Classroom on wheels come now

Raja Kumar, 13, hadn’t dreamt he would ever go to school. He lived on Delhi’s streets, rummaging through garbage for a living and playing with other street kids.

Today the boy has got admission in a government school - thanks to a mobile learning centre.

Kumar, a resident of a slum in Okhla area here, received basic elementary education at the mobile centre launched last month by Save the Children to educate street and slum children.

“I was lucky to get a chance to study. I don't think I ever could have. I am getting a sense of direction towards further studies and employment,” Kumar said.

Like him other children from similar background are looking towards a better future by joining this mobile learning centre. Housed in a gleaming, swanky yellow bus, the learning centre is bridging the gap between streets and schools for children usually found ragpicking or begging.

It equips children with preparatory and elementary education. To keep the children hooked to studies, the bus is equipped with graphical story books, LCD television, cushioned couches and wooden cupboards.

“The idea is to get these kids admitted in municipal primary schools after some preparatory education at our centre,” Zahir Elias, the project coordinator, said.

The bus parks itself at a spot and conducts school every alternate day of the week for children in two shifts in the age group 3 to 5 and 6 to 14.

The school on wheels was result of a survey by the NGO which found that parents were willing to send their children to school if it did not interfere with their work as earning members.

Elias said, post the survey, we had a series of motivational interaction with the community.

The mobile centre aims to cover over 2,000 streets in the capital.

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