Premal Jyoti School for the Slum Children is located in Lahartara, Varanasi. Lahartara, an urban slum, adjacent to the South East Railway Colony in Varanasi, is a den of thousands of migrant workers engaged in mostly manual labour like rickshaw pulling, sweeping, scavenging, rag picking, laundry, kitchen cores etc. Having no domicile, nor any local ID, this unfortunate lot settles along road side or rail side in single-cell hutments made of sacks/poly sheets/tin sheets of barely 100 sq. ft.
Faceless and voiceless as they are, they have no right to any public services of the State and hence survive and spent daily life in abject condition with no human dignity nor any security to life itself. The fate of these children is tragic: basic nutrition, basic health, basic education – all beyond their reach and imagination. “Repetition Compulsion” – drags them to the trails of their own parents; survival instinct forces them to rag picking, scavenging etc. They fall prey to drugs, sex abuse, prostitute and so on.
As a human response to address this inhuman situation, KPV is collaborating with the Diocese of Varanasi to work for saving these children from the dreadful misery. The nuns who run the school live in the slum amidst these people in a rented house and carry out their intervention programme on day to day basis. Over the years, through awareness building and conscientizing we have been able to organize study programmes for the children of these slum migrants, make them school-friendly, teach them hygiene, health, reading and writing, instill some human values and show them a path out of these slum towards a dignified future and a decent human life. In the current year nearly 400 boys and girls of these slums, from 7 to 14 years of age, are being cared for under Premal Jyoti.
Many hurdles have to be faced and finance is the most crucial one. The building for collecting the children day after day is provided by the Diocese. Remuneration for 10 specialized teachers engaged for this task, teaching aids for creative learning engagement of these children, clothing for some children who do not have any, basic meal for many who are under-nourished without adequate daily meal etc. are the challenges in this task. Our annual expenditure is around Rs 14,00,000 ($ 22,000) of which nearly Rs 7,00,000 ($ 11,000) is towards salary expenses of teachers.
Parents of these children can hardly afford any support. State and local governments are indifferent to the plight of these children. Hence we approach you for support. If you can support us it will put us in good stead to carry out this challenging and urgent task of redeeming these less fortunate children. They deserve; they can be shown the way to human dignity. We are committed to this.
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