An initiative started by the Government Railway Police (GRP) of Varanasi earlier this year saw the transformation of railway station into a classroom for underprivileged children. As reported by The Times of India, one spare room that was available on platform number 4 of the railway station has been modified in such a way that it can be used as a class.
The heroes who made it possible
It all started with the motive of educating the children who lived in nearby slum areas and could not afford to go to school because of their financial condition. Reportedly, around 40 students regularly attend the classes and the teaching is done by GRP officials including jawans, sub-inspectors, and CO rank officers. They voluntarily teach the children. The school is named Ghumantu Pathashala and is the brainchild of Vimal Shrivastav (CO) and Vinod Kumar (SI) of GRP. Generally, there are 2-hour classes every day. GRP department also provides study material and stationery to all the students enrolled in the school, contributing money from their own pocket to buy all that is necessary. Even snacks are provided to the students attending classes during the day.
The need for such an initiative
In the beginning, there were just 5 students which grew to 40 in less than a month. Most of these children were found by GRP officials on the station loitering – out of which many were ragpickers, pickpocketers or were addicted to drugs. They were caught many times and lectured about changing their ways, so now instead of that they are being educated so they understand the difference education can make. It is a difficult job getting so many notorious kids under a roof and asking them to study rather than to stroll around the station stealing things or picking garbage but explaining this initiative to the family and relatives of the students is much harder, especially considering that it is just a volunteer work done by adjusting the schedule of the volunteers.
The aim of the school
As reported by Daily hunt, the expectations from the school are that all the students will get familiar to the education process and it will generate the need to study further among them. The GRP officials are hoping to familiarize the kids with basics and then help them move to schools nearby, so they can continue their education.
NGO Sathi and Dare have become involved with the GRP and are providing a helping hand in managing the children. The history of many children includes cases of drug addiction and theft, so asking them to change their ways and start studying does not go well all the time and the children need to be made aware of the situation, hence the need for counselling. It has been noted that many students have parted ways with their past and are now focused on making their future better with the help of education. GRP and NGOs have also planned to provide clothes free of cost to the children studying at Ghumantu Pathashala.
The Logical Indian Take
The ever-increasing crime rate has been a concern since forever and the involvement of children is becoming an issue that needed to be resolved immediately. Initiatives like the Ghumantu Pathashala not only help decrease the crime rate but are also solving a largely neglected problem of illiteracy. There are many factors which contribute to a large number of people not getting a proper education, but the lack of awareness tops the list. People are not aware what difference education can make in their life, so they set on a path of crime instead. The noble work of GRP officials from Varanasi has become the prime example that small contributions can help build a better society. The youth is a very important pillar of society and more attempts are needed to make sure the youth of our country is heading in the right direction.