Street kids from Thane signal school confident about faring well in SSC exams
The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) along with NGO Samarth Bharat Vyaspeth started the signal school at Teen Hath Naka in a shipping container for children who beg or hawk at the signalmumbai Updated: Mar 12, 2018 20:11 IST
Two years ago, Mohan Kale, then 17, used to yearn to complete his schooling and peeped inside the shipping container at Teen Hath Naka in Thane, which hosted the world’s first signal school. The teachers of the school first reprimanded him, thinking he was merely checking out girls, though decided to give him a chance to study. Today, Kale along with another student Dashrath Pawar, 18, will be the first students of this two-year-old school to appear for SSC examinations, which started from March 1.
The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) along with NGO Samarth Bharat Vyaspeth started the signal school at Teen Hath Naka in a shipping container for children who beg or hawk at the signal. The school has 48 students who attend the school for the entire day instead of begging. The school has not only imparted education to the students residing at the Teen Hath Naka signal but also have changed their concepts of health, hygiene, behaviour and their approach towards life.
Today, both Kale and Pawar are confident of scoring more than 70 percent in the board exams.
Kale had to leave his education halfway due to his dad’s injury and beg at the signal to make ends meet. “Two years ago, the school opened at the signal where I used to beg. I wanted to complete my education, however, since I wasn’t very young, compared to the other students, I thought I didn’t stand a chance. I started eavesdropping at the windows of the school when the teachers caught me and gave a chance to study. Today, I study 10 hours a day and am confident of scoring over 70 percent in board exams.”
A school teacher, Suman Shevale, takes special classes for these two students at her home to prepare them for the exam.
Pawar, like Kale, also dropped out of class 9, when he left his village in Latur to join his parents in Thane. “My parents wanted me to work so as to support the family. However, when I saw this school, I decided to complete my education. I am working hard to clear my exams with a distinction. I am also going to attend college and opt for IPS exams. I want to be a cop when I grow up.”
These are first of the batch of 48 students who study at this school to appear for class 10. Shraddha Dandwate, a teacher with the school, added, “Both of them are working extremely hard to cope up and compete with other students of their age. When we started the school, our only aim was to inculcate the love of education among the students. It is the determination and grit of these students that makes us confident of them clearing the exam, at par with other SSC students.”
About the signal school
The signal school is a unique concept of the TMC and the NGO Samarth Bharat Vyaspeth. The school, which started two years ago with merely one container, now has a book and toy library, a computer, a separate nursery classroom, washrooms and robotic equipment. The school started with 15 students and now has 48 students. These students used to attend school earlier to sleep as they found it comfortable to sleep inside than on the streets. The school changed the lifestyle of the students, taught them to take bath daily, comb their hair, cut their nails and also made them study from 10.00am to 7.00pm. At night, most of these street urchins are seen engrossed in their books under the street lights.