Thursday, March 28, 2013

Follow-up status of children frequently reported by citizens

Citizens of Pune are using ECC ReportChildren website to report out-of-school children seen at various places in the city. ECC campaign staff visited the reported locations and traced whereabouts of the children. Some of these locations are being frequently reported by many citizens. Here is a report about children found at Pune University signal, Raj Bhavan, FC Road, Deccan, and Nal Stop area -


All the children in this group are working as beggars in various parts of the city for quite some time. Along with their parents, they also sell balloons, flowers, toys, dusting cloths, sun screens etc. The parents also encourage their children to beg and earn money. They live on roadsides in different parts of the city as per their convenience. They have been evicted from their roadside 'homes' many times. Earlier, they used to live under the University flyover, and near Chatushrungi temple. At present, most of them live along the river near Deccan (Pulachi Wadi) area.
Hutments near Pulachi Wadi, Deccan

Door Step School has been working with these children since many years. In fact, some of the children even recognized the teachers who visited these locations for follow-up. On further enquiry, it was found that some of these children were students of DSS Community Learning Center in Shivaji Housing Society, while living under the university flyover which was being constructed in 2003-04. DSS staff used to wake them up and take them in a DSS van to the Shivaji Housing Center; clean them, feed them, and also teach them. However, their parents have no importance for education and they encourage the children to stay away from school and earn whatever they can. The parents themselves want to be picked up by the police and put in jail so that they do not have to worry about their daily needs! Some of the parents even own few two-wheelers, and are now demanding free homes!

Three of the children attend PMC School No.14. Their attendance is irregular and they beg at above-mentioned locations after their school timings. Other children were also enrolled in school but have never attended. They run away before the DSS van comes to that area to pick them up. The DSS staff has tried to convince them to go back to school but unfortunately, their parents have not realized the importance of education and now the children themselves prefer to beg than study.

Flyover near Pune University
The problem is not only about children remaining out of school. It is more about children getting interested in wrong ways of earning and building their future on false attitude. These children do not have any other career aspirations in their mind, since their own parents are encouraging begging as an earning source from so early age. Door Step School and Every Child Counts teams will take all possible efforts to take these children to schools. But what happens to them after school-hours? How can we convince their parents about importance of education in their children's life? What alternate source of earning can we suggest (and convince) to these parents? Can we do something more than just throwing few coins at these small beggars and moving on? Let us think and act for better future of these children who are going to be a major part of our country's future...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Follow-up status of children reported from ID#17 (Baner)

Few children were reported from Veer Bhadranagar, Baner. (Reference - These children live on the open plot near Sadanand Hotel. This group of people belongs to the 'Joagdand' caste. People of this caste carry palanquins or accompany carts carrying statues or pictures of various deities from one place to another and earn along the way. A few men work in nearby areas as labourers. Some of the children are enrolled in Khanderaya Primary School in Balewadi.

Earlier, this same group of people was living in temporary huts near PWD Sangavi. In 2007-08, a Door Step School bus used to pick up all the children from this area and take them to Golwalkar Guruji Primary School in Aundh. Here they were taught not only to read and write but also about cleanliness and hygiene. They also actively participated in all the class activities. After a few months they were evicted from Sanghvi and so moved and put up their hutments near Sadanand Hotel. As a result, the children were the losers and stopped going to the school in Aundh.

At present, a School on Wheels bus is parked near Sadanand Hotel for the benefit of the children who do not attend school. The parents want to send their children to school but are not sure how long they will be allowed to stay in this area.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pune Mirror Published About ReportChildren Website

NGO calls to citizens to help educate underprivileged kids.
Volunteers can report children deprived of primary schooling on newly launched website

(Published in Pune Mirror on March 17, 2013)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Indian Express published about ReportChildren Website

(Click on image to read)
...through the website, any citizen can give information about children not attending schools.

News about Report Children website in Indian Express, 6th of March 2013.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

शाळाबाह्य मुलांसाठी पुढे या!

"शाळाबाह्य मुलांसाठी पुढे या!" - दै. सकाळ (शनिवार, २ मार्च २०१३)

Friday, March 1, 2013

शालाबाह्य मुलांपर्यंत पोचण्यासाठी आता 'वेबसाईट'ची मदत

'शिक्षणहक्क कायदा २००९' अंतर्गत ६ ते १४ वयोगटातील सर्व मुला-मुलींना 'मोफत व सक्तीचे शिक्षण' मिळण्याची सोय करण्यात आलेली असली तरी प्रत्यक्षात याची गरज असलेल्या मुलांपर्यंत व त्यांच्या पालकांपर्यंत ही माहिती पोचलेली दिसत नाही. त्यामुळे, हा कायदा होऊन तीन वर्षे झाली तरी आपल्या आजूबाजूला कित्येक शालाबाह्य मुले आढळून येतात. अशी मुले शोधून, त्यांच्या पालकांशी बोलून, जवळच्या मनपा शाळेत प्रवेश मिळवून देण्यासाठी 'एव्हरी चाइल्ड काउंट्स' हे नागरिक अभियान नोव्हेंबर २०११ मध्ये सुरू करण्यात आले.

