Narrow lanes with clustered and substandard houses, open sewers, garbage dumps, hordes of mosquitoes, and lack of potable water paint a grim picture of life in India’s ‘urban poverty pockets’. With an increase in urbanization, India’s population in slums more than doubled from 43 million in 2001 to 93 million in 2011 and is expected to add 2 million people every year.
What has Asha for Education learnt about children in slums?
Parents are migratory and/or daily wage laborers, and are not motivated to send their children to school. Families are under pressure to withdraw children from school when they see hope for their children to earn $0.50 per day to supplement their earnings. Child rights are not protected. Poverty creates conditions that are ripe for exploitation of children in cities.
Work an Hour (WAH) 2012 projects in slums:
India Sponsorship Committee (ISC): empowers women and protects right of children of migratory workers from brick kilns of Yerawada in Pune, Maharashtra. To overcome language barriers in education, ISC offers support classes to children. ISC has influenced the children such that girls now resist marriage at an early age, and children in general, have shown an improvement in academic performance.
Jabala Action Research Organization: is a non formal education school that caters to needs of children in Kalabagan slums, Kolkata, West Bengal. Jabala has identified that mothers are more receptive to providing support to their daughters than the fathers and works with them to overcome barriers to empowerment of girls.
Shishur Sevay: is home to orphaned and abandoned girls in Kolkata, West Bengal, where the girls are nurtured to reach their full potential in life. Girls are happy, connect well emotionally, and three girls qualified for admission in a reputed school this year.
Trinita: promotes sustainable livelihood for children in slums of Kolkata, West Bengal. In the last five years, enrollment into Trinita centers has more than tripled. Hena, a high school student now, once dropped out of school and was re-admitted with support from her teacher. She is a recipient of Asha’s after school support program. Five girls have been enrolled into high school; thanks to Asha’s Support-A-Child program!
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