Coming up: school for the homeless
A residential school for homeless children with e-class rooms, a health room and sports facilities is coming up on a seven-bigha plot in Joka.
The foundation stone for the Rs 25-crore project, being set up by the NGO Help Us Help Them, was laid on Sunday morning.
The NGO, which has been raising funds for the school since last year, said up to 1,000 children could be accommodated on the residential campus that is set to start its journey by mid-2020.
The organisation runs a school for students from Nursery to Class I near Baruipur and a project called school-on-wheels, under which classes are held on two buses in eight slums in the city daily.
The Joka school, to be affiliated to the CBSE, will have classes from I to X.
“We have a management tie-up with the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, which successfully runs a similar facility for tribal children in Bhubaneswar. We will have trained teachers in accordance with the guidelines of the CBSE,” said Mukti Gupta, founder of Help Us Help Them.
The school, she said, will give equal importance to studies and sports.
The school will bear the names of the NGO, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences and Rotary, which has donated Rs 5 crore for the project.
The school is being set up to educate homeless children, or children whose parents are unable to send them to school for some reason, primarily from eastern India.
Two brothers who had attend the NGO’s school in Baruipur’s Mullickpur were present at the ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the Joka school.
Both are state-level swimming champions in the under-12 and under-14 categories. Volunteers of the NGO said there were many children like them, who excelled in both sports and studies, in the schools run by the organisation.
“The annual running cost of the school will be Rs 6 crore. We hope individuals and corporate houses such as Anmol Biscuits, Manyavar, Lux, Rupa and Century Ply will continue to support us. There will also be an ‘adopt a child’ option, which will enable one to fund the education of a child at the school by contributing Rs 60,000 a year,” Gupta said.
At the Sunday programme, the contributors were taken through the details of the facilities to be available at the school and how it would be run.