या अभियानांतर्गत, पुण्यातील नागरिकांच्या व सेवाभावी संस्थांच्या मदतीने गेल्या वर्षी सुमारे ७०० वंचित मुलांना शाळेत दाखल करण्यात आले. पुण्याच्या सर्व भागांतून अशा मुलांची माहिती गोळा करणे, हे या अभियानासमोरील सर्वात मोठे आव्हान होते व आहे. याउलट, दररोज रस्त्याने ये-जा करणार्‍या नागरिकांना सिग्नलजवळ, फूटपाथवर, तसेच मजूर वस्त्यांजवळ शाळेत जाण्याच्या वयाची मुले फिरताना दिसतात; पण त्यांच्याबद्दल कुणाला सांगायचे, त्यांना कशी मदत करायची, हे कळत नाही.

या सर्व अनुभवांवरुन, 'एव्हरी चाइल्ड काउंट्स' हे अभियान सुरू करणार्‍या 'डोअर स्टेप स्कूल' या सेवाभावी संस्थेने एक वेबसाईट तयार करून घेतली आहे. या वेबसाईटवर कोणीही नागरिक त्यांना दिसलेल्या शालाबाह्य मुलांची माहिती नोंदवू शकतात. या वेबसाईटवर, अचूक ठिकाण नोंदवण्यासाठी नकाशाची सोय असून, काही प्रश्नांची उत्तरे दिल्यावर नागरिकांनी नोंदवलेली माहिती सर्वांसाठी प्रकाशित होते. तसेच, या अभियानातील कार्यकर्त्यांना ही माहिती ई-मेलद्वारे मिळाल्याने, सदर मुलांचा शोध घेणे सोपे होऊन त्यांच्या शाळा-प्रवेशाची प्रक्रिया जलद होण्यास मदत होते. या वेबसाईटवर निःशुल्क नोंदणी करून नागरिक मुलांची माहिती नोंदवू शकतात, तसेच पूर्वी नोंदवलेली माहिती पाहू शकतात. ही वेबसाईट वापरण्यासंदर्भात पुणे मनपाच्या शिक्षण मंडळ सदस्यांसाठी विशेष प्रात्यक्षिकाचे आयोजनही करण्यात आले होते. यावेळी, सदर वेबसाईटवरून मिळणार्‍या माहितीच्या उपयुक्ततेबद्दल व शिक्षण मंडळाच्या पटनोंदणी अभियानास होऊ शकणार्‍या मदतीबद्दल मंडळाच्या सदस्यांनी विश्वास व्यक्त केला.

'मेवन सिस्टीम्स' या पुण्यातील सॉफ्टवेअर कंपनीच्या 'सीएसआर' अंतर्गत तांत्रिक सहकार्याने, तसेच टाटा सामाजिक विज्ञान संस्था (मुंबई) यांच्या मार्गदर्शनाखाली ही वेबसाईट तयार करण्यात आली आहे. जास्तीत जास्त नागरिकांनी या सुविधेचा उपयोग करून शालाबाह्य मुलांना शिक्षणाच्या मुख्य प्रवाहात आणण्यास मदत करावी, असे आवाहन 'एव्हरी चाइल्ड काउंट्स' नागरिक अभियानातर्फे करण्यात येत आहे. या वेबसाईटबद्दल व शिक्षणहक्क कायद्यासंदर्भातील या अभियानाबद्दल अधिक माहितीसाठी संपर्कः

रजनी परांजपे - ९३७१००७८४४
मंदार शिंदे - ९८२२४०१२४६

Special Website To Reach More Out-of-School Children in Pune

The 'Right To Education Act 2009' (RTE) provides right of 'Free and Compulsory' Education to all children within 6 to 14 age group. However, the children and parents who need this most, are not seen to be aware of their rights. As a result, even in the third year of RTE implementation, we can see a large number of out-of-school children around us. With an objective to identify such children in Pune city and to ensure their enrollment in nearby PMC schools, a citizens' campaign - 'Every Child Counts' (ECC) - was launched in November 2011.

Last year, with the help of citizen volunteers and NGO's in Pune, this campaign could reach out to more than 2,500 children and enrol about 700 of them in PMC schools across Pune city. The biggest challenge before this campaign was, and is, to find out children (and parents) who need support in reaching schools. On the other hand, citizens commuting daily on the city roads, see many school-age children at traffic signals, on footpaths, and near labour colonies. However willing to help, a common citizen does not know to whom and where to report about these children.

With the experience gained through ECC citizens' campaign, the NGO working for education of underprivileged children in Pune - Door Step School - has designed a special website where any citizen can report about out-of-school children found in the city. The website uses Google Maps to locate exact address of reporting, and upon answering few questions about children, the citizen contribution is published on this website. The ECC campaign team also gets notified about citizen contribution by e-mail, which further helps in finding out children from exact location, thus expediting their school admission process. Any citizen can register on and start contributing information about out-of-school children.

A demo session of this website was organised for members of the PMC School Board. The Board is hopeful about usefulness of this website and has mentioned that the information collected through citizen contributions will help ‘PMC School Enrollment Drive’ this year. The website has been developed with technical support from Pune-based software company, Maven Systems as a CSR initiative, with inputs from research team of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai). The 'Every Child Counts' campaign team extends their appeal to citizens of Pune for using this website to help out-of-school children reach schools in large numbers. To know more about website and the Citizens’ campaign for Right To Education, please contact:

Rajani Paranjpe - 9371007844
Mandar Shinde - 9822401246