KOLKATA, April 30: Where have all the street children gone? They have gone to schools, thanks to Love and Care Foundation, a social service organisation formed by the residents of Tarakeswar, Singur and Haripal.
About 120 street children from Tarakeswar, Singur and Haripal go to three schools formed by the organisation at three villages in Tarakeswar. Apart from offering the usual lessons, the organisation also tries to develop moral and ethical values among the students.
The schools also provide vocational training to the children. Many of the students have gone to secondary schools after passing out from primary school.
The organisation takes responsibility for these children till they complete their secondary-level education.
There is more to the schools than meets the eye.
The founder of the organisation, Mr Dhirendranath Singha Roy, said: “We have been providing technical training to the students to help them get a job after their studies.
“Since the district has employment opportunities in the handloom and agricultural sectors, we give training in farming and tailoring.”
He also said: “We arrange vocational training for those who do not want to continue with secondary education.”
Mr Mujibar Rahman, a retired school teacher of Singur said: “Most of the children used to do nothing but collect alms on the streets.
“The organisation has taken the responsibility of sending them to school ~ the government should have done this long ago.”
Mr Singha Roy said: “We have laid down certain rules to build moral values in the children.
“For example, we have told them that each of them should do something good before coming to school.
“He/She might help a blind person to cross the street or to administer first aid to injured street animals.”
Priyanka Maity, a six-year-old student at one of the schools, said: “Before coming to school today,
“I offered water to an old beggar who was collecting alms at Tarakeswar station.”
Chandana Paul, another student said that she had helped a blind man cross the road.
Mr Singha Roy said: “The teachers find out the field that each of the students is interested in and then offer help to the students with vocational training.”