Sooraj, a pauper boy, picks up his old, torn books and packs them in a bag that merely manages to handle that weight. Dressing himself up, he tries to make his appearance presentable as taught in the school. Then he holds the hand of his younger sister and walks through the stinky street towards his school where he would be learning the names of fruits today.
After crossing the road, he enters the Poorna Prajna Layout, Bengaluru, where he initially greets the watchman and then enters the premises of Anjaneya Temple and sits on a mat and waits for his lessons to begin. His school is small with no benches, no proper uniform or a bulletin board.
The advent of this school can be traced back to January 2009 when Latha Rao had come in this particular locality looking for an apartment to shift in. While walking around the area, she was accustomed to this atrocious sight that triggered a lot of emotions in her. She saw some children playing in torn clothes and felt really bad for them. This made her take a step to guard the future of those children and help them secure a decent income. With the help of Youth For Seva Organization, she set up this school for the children. This school has been running for a long time now, that is a course of 8 years.
“I quit my career as a software engineer and got into teaching street school children through Youth For Seva. The workers here have migrated from tribal areas and villages of North Karnataka, and they live in the city as long as the work demands. It is the mindset of the parents who have prompted me to be regular in running this school. The school starts at sharp 10 AM and children sit on the mat, and we teach them. The blackboard is propped up on a tree trunk and sometimes hangs on the wall, and the school caters to construction workers’ children.”
The school doesn’t charge any fee and doesn’t trouble the parents as well. The school aims at teaching children music, dance, dramatics and basic Kannada, English, and Mathematics. Children make their conscious effort as well. They try to abide by whatever is taught in the school and do not miss out on classes as well.
Latha says that the cooperation of students has played an integral part in working with the school. Also, her friend Roopa has been a pillar of support who has been volunteering for seven years now.
The school also provides midday meal ( which has been interrupted). Latha even makes an attempt in getting them enrolled in government schools to secure their future. As for now, Latha has been able to admit 80 students in regular government schools. The efforts of Latha for lifting up the downtrodden in worth acknowledging and appreciating.