When the lockdown was implemented in view of Covid-19 spread, five Panjab University students decided to teach migrant workers’ children inside the campus. The 24-year old teaches migrant workers’ children along with five other classmates, Shubham Singh, Narenda Singh, Jaskirat Kaur, Noyonika Roy and Kavneet Singh. The name of the initiative is ‘Kalam, Kitab aur Khwahishein’ (which translates to pen, book and dreams) was started on May 24th, 2020. The pandemic made these young minds question the state of children of construction workers.
Though online classes were held for senior students of Chandigarh’s government schools from April 21, the construction workers’ children had no access to internet, and thus, no school. Having no constructed answer of how will these children study, they decided to educate the children of migrant workers at different sites of the campus of Punjab University.
The children of the migrants’ workers are the source of income in the future, and not want to be dragged in the same profession as their parents which requires opportunities to educate themselves. Many of these children were school drop-outs, some stopped attending school after the lockdown, and thus the initiative was an opportunity for these children to continue their education and learn to grow. The parents of these children do the construction work at the Punjab University. Ishita and her classmates teach the children at four different locations inside the campus.
However, starting the initiative was not a smooth process, there were many challenges at the start. The first challenge was to convince their parents to allow them to step outside amidst the pandemic. The second challenge was finding the correct spots to construct the classes for children which is safe for everyone. Initially, they took classes under trees with the children sitting on empty cement bags. The children were however motivated to study under any circumstance as long as they were being educated. When the teachers are late, the children demand an apology which shows their seriousness. These children are not also educated but also evaluated through tests and quizzes.
The shade of an expansive banyan tree and empty cement bags make up for the absence of classrooms and chairs. We salute the students of social work, who are not only doing their duty by serving the society but also going out of their way in the pandemic situation to serve the most affected part of the society.
The story has been extracted from: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ht-salutes-students-turn-teachers-for-migrants-children-on-university-campus-lawns/story-lK2Hp4vwKXnVL0AU5lyobJ.html?fbclid=IwAR2O1X5vETF-eqJ56bf8TBQUKkO0MIHE2SWJiyh1wNqlJTO4g8GPV_3M4Ys