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Boy who lives on street attends world’s only ‘signal school’ in Mumbai, scores 83% in Class 8

Mumbai city news: The Thane civic body and NGO Samarth Bharat Vyaspeth started the signal school for children who beg or hawk wares

mumbai Updated: Jun 07, 2017 22:07 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,signal school,Mumbai education
Mohan Kale is one of the school’s 28 students. (HT File Photo)

Mohan Kale, 18, a boy who lived on the street, would often peep through the windows of a local school. Teachers reprimanded him, thinking he was looking at female students. However, he just wanted to study.

The world’s only signal school for street children gave him a chance. Today, a year later, Mohan has passed his MS CIT course, securing 71%. He scored 83% in his Class 8 examination. School authorities have allowed him to skip Class 9 and promoted him to Class 10.

What is the signal school?
  • Thesignalschoolwas conceptualised by the Thane Municipal Corporation and NGO Samarth Bharat Vyaspeth.
  • Theschool, which initially had just one room, now has a book and toy library, a computer, a nursery classroom, washrooms and robotic equipment.
  • The school started with 15 students and now has 28.
  • Earlier, students would attend school to sleep. Many said it was more comfortable than sleeping on the streets.
  • The school educates the students about the importance of lifestyle changes. It teaches them to bathe daily, comb their hair, cut their nails and study from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm.
  • At night, most of these street urchins are seen engrossed in their books under the streetlights.

The Thane Municipal Corporation and non-government organisation Samarth Bharat Vyaspeth started the signal school at Teen Hath Naka for children who beg or hawk wares nearby. Mohan is one of the school’s 28 students. They have not only been educated academically, but also been taught the importance of health and hygiene.

“Mohan is sharp, obedient and hard-working. His father is physically challenged and begs at the signal to make ends meet. Mohan had to abandon his education midway, owing to financial constrains. However, he has the will to complete it. We see him studying at the signal even at 11 pm. We trained him in MS CIT for three months,” said Bhatu Sawant, NGO secretary.

The school initially began strengthening his basics. “Mohan is brightest student in the class. We have allotted him a special tutor, who will help him prepare for the SSC exams,” said Aarti Parab, school co-ordinator. Teachers said Mohan does exceptionally well in maths and keeps pestering them until he has understood every word the teacher has taught.

Mohan said that though he is happy with his results, he still wants to achieve a lot more. “I do not want to think too hard about the future. I want to complete Class 10, and if destiny permits, pursue higher education too. My standard of living improved after I joined school. I know the importance of hygiene now,” he said.

First Published: Jun 07, 2017 14:54 IST