When we think of slums in Delhi, we can imagine children running from one corner to the other, playing in the mud in the absence of their parents, who have gone out for work to make sure that their children get two square meals a day. Such is the plight of these children, they could have never imagined that someone one day would come in these slums, looking for them, thinking of giving education, helping them in mainstreaming them in government schools and would take the responsibility of taking care when they are back from school.
This is exactly what we do in the four centers that we have established in North-West Delhi. The project started with the support of Edukans foundation, when a bus with a moving classroom visited these locations. Gradually, we found out that the bus could not cater to more than 20 or 30 children at a time, while the demand is somewhere in the range of 100 children at one point of time. We established four centers in Wazirpur, Adarsh Nagar, Bhalaswa and Haiderpur. Each location had its unique dynamics but one common thing — poverty, children and hunger for education.
The centers operate as a hub for these children who get to learn when they are away from their parents. The parents too feel happy as they know their kids are not loitering here and there in their absence. Deepalaya team identifies children who are out of school, motivate the parents and enroll them into the learning centers. The children so enrolled are then provided non-formal education and after a few months are mainstreamed into government schools. After attending their respective schools, the children come back to the centers. Our teachers provide necessary assistance so that they are at par with their peers.
As of now, the centers collectively have a strength of 379 children with 86 per cent children, who are mainstreamed into government schools. Amid these tight and filthy surroundings, these centers are spreading the light of education.