Plat­form school gives street chil­dren a chance at life

A TMC ini­tia­tive, the school, lo­cated on the Mum­bra sta­tion premises, pro­vides free of cost ed­u­ca­tion to the chil­dren for two hours a day

Mid Day - - City - ANAMIKA GHARAT [email protected]

A PLAT­FORM school at Mum­bra rail­way sta­tion, started by the Thane Mu­nic­i­pal Corporation (TMC) with an aim to pro­vide free ed­u­ca­tion to street kids, has given 35 such chil­dren from the area a new life. Al­most af­ter a month of at­tend­ing classes, they now want get an ed­u­ca­tion so that they can stop beg­ging for a liv­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to sources, vol­un­teers from the area teach the kids for two hours ev­ery day, from 12-2pm. The chil­dren, who were pre­vi­ously seen beg­ging in­side trains or loi­ter­ing on the plat­forms, are now learn­ing to write and draw.

Thir­teen-year-old Rani, who re­cently learnt to write in English, said, “I have been beg­ging on trains and plat­forms. I had never held a pen in my hand, but af­ter two weeks of prac­tice, I can now write the English al­pha­bet. I want to learn English so that I can get a good job.”

“When we started teach­ing these kids a month back, they hardly knew any­thing, but now they can write. It’s fun teach­ing them,” said Farzana Kazi, a teacher at the school.

Speak­ing about a 10-year-old girl, who is ad­dicted to gutkha, Kazi said, “As they live on the streets, it’s dif­fi­cult to get them con­trol these habits. But we are try­ing our best. We give her tof­fees dur­ing school hours.”

The vol­un­teers be­lieve that apart from im­part­ing ed­u­ca­tion, it was also im­por­tant to en­sure the chil­dren’s safety. Hence, TMC has planned to in­stall CCTV cam­eras in the area around the school. TMC PRO Sandip Malvi, said, “We are think­ing of in­stalling CCTV cam­eras in the area. We will soon sanc­tion the plan and do the need­ful.”

The chil­dren, who were pre­vi­ously seen beg­ging in­side trains or loi­ter­ing on plat­forms, are now learn­ing to write and draw

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