Near Thane traf­fic sig­nal, 17 kids find a bet­ter fu­ture

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI - Megha Pol megha.pol@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The three Pawar girls — Kal­pana, 13, Nikita, 10 and Neha, 7, who were sell­ing flow­ers at the traf­fic sig­nal two months ago, now have books in their hands and are re­vis­ing their lessons at the cor­ner of a busy Teen Hath Naka sig­nal.

They are among the 17 stu­dents, who are at­tend­ing the sig­nal school set up by Thane Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion along with Sa­marth Bharat Vyaspeth, an NGO, un­der the Teen Hath Naka fly­over. Though the school has been run­ning for the past two months, it was for­mally in­au­gu­rated by the civic com­mis­sioner on Fri­day. Teach­ers in­ter­act with chil­dren at the sig­nal school un­der the Teen Hath Naka fly­over. Thane Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion along with NGO Sa­marth Bharat Vyaspeth has set up the school.

some­day. “We had to make great ef­forts to con­vince the par­ents to send the chil­dren to the sig­nal school.”

FA­CIL­I­TIES GALORE

While most plush schools may not have gar­dens, but this small sig­nal school does. In fact, it has slides, swings and see­saws un­der the fly­over where the stu­dents are seen play­ing. Bhatu Sawant, sec­re­tary of the NGO, said, “The most prom­i­nent change among the stu­dents is hy­giene —they bathe ev­ery day and change their clothes. They reach the school be­fore the teach­ers. We have con­structed

a wash­room for the stu­dents to freshen up be­fore school hours. We also make pro­vi­sion for doc­tors in case they are un­well.”

The school, de­spite its lo­ca­tion, has ac­tiv­ity based toys and learn­ing tools. The stu­dents, in the age group of 4 to 13 years, at­tend the school from 11am to 4 pm and are taught by four teach­ers. “They are taught num­bers and al­pha­bets. In the next step, we will teach them to read and write. Once they learn this, they can go to the nor­mal school. We also teach them mu­sic craft and paint­ing. Last week we got a flute player of their own age,” added Sawant.

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