A street-side school for the most determined of street kids of Mumbai
Many schools run by the government in India have a special provision for its students – a midday meal. These meals are not provided by private schools. In the government schools, it is a means of attracting children from underprivileged background to attend them.
However, for many kids and families, this is not a big enough lure. These are families that require every member to work and pitch in financially. Usually, this cycle continues with every generation of street kids, a term used for children born and raised on the pavements. And, such was the case with the many families living under a bridge in Thane, Mumbai.
That’s where Bhatu Sawant’s Samarth Bharat Vyaspeeth came into the picture. The social activist thought if the kids couldn’t go to school, the only way to educate them will be to take schools to the students. The NGO started their school in June 2016 in a shipping container, with help of Thane Municipal Corporation.
The Vyaspeeth is not just a school but a Gurukul for the students attending it. Other than regular classes on academic topics, the students also learn arts, crafts and sports in the Signal Shala. In fact, even things related to personal hygiene like bathing, washing their clothes and grooming of the students are taken care of by the volunteers of the NGO.
Teachers of the school also hold regular meetings with the parents. The discussions during these meetings are not just about the kids’ academic records. Parents are given special lessons so that the progress made with the kids is sustained.
Over the months of running the school, teachers realized that their students being street kids don’t get proper meals on most days. This is why they started providing them one full meal a day. They now want to include breakfast and healthy snacks on the menu. They are running a fundraiser for this.
You can support Samarth Bharat Vidyapeeth and many others like them, or even create your own free fundraiser on Crowdera.