Empowering Slum’s Education-Social Story
We live in a society where quality of living is defined by money; people who are not fortunate enough to earn a good lifestyle are not able to attain that quality of life. Few natives who are not able to afford a shelter either end up living a nomadic life or they dwell temporary shelters, and after certain time these structures turns into a huge unauthorized settlements which we call ‘slums’. In Doon itself around 26% of population dwells in slums. Where education has to be a priority they prefer sharing their responsibilities with their own children. Either they make them beg or work to share the burden of their household. At crowded places of the city like ‘Paltan’, ‘ISBT’, ‘Tapkeshwar Mandir’, ‘Darshan Lal Chowk’, ‘Sai Mandir’ etc. one can see groups of beggars and among these groups most of them are children. Many children living in slums are found picking up trash; few of them sell paper bags or work at construction sites. Families of these children are so poor that they cannot afford to send them to renowned schools; obviously a serious step has to be taken to provide education to these poor children. For a well civilized society it is strictly important for everyone to get sophisticated, from supporting one’s family to contributing something to this world, education is essential. These children do not know the concept of sharing and it is really difficult to make them learn because they won’t be able to coordinate if they are asked to work in a team. It is complicated to make their families understand how much important education is if one wants to change the pattern of their life and for the welfare of the society as well. They don’t understand that everyone living in this world has to work for survival but, they believe, when begging can help them with some money, what is the need to work. They ignore the education like any other thing. In this situation the most important work is thinning out awareness. Unless people are aware of the importance and the need of education they won’t change their way of living. Though it is a difficult task to make these people understand, there are various NGOs working on the very same problem and most of them have attained a remarkable success in their projects of imparting education among poor children.These NGOs try to reach slum areas and organize a workshop in order to motivate them towards education; one such organization, ‘Smart Street’ works for street children who pick rags and beg. In various reigons like ‘Govind Nagar’, ‘Indira Nagar’, Rajpur Road’, ‘ISBT’ and ‘Bindal’. They organized various outreach programs and campaigns to promote education and eradicate child beggary. One of their anti beggary campaign was with district magistrate and NGO ‘Child Line’. More than 330 children attended these programs. ‘Khushi Hona’ is another organization which is devoted to help orphans. These people have worked to promote education among people living in slums. They went to slum areas and encouraged poor people to send their children to school, their efforts were quiet successful. They extended their efforts by visiting these areas before school time to ensure that children are going to school. A yellow bus would come to take these kids to a local school organized to educate children who are not able to pay their fee.
There are several ways to help these children learn, where some NGOs are organizing campaigns to promote education among them, few trusts are placing children in main stream schools. ‘Aasra’ trust placed 180 kids in such schools including St Joseph Academy. UTF is looking forward to facilitate 1st ‘Any Body Can’ talent school in the slums of Deep Nagar. Lots of efforts have been taken by the non government organizations and trusts to educate poor children. These efforts are to get things on track but, as we know every path has twist and turns and these hurdles make thing more and more difficult. Poor families are demanding and stubborn and this is in their blood since a very young age, somehow this becomes really important for their survival. If you offer them something they might do something irrelevant that might leave you wondering whether you should help them or not. Money plays a major role in their life. They can even pinch you or push you if you don’t give them something else instead money.
On a route from ‘ISBT’ to ‘Rispana’ there is a temporary settlement of people from Lucknow and they call themselves ‘mangte’. They spend their lives living on remnants of others travelling from one city to another when asked to leave by the registered inhabitants of that city. Their kids either work or help their mothers in domestic activities. When they were asked about their education and whether they attended school or not they replied that there is a ‘Yellow Bus’ which is assigned to take poor children to school. They started going to school earlier but they bunged classes because they used to get canned at school. Moreover their parents want them to spend their time earning money for their family. It is important to take care of the seriousness of such a state of affairs and to sustain the ideology of education in the mind of these people. It has to be taken into an account that those kids who start going to school do not get demotivated by any means. Few steps should be taken to get things on track, for that maybe certain rules and measures could be introduced so that their mindset toward education is taken very seriously. Furthermore children begging on streets should not be ignored instead they have to be asked to go to school every day. They should know how important it is to learn and get civilized. Their minds should be fitted with a notion that education is quiet important to elevate the standard of living. Government organizations and NGOs need to focus on this very question that when there are numerous facilities provided to such children, why are they not availing such opportunities and why the field of education is being left unattended by them?