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A school with a difference

This Motihari school imparts education to students who are married but are still in their teens, reports RN Sinha.

india Updated: Dec 12, 2006 22:26 IST
RN Sinha

A school at Motihari has been imparting education for a unique cause. It is imparting education to mostly such students who are married but still in their teens. And, most of them belong to the sweepers' slum colony at Motihari. The main focus of the school is to dispel orthodox practices of the residents, which have hindered their growth.

Most of the married students of this school are below 10 years of age. Arjun Kumar (10), Rohit Kumar (8), Rupwati (6) and Kishan Kumar (10) all have their aspirations but are married and Raja, the latest entrant to the group, married only four days ago.

This 'free of cost' basic school is run by the volunteers of NSS unit of the local SNS College following an inspiration by the former college principal Dr Anwarul Haque and NSS Programme Officer Prof Rajeshwar Kumar Singh, after a survey of this sweepers' colony adjacent to the college found of the 'usual' practice in the locality and that nearly 250 children of this slum locality were deprived of education.

Kabutari's father Suresh Mallick and Dharmendra's mother Rita Devi said that early marriage was a compulsion in their community. Ideal age of marriage for a boy is below 10 and for a girl below seven years of age and after that people found it very difficult to get their children married.

The school, therefore, not only gives basic lessons on how to read and write, but has also been providing courtesy and grooming classes and trying to influence the rituals and lifestyle of these slum dwellers and educating the guardians of the schoolchildren to do away with the practice of child-marriage.