Patrika - MAG initiative
STAY HOME to STAY HAPPY
'Stay Home' Embraces Poor Children for Education
School now functional with 50 children, one teacher and grant of 1 lakh ( out of 5 lakh) released
Kids collecting garbage, playing poor’s polo with a tyre and a stick is a common site in Banjara Basti of Bhilwara district ( Rajasthan, India). Their families could never be serious and hopeful about education, till Media Action Group (MAG) reached out to them to offer support. As a part of its campaign to enroll Poor children in schools, make private schools abide by the provision of 25% seats reserved for the poor, our team launched on to the mission to educate each child and facilitate implementation of some of the meaningful provision of Right to Education Act for Free Elementary Education. As a result the first ever Stay Home project is being opened in this Basti, inhabited by the poor.Newspaper campaigning with ground interventions mobilized the machinery and citizens both.
As we began our mission Bhilwara correspondent Bhuwnesh Pandya got into action with social commitment on agenda. He began with the initial task of child tracking with the support of socially concerned citizens, documenting details of the deprived children and maintaining a record of each....sheer ground work led to a list of 140 children and exposed the discrepancies in official record of the deprived.
Lot of Promise
As the campaign to enrol children picked the ground, the affluent people and social organizations offered support of uniform, books, bags and bottles....and got knowledge about government scheme of Stay Home for Poor and Street Children. We initiated dialogue with government machinery, sent proposal, had round of meetings to avail of this scheme at the earliest. As the file moved fast, MAG was asked to offer the list of the deprived children who could enjoy Stay Home, a concept which makes special provision for educating the poor in the vicinity of their homes and offer facility to sleep, eat and study. Manju Pokharna form Sambodhi Mahila Mandal, Udaylal and Mahaveer Samdani from Ganesh Utsav Prabandh Sewa Samiti and other o\groups have promised to meet out other needs of the children to help keep their studies uninterrupted.
A 10 Months Pilot
As the place was identified for setting up ‘Stayhome’ as an initiative of Media Action Group, and a grant of 5 lacs was soon sanctioned and 1 lakh have been released. This will be a 10 moths pilot project and success will be evaluated to decide future course of action. Now , more than 50 children ( all identified by MAG) are enrolled here, where they will get meals as well as a soft bed to dream. More than 90 children have now been sent to the nearby schools. Savaram, a resident of this colony been appointed as teacher cum warden of the Stay Home assisted by Satyanarayan Sharma. The district project coordinating committee included BL Deedvania, Anil Bangar, Prahlad Pareek, KL Jeengar, Paras Jain of the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan added pace to the movement.