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Literacy drive spreads wings
- NIT to open study centres for poor kids in all 29 states

Students and alumni of Adityapur-based NIT will carry the light of literacy beyond Jharkhand.

After providing education to 482 underprivileged school dropouts at Mohannagar near the NIT campus, members of Sankalp — the NGO formed by students and alumni of the tech cradle in 2007 — have decided to replicate the teaching model and venture in other states by 2015. With financial support from NIT’s Alumni Association, Sankalp will open at least one centre in each of the 29 states in the country by next year.

As of now, it has a centre at Madhepura in Bihar, which was set up in April this year.

Expanding further, Sankalp members will travel 11km into East Singhbhum district to set up another centre at Ashiana Gardens in Sonari. The new chapter will open its gates on August 3.

“We have already decided the launch date in Sonari and have stepped up efforts to open others centres in different states by 2015. We will rope in our alumni members who will be entrusted with the responsibility to hire teachers. Our plan is to enrol around 5,000 school dropouts by next year,” said Sankalp president Shivendra Srivastava, a 2009 NIT alumnus, who is employed with Tata Steel.

He added that their model of providing quality education to underprivileged children has been largely successful. “Nearly 60 students of NIT along with 120 alumni members are involved in the project to impart lessons to students of Classes I to X at the rented premises at Mohannagar. Of our 400-odd students, we selected 13 who have been admitted to premier English medium schools,” Shivendra said.

The 13 children have been enrolled in either Class VIII or IX at DAV-NIT, DAV-Bistupur and DBMS English High School and are among the top four students in their respective classes.

“This proves that students from our centres can match the very best of elite cradles,” he added.

Apart from providing free education, the NGO arranges stationery items for each student and also supports those who desire to continue studies after Class X.

“At present, we are sponsoring Aditi Kumari, who is taking coaching for IIT at Patna. We maintain a database of our students and continue to support them for higher education,” said Vivek Kumar, head of the academic wing of Sankalp.

Son of auto driver, Karan Kumar (11) is happy to study. “Bhaiya logon ne mere papa ko mujhe school bhejne ke liye samjhaya (The NIT brothers convinced my father to send me to school),” he smiled.