Place: Sirupinayur village, Tamil Nadu
Six-year-old Lakshmi loves reading, writing and drawing pictures. But she was forced to drop-out of school as her family, belonging to Irula Tribe, kept migrating to different places in search for work and better income options. It was never so easy for Lakshmi and her siblings to resume schooling again as the hunt for sustainable livelihood and basic meals never ended for her family. But she never stopped drawing pictures with the old and broken crayons which she received in school.
CASA’s continuous mentoring in the marginalized villages encouraged parents to send their children to CASA Bridge Schools and other government schools so that they can complete their education along with getting at least three-basic nutritious meals a day. Lakshmi’s enrolment in a government school is a gateway to escape the cycle of poverty by gaining education and a better future.
Basic education remains a distant dream for the children from the underprivileged and tribal communities. Lack of infrastructure and accessibility to schools are major reasons behind children dropping out of schools. But education forms an important component in the overall development of children. CASA
believes that every child has the right to education. CASA volunteers regularly interact and encourage parents to send children to school. Across all our projects, we ensure awareness about the right to better education.
CASA BRIDGE SCHOOL CENTRES
CASA took up Child Labour Free Zone Project (CLFZP) initiative to create an environment and opportunity for children to promote their rights and to restore childhood.
Bridge Course Centres were planned particularly for the school drop outs. The main objective of the bridge course centre is to encourage a child to continue education by creating a positive channel. These centres help children to continue their education in a regular school. Regular follow up is done by the appointed volunteers so that every child – upto 14 years – attends school.
The Bridge course center volunteers prepared 7 children in Andhra Pradesh and 5 in Tamil Nadu for appearing in 10th exam. Parents teacher meetings were conducted where they were motivated to send their children to the bridge course centers regularly.
Women and girls were enriched in their skills and developed confidence for better self employment opportunities. Children were provided information on availing loans from the banks and other financial institutions to start their own business centers. By attending the courses at the vocational training centers, the employable skills, social status and confidence level has increased.
Child Labour Free Zone Project made people aware of the problems related to child labour and integrated livelihood issues. In order to achieve this, network and alliances were built with various organizations.