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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

'World should follow Kolkata in teaching slum kids'

PTI  Kolkata, October 28, 2013
First Published: 22:40 IST(28/10/2013) | Last Updated: 22:44 IST(28/10/2013)

Impressed with privileged children in Kolkata schools who teach slum kids, Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton on Monday said children in the rest of the world should also adopt this model.

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"They take out time to teach poor kids. This is just remarkable. We don't get to see this in Europe and the rest of the world. They should also do that," Hamilton told reporters in Kolkata.

The international sportsman met children of St James School who teach underprivileged children from nearby slums.

Under the project by international NGO Save The Children, kids from privileged backgrounds take on the role of teachers and mentors of street children in bridge course process before they are mainstreamed into the formal education system. In this way, more than a thousand children living in the streets and in slums have been educated.

During his visit to the city, Hamilton also went to brick kilns in Barasat area on the outskirts of the city as the brand ambassador of the NGO.

Not only did he play with the kids staying in the kiln, he also tried his hand in making a clay brick.

"I love children. They are the future. So I am here to help them as millions and millions of children don't get opportunities. Today I saw it first hand," he told reporters.

"They have so many dreams. Someone wants to be a doctor, policemen, etc. The world in which I live is so different from what I see here," he said.

Asked as to why he chose to visit the slums of Kolkata, he said the issue here is serious enough.

"It was very educating for me. When you see things on TV, it's different than getting a real feel of things," he said.

On what memories would he take back from Kolkata, he said the energy of the children would linger in his mind.

"They are full of dreams. I told them that you have a bright future ahead," said the sportsman.

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