THREE MONTHS ago nine children gave up begging for books and hope to make it big in life. With “stars in their eyes and fire in the belly,” the children were pursuing studies without realising that they may have to go back to begging for lack of funds.
“We had deposited Rs 5,000, collected from other children as school fees for six months, but we are not getting any more funds,” said Sonia Singh, a social worker, who picked up the children from different slums of the city about a couple of years ago, and prepared them before sending them to the school. The children are in the age group of 7 to 10 years.
It was the first time the children went to school and they excelled in almost every field. “Four of my students, Atendra, Hariram, Iqrar and Afreen, have scored over 27 out of 30 in mathematics and Hindi,” she said, adding that the children were weak in English. “We are putting in extra effort to make them learn English since they are studying in an English medium. The parents of the children too were happy to see their wards go to school,” claimed the social worker.
The NGO, however, has not lost hope and was approaching donors to help in the endeavour to educate children. The estimated tuition fee for a child was Rs 75 and annual expenses for each child was over Rs 3,000. Bilal, 7, wants to become a teacher and spread the light of literacy among the masses, but Radha, another student of class III wants to be doctor to heal killer diseases like dengue.
Sonia says the children have not been told about the fund-crisis, lest they got demoralised. The school has been extending all support to the students from time to time, she said.