Bandra residents, along with a non-government organisation (NGO), have taken the initiative to provide coaching to underprivileged children.
Anubha Sharma, a financial services professional and Beenaa Advani, director of Eurokids, Santacruz, started Angel Xpress Foundation, an NGO that aims to work for education for slum children. They then approached the Bandra Bandstand Residents Trust (BBRT), which has been maintaining the promenade for the last 12 years.
“Smokers and drunkards usually occupied the area. Now when their children are coming here for the classes, the nearby slum residents treat the area with care,” said Robin Nath, secretary, BBRT.
“All this started at Carter Road where I joined a group of people who were teaching underprivileged children. I sent out a message to my friends asking them to volunteer as teachers and donate food, stationery, and money. I got almost 2000 calls within four days!” said Sharma. Advani joined the cause and they started the NGO. They got the area spruced up and have got an electric meter installed for lighting.
The classes, which started on May 1, are held from Monday to Saturday from 5.30pm to 7pm. “There are around 40 children presently. If they show promise, we are looking to sponsor their college education,” said Advani.
“I learnt to write sentences in English, solve sums, and many other things,” said Kajal Joginder Singh, 10. “They told us so many things on Mothers’ Day. I made a card for my mum, she liked it a lot,” said Kashinath Totat, 9. The children are given snacks, milk, fruits and sandwiches after class, donated by the volunteers or nearby residents.