zaterdag, november 30, 2013

To bring quality education to the tribal children.

Unique Project to stop tribal children from migration

 November 27, 2013

20th November was a unique day in a sense because a unique programme was initiated. A hostel for tribal children in the tribal hamlet in Lahe, off Khardi highway was inaugurated.
The uniqueness is that these children who would have migrated with their parents to work will now not be deprived of their education.

The other unique feature is that one of the tribals has given his house to be the ‘boarding’ for these children. Two couples from the hamlet have volunteered to be their ‘parents’ for the next months and look after them.

In rural areas, especially among the Katkari tribes, migration to other cities to work on brick kilns and sugar factories is a common thing. Poverty and landlessness forces them to migrate for their survival.

Every year after Diwali families migrate and return only in June. They take their children along with them which means that their education is hampered. This cycle is repeated every year and thousands of tribal children lose out on education.

This problem has been engaging the minds of REAP (Reach Education Action Programme) which works in the area. REAP networks with about 100 Zilla Parishad Schools in Bhiwandi, Sange, Shahapur and Khardi area to bring quality education to the tribal children.

REAP also runs a boarding for tribal girls in Dolkhamb, Shahapur Tal., to encourage tribal girls to complete high school. Currently 40 tribal girls are studying there.

Since the last two years REAP has been toying with the idea of doing something to prevent this happening. They came up with this idea of a six month temporary boarding. It was not an easy sell. Several meetings were held with the villagers to convince them about the plan.

Finally yesterday the plan took shape and was inaugurated by the Director, Dr. Trevor Miranda in the presence of the zilla parishad area development officials, head master, school teachers, village Sarpanch (who also happens to be a teacher in REAP’s programme), school going children from the village and villagers.

The school officials were in praise of such a unique idea and said that this is a step in the right direction. The director announced that this is a pilot project, if this is a success, next year more such six months boarding’s would be opened in villages to prevent children losing out due to migration.

The director also announced that REAP would provide toilets and solar lights in the village which was lustily cheered.

Fr. Trevor Miranda SJ

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