As of now, there are more than 100 students in various age groups in Shiksharth. Here the students are given education as per their age group. There are primarily three different age groups i.e. 4-6, 6-7 and 7-12 years.
It is mainly the poor parents who cannot afford to educate their wards in regular schools send them to such education centers.
“Here, primarily we have the children of plumbers, maids, carpenters, labourer, who live in the nearby slum areas ,” added Ridhi Bhandari.
Shiksharth does not have any playground, also the land where these students from underprivileged section of the society sit down to study, is a government property controlled by a Sarpanch. The students sit on a carpet laid down on the floor, which is not cemnted. There are some plastic chairs for the teachers.
They have had to face problems during the rainy season in the past, because only 70 percent of the school is under roof, while the rest is in the open. As a result of which, the small kids had to be given holiday during rains to accommodate the older ones.
However, Shiksharth has now found a solution of this problem in the form of a mobile school, which is in fact a bus, they have got in donation. This mobile school which can easily accommodate 50 students will be launched on August 24.
There are only three teachers teaching more than 100 students here. The salaries of these teachers are paid from sponsorships, donations, fund-raising etc. In spite of the meager salary, the teachers are giving their best to help these underprivileged students in getting admission in a mainstream school.
The challenges do not end here. There are instances, when the students do not come to the classes. “Due to their own reasons, they do not come to the classes. But, they need to tell us the reason for their absence. In most of the cases, they would fail to come to school, because they have to help their family members in daily chores.”
Irrespective of the various challenges that has in front, Shiksharth has turned up as a successful education program. It has witnessed as many as 50 students getting admissions in the mainstream schools, where they are performing well in academics.