Students, who have been studying under streetlights because there is no space in their crammed homes, will soon have ample space to study.
From January, one municipal school in each of the 227 councillor wards will be kept open after school hours through the night to serve as study spaces for students.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will soon list the names of these schools in public advertisements. "The idea came from the Yuva Sena [the Shiv Sena's youth wing], which said that we need to have study spaces for students who live in slums and on the streets or even those staying in small houses," Rahul Shewale, chairman of the BMC's standing committee, said. "Now they will have a benches and tables to themselves, all free of cost."
The classrooms in these schools have all the facilities including fans and tubelights. The BMC will bear the cost of electricity. The students will also have access to drinking.
A watchman will be made available for monitoring the study rooms to make sure that security is maintained and both girls and boys can study safely on these premises.
The civic body is in the process of identifying schools that will be centrally located and convenient for all students.
"I am happy that the BMC is implementing our suggestion," Yuva Sena chief, Aditya Thackeray, said. "It is heartening to see how students study under such difficult circumstances. Our only contribution can be to give them a better environment to study better."
From the time the Yuva Sena was launched in October 2010, Aditya has been taking up several initiatives for the youth including reserving railway compartments for students, converting subways into art galleries and even conducting sanitation studies of school and college canteens and toilets.