The idea here is not to reform education but to transform it
Education is both the means as well as the end to a better life. It is a movement from darkness to light. Without education, people get caught in the inter-generational cycles of poverty and backwardness. Seven decades have passed after independence but still, India struggles to achieve a literacy rate over 90 per cent. In such a scenario, the role of the civil society becomes all the more important in order to ensure that the benefits of education reach the lowest strata of the society.
One such NGO which has taken up the initiative to provide education to underprivileged children is CEHRO India (Centre for Education and Health Research Organisation). It is a Delhi-based NGO started in July 2012 by Surjeet Singh. It aims at a society where the underprivileged can pursue quality of life through the aid of education, healthcare, employment opportunities and skill development.
The initiative started with 50 students, and now there are 300 of them, who are not only getting educated but are also involved in co-curricular activities and areas of their interest like dancing, crafts, painting, singing, drama and what not and the organisation conducts various kinds of workshops for the same.
The area targeted is Munirka, New Delhi, and the nearby slums as many of the people residing here are labour migrants and engaged in menial jobs (sanitation workers/ washers/ cobblers/ security guards/ domestic helps etc.). The CEHRO Team conducted a series of sustained surveys in Munirka and nearby slums understanding the problems that are deeply rooted in slums posing as barriers to their growth and development.
They not only focus on the betterment of children but of parents too. Twice a month they conduct a Parent Teacher meeting to give them the feedback and more importantly to know whether parents keep a check on their children progress or not.
It has brought the change in the lives of close to 1500 students and youths till date through more than 10 welfare programmes.
In 21st century, a lot of young children are still unable to get access to basic education as well as health services. This situation must no longer be attributed to inherited poverty.
(Excerpts from the interview with Surjeet Singh, Founder of CEHRO who did his B.Tech from Delhi College of Engineering)
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