very happy to give loans to people during the time of marriages and other important occasions when people are badly in need of money and things. The businessmen give loans in form of money and things. The businessmen give loans in form of grain, cloths, silver, and cash etc. and collect back with a very high interest, some times as high as 25% per annum. Sometimes people do not even know what the price of things they gave, taken on loan and how much interest they have been charged while taking the loan. So it is only when they pay back that they really come to know how much money they have to pay. They get a real shock of life and it becomes really difficult for them to return. In some cases people have to sell their land, cattle and other things to pay back the debt. There is an old saying that “Indian farmer is born in debt and he dies in debt.” This phrase is true to this area and people even today.

This is a real story of these people. Because the most of the tribal here are farmers and really poor. Almost all the tribal have got some land, but majority of them have got very little. Moreover the quality of land is very poor as the land is not level or fertile but hard and stony. They depend on the little pieces of land for their livelihood, but they do not get enough from it for their livelihoods and required needs. Therefore they have to look for other work elsewhere at time even for their daily bread. Most of the men and youth go looking for work in the cities and mines nearby or even to the cities in neighboring states. It means they have to be away from their home for months together. During their absence the women flock looks after the homes.

Among the tribal literacy rate among tribal is very low. According to the statistics literacy rate of Rajasthan is 61%. But among tribal it is below 20%. In Gogunda tehsil the literacy rate is 50.12%, among male 67.74% and among female 32.32%. In Jhadol the literacy rate is 59.26%, the male 74.73% and female 43.43%.

At present there are schools in most of the villages. Many children go to the schools these days. Most of the government schools have only one teacher. Teachers do not want to stay in the villages but in the cities. From there they come to the school daily by bus or by other means. It means that the most of the teachers reach school late to start the classes. They also close the school early to go back to their residence in the cities. In our village visits we also found that there is no school building existing nor does the teacher come to teach the children. But children’s names are listed in register. So the school is only in register and file. There are a few schools which are in very interior and teachers find difficult to go every day in such schools the teachers appoint  a sub teacher who is form the same village or close by villages. Sub teacher is not at all educated. He may be hardly 5th passed and not at all knowledgeable. Therefore the standard of the school is very low.

Tribal are not much aware of the health and hygiene thus the mortality rate in very high. Many mothers are suffering from anemia and other diseases. This whole area is declared as malaria affected area. Recent finding is also alarming that a few of them are having HIV/AIDS. Unless they are educated many more will be also affected. In our hostel every year 50% children get sick and many are taken to Doctor, and almost all are treated for malaria. In the villages there are hardly hospitals of medical facilities. In reality, in Gogunda tehsil only 18.49%, in Jhadol 23.85%, and in Kotra tehsil only 7.62% of villages are having medical facilities and health centers.


    “Any development begins with education.” is an age old experienced adage. The government has also identified this as the main problem of tribal in India for any development activities. Without education people do not know their rights or the procedures for getting various subsidies offered nor avoiding corruptions which they are subjected too. Thus they are used by middle men and ultimately reduced to sub human levels. In spite of huge amount of spending on education by government the result is very poor. 

Main reasons of poor literacy are as following:

Most of the teachers in tribal village schools are non tribal. They feel insecure to teach them. Thinking that if these tribal are educated, they will have less job opportunity. They are frightened of their status too.

Poor roads and transport system.

Teachers staying in town, not committed, and are outsiders, only collecting their salaries.

There is corruption by checking authorities in reporting and they join hands with teachers who readily pay bribes.

Many teachers are engaged in their own private business and teaching is only a side business for them.

Villages being in the interior, teachers take time to reach and leave early to go home.

There are no facilities and comfort line in the town, so no teacher remains in the village.

The curriculum is not adapted according to the village children.

The irregular teacher in primary school, who teaches the minimum, passes the children without even the basic learning.

Parents do not look at education as boon because the above reasons. Hence they generally think one more hand in the farm is better.

As there is less food, the child labour is the order of the day.

If they have to survive, they have to work at early age. Hence school attendance is very poor. 



22/07/2009      the new School building was blessed by Fr. Nicholas Martis SVD and Most Rev. Joseph Pathalil, Bishop of Udaipur was the guest of honour.

Confreres who worked so far:

Name of the Confreres

Post / Assignment


Fr. Habil Lakra

School Incharge


Bro. John Menezes

Staff Member


Bro. John Menezes

Hostel In-Charge


Fr. Sania Surin

School In charge


Fr. Sania Surin

School In charge


Fr. Pascal Tirkey

School In charge


Fr. Pascal Tirkey

School In charge