It was a dream-come-true not just for underprivileged children from CR Park but also for a group of ladies when Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit inaugurated the new concrete building for their school at I block.
After running from two temporary sheds for years, the Aparajita Baal Niketan finally shifted to the new building. Around 60 children will study in three rooms on the first floor.
Mostly children of labourers, domestic aides, vendors and construction workers from the neighbourhood, the students get to study free of cost and also receive free uniforms, books and mid-day meals. The Niketan is run by Aparajita Mahila Samiti.
"It was a blessing for our children that Sheila Dikshit came herself for the inauguration of the new building on Thursday," said Gayatri Ray, president of the Samiti.
The children with different levels of literacy - few of them illiterate - study at this school for one or two years before joining a nearby MCD school in class 5 after clearing a test.
"Of the 60 odd students, generally 25-30 are ready to go to the MCD school. This year, we sent 20 of them," said Ray. In fact, one of the students joined class 8 directly.
The school is being run with voluntary teachers and a number of other volunteers. The school started as a balwadi (kindergarten) from a garage with just 8-9 children.