Monday, April 14, 2014

An Informal School for the Children of Migrant Labour

Construction on first floor.
Cricket on the ground floor
Children of parents working on construction sites often go unnoticed by most. But when you start to look there are many such children. Most of them are very young and do not go to any school. Larger construction projects run day cares for these children. However, during the construction of smaller independent homes in layouts there is no such infrastructure that is provided or mandated
Children at Work or Play ? 

BIOME trust has been toying with the idea of putting together an informal school for these children - where food is provided to them and the children get an opportunity to learn the alphabet, dance , draw and sing. In the world we live in we might take literacy for granted - but only when you speak to a construction worker and ask him for his phone number and when he hands over his phone to you so that you can read out his number from a small tag that is stuck to his phone - that you realize that he cannot read. He wishes he could learn the alphabet and the numerals. Conversations make it abundantly clear that the parents are not happy having their children hanging around the construction site. They would much rather the children be in a safe and secure place and learn to read and write.
The local tea vendor - knows all the
childrenin the neighbourhood

The men are a little wary when we ask them if there are kids on site - since they think that we might be officials on a lookout for "child labour". The women warm up when we suggest a free school to them. They are confident that they can help spread the word and get many kids to join this school.

Nobody complains and these children find their own little joys amidst all the construction work.

We now know that there is a need for such a school. Now have to figure out how to get-it-going

Kids run behind the ice cream man on
a hot sunny afternoon
A Grandma baby sits.
A sari is a jhoola

Pragathi Trust - Also associated
with the cause

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