The Caring Hands believes that education is the only catalyst to change. The families of these communities are highly mobile. As a result, children are left out of the regular schools. Frequently, with both parents are engaged, younger children are left unattended to fend for themselves. Older girls are often forced to drop out of school to care for their siblings. It is also not unusual to find these children engaged in labor, selling something on traffic lights etc. Further compounding the problem, it is notoriously difficult to track the movements of migrant children, both within the city and to and from their home villages, making educational continuity challenging. In the first phase of programming, Caring Hands focused its activities on establishing access to schooling and scaling up its work so as to provide as many children as possible with safe shelter, adult supervision, and basic educational Support Programme.
Khelghar Balwadi focuses on the children who have to beg, hunt or go for labour work with their parents, need to be diverted to schooling and Khelghar can be considered as the first step. This initiative has been successful in bringing more than 250 such children at five working sites in the learning process. The children between age of 3 to 5 years must get an opportunity to learn and feel inclined to go to school. Therefore, we have started an initiative called Khelghar at five places. This initiative is becoming successful. Khelghar tries to create interest in value based education.
This initiative takes care of the children who are school dropouts. Guidance of expert teachers and tuition classes are made available to the children here. Many children lose interest in education due to living out of the society/ village, addictions, and lack of conducive environment for education in the families. They become irregular in school, lag behind in their studies and as a result, they drop out of school. The Vidyadhan abhyasika focuses on such children and takes efforts to bring them back in the main stream education and encourage them to join school once again.
Our aim is ‘no child below 14 years will be out of educational process.’ We are also advocating and convincing the schools to join hands with us. We extend all kind of support to the children to get admitted in nearby school. Lack of schooling not only reduces skills but limits personal development. For enabling educational environment we are providing educational material, guidance through voluntary guest teachers. Special tutors to 8th - 10th standard students, a ‘Study Hall’ in the evening time with library facility.
Our aim is ‘no child below 14 years will be out of educational process.’ We are also convincing the schools to admit our beneficiaries in their schools. Even we are trying to make available the admissions to most of the children through government schemes like Mahatma Phule Shikshan Hami Yojana or The Bal Kamgar School (special schools for Child Labours of the National Child Labour Project). Introducing the bridge courses for the educational drop-outs through above schemes. (These schemes are waiting for sanctioning in Ahmednagar district. But the persuasion of is going on).
Some children attend the school up to Class 4th, after that most of the children leave the school for ever especially girls. The parents do not allow the girls to attend the schools which are far away from their commune. Hence, dropping out from the school is the major problem. There other valid reasons for reasons like deepening poverty, family problems, ill treatment or loss of a parent, parents went to jail etc. Caring hands will keep an eye and prevent them from dropping out.
With infrastructural establishment of Balwadis there is also need of working on the implications as like respect for identity & self hood, physical well being and educational development. Lack of schooling not only reduces skills but limits personal development. For enabling educational environment will provide educational material, guidance through voluntary guest teachers. Special tutors to 8th - 10th standard students, a ‘Study Hall’ in the evening time with library facility.