With the education sector taking a back seat amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Ashok Kurmi, a social worker from Mumbai, has stepped up and converted a bus into a classroom for underprivileged children.
Since the bus was idle, Kurmi did not miss the opportunity and wanted to do something productive out of it. The mobile school was launched on 15th August, when the country celebrated its 75th Independence Day, Hindustan Times reported.
All the educational institutes in India are shut since March 2020 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Except for the lax shown for the 10th and 12th classes recently, the rest of the students keep suffering due to lack of proper classes, mostly those who do not have online access to education.
Slum Children Get Online Access
The students who are part of this initiative are mostly the impoverished ones who live on the sidewalks or in the slums and for whom virtual class is a distant dream. Kurmi noticed it and planned to help them through this initiative.
Currently, the school is functioning at the old Antop Hill Post Office and plans to add various other departments in a phased manner.
Sions Friends Circle, a group of friends, funds the move and give away a percentage of their income for the social cause. Besides this, the NGO has been doing a lot more work during the Covid-19 crisis and even before that.
During the pandemic, Kurmi dressed as Santa and distributed masks during the pandemic. He also dressed as Spiderman and sanitised public spaces of Mumbai. Not only this, he gave a free haircut to those living in slums by dressing as a Doraemon.
As per official figures, Over 2.96 crore school students in most Indian states do not have access to digital devices with Bihar leading with the highest number. The total of 2.96 crore does not include such students from Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Chhattisgarh, as their absolute numbers have not been shared yet. The data for states like Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur is not available yet, the survey for West Bengal was still in process.
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