From giving rise to progressive ideas to building a secure future, education plays a very important role in one's life. National Education Day is celebrated on November 11 marking the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. A leader of rural and poor education, Kalam motivated girls' education and adult literacy. He was the one who introduced free and compulsory education for children till the age of 14. He served as India's first Education Minister from August 15, 1947, to February 2, 1958. Kalam passed away on February 22 1958 but his contribution to education is something which will always be with us.
This National Education Day, CitySpidey decided to highlight the work of different organisations that are working towards educating the underprivileged sections of India.
Stand N Stride foundation
This is a registered organisation which works for educating children of domestic helps in Dwarka and making them self-sufficient. Amod Poddar, 50, founder of Stand N Stride and a resident of sector 6 Dwarka education says, "Usually when maids go to work, they leave their kids in the park. The kids either play or sometimes even indulge in wrongdoings. These children became our inspiration and we decided to educate them and enrol them on schools."
Around 200 children are associated with the education organisation and 100 volunteers are there to guide them throughout the journey. Amod shares that it was not easy to enrol these children on school as many of them did not have adhaar cards or other documents for enrollment so they also stepped in to get their documentation done. The organisation organises 2 hours session daily after school in which they check their progress, teaches them the syllabus and clear their doubts. There are 3 centres of the organisation namely sector 6, sector 2 and sector 19 where it is convenient for the kids to get an education.
Not only education but also they provide them with vocational training. Along with basic education, children are exposed to courses in computer, beauty or stitching that would help them earn.
Choti si Khushi
Choti si Khushi is another organisation in Dwarka which is working for the education of the underprivileged. The initiative was started by Namita Chowdhury (43) a resident of Dwarka sector 3 with her friend Seema Joshi in 2013. Namita while talking about the beginning of the foundation says, "Migrated labour children whose parents go to work are left behind to look after their younger siblings or to earn some money. Slowly, when I asked them whether they would like to learn, their answer was yes and that sparked a fire within me. That was the time I decided to provide education to these children"
Nearly 200 children are getting an education under this organisation. Choti si Khushi has its centres in sector 3, sector 4 and sector 20, Dwarka. Rohini in Delhi and Kolkata in west Bengal are also the places where this organisation is working for the social cause.
Apart from children's education, Choti Si Khushi also works towards removing adult literacy. There are around 50 ladies whom they have taught to sign and write their names.
The organisations also shared that they had to overcome several challenges on this journey. Some of them are convincing the parents to allow the children to pursue an education, and to get their documentation while enrolling them on school. Keeping them regular to school and motivated for their education is another milestone. One thing which is common for all three is their will to make a change at their level. Such initiative help in empowering the weak sections and paving the way for a better, more equal world. Happy National Education Day to all.