While now its that time of the year when students get excited about getting new books, some still struggle to buy the books and study in schools despite the provision of Right To Education Act which provides free textbooks, money for uniform and free lunch under the midday meal scheme in all government schools up to Class 8.
The numbers have been high and to bring them down significantly, many organisations have been working on this by collecting some bit of stationery and books in order to help the children. The worse case happened when the donors were decent but there were hardly any families to collect the books.
On March 24, an NGO called Goonj in association with KROS organised the second edition of ‘Khushiyon ka recycle’, a project that ensures learning for many in scattered areas. In this drive, the organisation collected stationery, games, uniforms which are in usable condition.
Neena Singh, vice-president of KROS, says, “We got double the response from last year when we had only 40 gunny bags, but today we have 100. This is all because of our volunteers and donors who have shown such great interest.”
An NGO, headed by Pramod Sharma, has a ‘Kitab Ghar’ in Bapu Dham Colony, Chandigarh, which was established in 2008. Students can borrow or even issue books as per their needs from this library. Volunteers donate books and even promote reading campaigns, storytelling sessions and organise birthday parties for 500 marginalised children. In addition to that, special centres in the same colony also provide access to girl aged between 11 to 14 to do extra-curricular activities free of cost.
“We try and convince the parents of these girls to continue their education and since most of the schools in and around Bapu Dham Colony are Hindi medium, we help them polish their English and learn computers as well. That is something that helps most of them get a decent job after Class 12,” he adds.
Chandigarh Parents Association also has a book bank which allows the exchange of second-hand books. Its President Nitin Goyal said to a source “Schools use workbooks instead of textbooks. On top of that, there are some books that are updated or changed every year. These factors affect the number of takers.”
There has been a number of such NGOs who are trying hard to get every child go to school however because of certain factors it stays pulled up. We hope that people like them Stand up for such cause and help in whatever ways they can.