Jaipur: Every morning over 20 children dressed neatly, with holding new bags and new pair of shoes head towards elite private schools in Jagatpura may look normal to anyone. They, however, comes from Madari-ki-Basti, a slum area in Jagatpura occupied by rag pickers, jugglers, magicians and rickshaw pullers.
Until a month back, these children were either picking rags or learning the art of juggling. Education in an elite private school was a distant dream for these kids but they achieved this due to Right to Education Act (RTE).
Six-year-old Malik Bano has been a part of her father’s juggling profession from the past two years. She has covered every corner of the town performing acrobatics skills on the roadside juggling shows. Living in a 6*10 feet shanty with plastic cover on the top, Bano’s parents has never dreamt of her going to a school where children come from bungalows has come true.
Since July 4, Bano is a student of Duckling International School in Pratapgarh thanks to the RTE Act. Bano wakes up early, takes a bath, dresses up and happily walks towards the school singing nursery rhymes. “I love my school. It is very big. And I don’t have to do any painstaking acrobatics anymore,” said elated Bano, whose father has now decided not take her in his roadshows anymore.
Madari-ki-Basti slum is surrounded by posh localities. It literally has no drainage system, proper roads and dumping ground. Here most of the children aged under 10 are malnourished and waterborne diseases are very common. Reportedly 16 other students from shanties and khucha houses have been selected in the lottery of RTE conducted by the state government.
Another success story comes from the two room kucha house at the corner of this slum. Sons of differently abled parents –Nischay and Nishant — were spending most of the time playing in the garbage until they were admitted in private schools Krish Cambridge and Ankit Public School, respectively under this Act.
It is very early to access the change but their parents say that they now love to spend time at home painting, drawing and learning alphabets and numbers.
Mukesh, a father of the duo has polio and earns a livelihood by driving auto rickshaw. He earns barely enough to feed his family two meals a day. Seeing them going to school is a unimaginable moment for him.
The winds of change blowing here are results of a group of individuals headed by a law student Pranjal Singh who has disseminated the information about the RTE admissions, assisted them in filing online and offline admissions and now ensures that these children go to school.
“This slum existed from last 35 years but nothing has changed. With these kids getting quality education will change the face of this slum.” He informed that 40 students from this slum were selected for the admissions more than half of them failed to submit the documents on time.
Source: The Times of India