Jamshedpur, Aug 17: For the more than 600 out-of-school children residing in nearly 15 slum clusters along the Jamshedpur Marine Drive, learning has come to a continuity again. On August 15, 2021, a total of 15 learning centres were jointly inaugurated by the slum community, Kudy Mahanty Chiren’s Opportunities (KMCO) Trust and Tata Steel Foundation (TSF) to create a seamless learning opportunity for the children.
The learning centres are aligned to the Foundation’s Masti ki Pathshala programme which operates both residential and non-residential bridge schools for children of slum localities at Jamshedpur. This venture is a result of an intensive engagement with the Marine Drive slum community comprising a survey to ascertain the scope of the centres.
Led by Chunaram Baske, the local leader, the people from the community have joined hands with KMCO and TSF to create the centre that will impart a special course to the children to bridge their leaning gap and bring them back to schools. Teaching will be provided by graduate and postgraduate students identified as teachers, from the community.
“We have seen these children going astray; not learning anything, not receiving education. We feared that they would end up with worse fate than ours. So, this learning bridge was necessary to ensure that regular academics begin for these children at the earliest. The teachers belong to our community, and hence, are aware of the precarious living conditions along with the emotional mind space of the children so there can be no better teachers than them,” said Baske lovingly known as Majhi Baba in the community.
Khushboo Kumari, one of the selected teachers, on being asked about her decision to teach, candidly replies, “We know if we don’t handhold these children, they would end up being addicts. Most of them lack the knowledge of how grave the situation truly is and their parents are daily-wage earners. If we do not come forward, we will soon witness these children committing crimes, and resorting to unfair means.”
Mr Rakeshwar Pandey, President, Tata Steel Rural Development Society (TSRDS) Union, Mr Niroop Mahanty, Managing Trustee of KMCO Trust and Mr Sourav Roy, Chief, Corporate Social Responsibility, Tata Steel, were present on the occasion.
A short cultural program was organized by the children of the community showcasing enormous potential that these children possess and the length they can reach if given the right guidance. “The journey will not be easy, but we shall get there soon, with you all being with us, together,” affirmed Mr Roy.
KMCO Trust and TSF recently signed an MoU committing to transforming young lives by ensuring continuity in their learning. KMCO is a Jamshedpur-based trust which envisions a smile on every child’s face as their motto and their work towards the city is a personification of the same. This collaboration will ensure learning access and continuity to the children at Masti Ki Pathshala, a programme run by TSF to enable learning bridge between schools and children from slums of Jamshedpur, while also nurturing the culture of learning for children in the slum cluster along the Jamshedpur Marine Drive.