The shoemakers’ colony in Kurla’s Thakkar Bappa area was busy prepping up its tiny sheds on Friday. The reason: 16 local students, who had earlier dropped out of school, cleared the SSC exam.
Hemraj Nirvan, 24, who had dropped out of school nine years ago to help clear his family’s debts, was thrilled with his 63% score. “I wanted to study ahead, but was helpless.
Last year, a friend, Ram Dhaliya, convinced my parents that I should study. That is when I could take a break from my father’s factory,” said Nirvan. Dhaliya, 18, who dropped out of school in 2009 after failing in Class 8, scored 52% in his SSC exam.
The 16 dropouts attended classes at Pratham Learning Lab run by the Palvi Education Trust in Kurla, and appeared for the SSC exam as private candidates. “Last year, we had surveyed the Thakkar Bappa area and found several students who were compelled to drop out of school,” said Rupali Shinde, coordinator, Learning Lab. “It took a lot of time and effort to convince parents and the students to get back to academics.”
Durga Bohra, 17, secured 56% in her board exam. Her mother Parma said: “My husband wasn’t keen to see Durga study but I ensured that I stayed up and served her fruits and biscuits during her study breaks.”