With nearly 22% of India’s population living below the poverty line, there are lakhs of people including children who are forced to resort to begging in the streets. These children rarely get a chance for a better future and basic education, unlike the rest of us. However, one Rajasthan cop is doing his bit in trying to change the lives of many such children.
According to a report by The New Indian Express, a policeman from Rajasthan’s Churu District runs a free school for street kids to provide them with education so that they don’t have to beg on the streets anymore.
The policeman, Dharamveer Jakhar started the school back in January’16. It was after he noticed a few kids begging near the premises of his police station. Speaking to them, he learnt that they didn’t have parents and relatives. He even went on to visit their slums to see if they were telling the truth. There he saw the hard lives they lived.
Jakhar didn’t want the children to waste their lives. So he started teaching them for an hour every day.
What started as a small initiative turned into a school for such kids. Working with these kids for the past 4 years with the help of female constables and volunteers, his school which is aptly named ‘Apni Pathshala’ has nearly 450 children today! Among them, 200 kids have been further admitted to government schools and nearly 90 are studying in standards VI-VIII.
In addition to this, a van has been arranged to pick up and drop kids from their slums to the school, back and forth. They are also provided with clothes, shoes, food, and study materials free of cost.
At first, it was difficult for the policeman to get these kids to come to school. He then tried to understand their motives to beg. Begging, for these kids, arranged for their daily needs like food. As long as their needs were met, they didn’t have a problem in showing up to the school.
Jakhar said, “There are many families who come from UP and Bihar to work here. We have motivated their children to study and not to stop once they go back to their native lands. Some children have been allowed to collect garbage as their parents won’t allow them to come otherwise. So we decided to let them do it after school. This way at least they get to come.”
However, there is one problem. The monthly expenses for running the school come to Rs 1.5 lakhs. This amount is usually arranged from donations via social media campaigns. The state government isn’t doing much to help, claims Jakhar.
“With the help of the police, society and education department, we can change their lives. These children should have special schools and separate staff to take care of them. They will never come to school on their own and there should be people dedicated to bringing them out of their miseries,” he said.
This is indeed a noble initiative taken by Jakhar! We hope that the government takes notice of this and does its bit in helping him run the school. These children deserve a fair shot at a brighter future.