SRM University Facilitates Higher Education For 5 Former Child Labourers From Kailash Satyarthis Bal Ashram

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SRM University Facilitates Higher Education For 5 Former Child Labourers From Kailash Satyarthi's Bal Ashram

Kailash Satyarthi and Sumedha Kailash founded Bal Ashram in 1998 as a model rehabilitation centre for children rescued from child labour, child slavery and child trafficking.

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Five Children from Bal Ashram, an organization co-founded by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and Sumedha Kailash in 1998, have won scholarships for themselves in the prestigious SRM University in Chennai. The University takes particular interest in the education of children who have faced a tough childhood. Bal Ashram was established as a rehabilitation and training centre of the Bal Bachao Andolan(BBA) and catered to the unique needs of victims of child labour. The beneficiaries, named Imitiyaz Ali, Mannu Kumar, Chirag Alam, Manish Kumar and Sanjay Kumar, have faced several atrocities in their childhood.

Bal Ashram Has Rescued 1,431 Children

After their rescue under BBA, the children were rehabilitated in Bal Ashram, the first long-term rehabilitation centre for children rescued from child labour, trafficking, abuse, and exploitation established in 1998 in the Aravalli Hills Viratnagar, Rajasthan. The children who were rehabilitated years ago have now become role models for other children from the community. Some of them have become engineers, lawyers, social workers and singers. To date, the Ashram has rehabilitated and mainstreamed 1,431 children.

SRM Institute of Science and Technology (earlier known as SRM University) is one of the top-notch universities in India, with over 52,000 full-time students and over 3,200 faculty across campuses. Children of Bal Ashram who have been enrolled in various courses of SRM Institute of Science and Technology hail from society's most vulnerable and marginalized sections. These children have been selected in the B.Sc. (Physical Education) methods, Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Hotel Management, Diploma in Nursing and Bachelor of Administration of SRM University.

Inspiring Stories Of The Five Children

The 18-year-old Manish Kumar has been selected for Bachelor in Physiotherapy after scoring 66 per cent marks in Class 12. Following his mother's demise, Kumar was heavily abused by his alcoholic father. Manish was left with no option but to run away from his home and had to beg in trains for food. His life took a bright turn after activists from Satyarthi's foundation rescued him.

Chirag Alam, 21, has been selected for a Bachelor's Degree In Business Administration. He worked at a bangle factory in Delhi before being rescued by the Ashram. The 20-year-old Imtiyaz Ali, who has secured a seat for himself in Bachelor's of Nursing, was caught in the mighty clutches of trafficking because of his uncle. The latter brought him to Delhi on the pretext of putting him into a school and teaching him a skill. Ali secured 67 per cent marks in Class 12 in 2020.

Mannu Kumar, 18, battled abject poverty in childhood and was rescued by the Ashram activists when employed as child labour. He grew up in Bal Ashram and is looking forward to completing his B.Sc. Physical Education course with flying colours. The 19-year-old Sanjay Kumar scored 86 per cent in Class 12 and has bagged himself a seat in the Hotel Management and Catering. He hails from Rajasthan, where he has a mother and two sisters forced to work in a brick kiln. He was rescued and brought to Bal Ashram in 2010.

In a statement sent to The Logical Indian by mail, Co-founder of Bal Ashram, Sumedha Kailash, said, "We couldn't be prouder of our children. Kailash ji and I had faith in these children from the very beginning ever since we got them out of child labour and brought them to the Bal Ashram. I wish Bal Ashram's children to progress well in life and get their desired destinations".

SRM Institute of Science and Technology was awarded the highest rank in 2018 by NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council). The institute has been ranked first with 12B status by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and University Grants Commission. The University was ranked 35th nationally in 2020 under the category of universities by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).

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Editor : Snehadri Sarkar
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