Impart computer literacy to poor children in India

 
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Sahaara believes that every person has a dream, and our work centres around ensuring that marginalized persons are able to articulate and work towards achieving their dream. Children living in Mumbai juvenile homes are one of the most marginalized children in Mumbai. Institutionalized, these children are most often from highly poverty stricken families. 

As a part of the holistic intervention therein, Sahaara imparts computer education to the children between fourteen to eighteen years of age in the juvenile homes. Sahaara’s in-house computer course delivers a fitting foundation to the children preparing their skills for the technology-driven world outside the homes. The children attending the computer training get a start that will help them break out of the poverty cycle and fulfil their dreams of a stable future.

Rajesh understood the Key for success

Rajesh Panchal* was born in the year 2002 and lived with his parents.

When he was seven years of age, he was playing outside the home with his friends, when, in the excitement of the games, he gradually moved further away from home.A while later all his friends began to go back home and suddenly Rajesh realized that he did not know where he was and he could not find the exact way he came through while playing and forgotten the address of his house too.

As he searched the way back to home Rajesh was very afraid and tired, felt very hungry, and in his desperate situation asked a stranger to give him some food.The stranger found Rajesh traumatized, calmed him down and asked him to come to his house and have a meal there. Rajesh stayed for that night in the stranger’s house.

The next day morning Rajesh was handed over to the nearby police station from which he was shifted to Dongri home for a year in 2009 by the police authorities. Then he was shifted to David Sasson Industrial School Home at Matunga in 2010, in which Sahaara conducts coaching and computer classes for the development of the children.

Sahaara came into contact with Rajesh during the coaching classes where the staff observed him as a quiet child and weak in Marathi and English. Then staff gave special attention towards the growth of Rajesh in the process of coaching and started engaging him in the e-learning sessions.Rajesh showed his improvements through the committed interest by participating in the coaching classes regularly.

Now Rajesh studying in 5th std and well equipped with the Marathi and English subjects, were he is capable of reading the alphabets, also well versed in counting numbers.The commitment and improvement made Rajesh to promise the staff that he is going to focus more in his studies, with an intention of becoming a good person in order to help others.

 * Name changed for identity

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Sahaara believes that every person has a dream, and our work centers around ensuring that marginalized persons are able to articulate and work towards achieving their dream. Children living in Mumbai juvenile homes are one of the most marginalized children in Mumbai. Institutionalized, these children are most often from highly poverty stricken families. 

As a part of the holistic intervention therein, Sahaara imparts computer education to the children between fourteen to eighteen years of age in the juvenile homes. Sahaara’s in-house computer course delivers a fitting foundation to the children preparing their skills for the technology-driven world outside the homes. The children attending the computer training get a start which will help them break out of the poverty cycle and fulfill their dreams of a stable future.

Saleem found the reason for his life

Saleem* use to stay with his parents while he was studying 4th Gradein a urdu school at vikroli.  When he was 12 years old, his father faced various difficulties in his business and decided to go back to his village with the family to Aurangabad. But Saleem was not interested to go along with them to the village, because of which he stayed back with his uncle and aunt. Since Saleem’s uncle and aunt use to sell blankets, he also got used to the business and began to learn making blanket. The curiosities of Saleem lead him to take up the call of selling blankets instead of going to school. 

One fine day he went out to roam around the places in the town. Saleem got into a train from a nearby station and reached the central station. He had 200 Indian Rupees with to spend for the entire day. After he roamed around the places, he thought of going back to home. But when he reached the central station in the evening, he got confused about train he supposed to take. So he asked a lady passenger who was there at the station that which train he supposed to take home. The women found him suspicious and took him to a nearby police station. After which the police officials took him to the observation home. Saleem stayed in the observation home for 4-6 months and then he was shifted to David Sasson Industrial School by CWC court for rehabilitation till the age of 18. Now Saleem is 16 years young lad studying in 5th Grade. 

Sahaara staff came in to contact with him and started to relate with him with love and care. He was admitted in the computer coaching classes. In the beginning of the classes he was very reserved and quiet. He was only interested in playing games in the computer by which he ignored to learn the other application which are taught in the classes. After a period of counselling, Saleem understood the importance of knowledge pertaining to the computer. Saleem didn’t stop his learning only with computers also he extended his opportunities by doing a course for tuner and fitter.He wanted to do job in Godrej Company as turner fitter through which he wish to help his family.     

*Name changed to protect identity.

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Sahaara believes that every person has a dream, and our work centers around ensuring that marginalized persons are able to articulate and work towards achieving their dream. Children living in Mumbai juvenile homes are one of the most marginalized children in Mumbai. Institutionalized, these children are most often from highly poverty stricken families. 

As a part of the holistic intervention therein, Sahaara imparts computer education to the children between fourteen to eighteen years of age in the juvenile homes. Sahaara’s in-house computer course delivers a fitting foundation to the children preparing their skills for the technology-driven world outside the homes. The children attending the computer training get a start which will help them break out of the poverty cycle and fulfill their dreams of a stable future.

Umed’s* Journey from Notoriety to Nobility

Umed was born in June 1997. His father ran a scrap material business and his mother was a housewife. Umed had six other siblings – four sisters and two brothers. Of his siblings, two of his sisters are married and the other two are at home while his brothers attend a local school.

Umed used to reside with his family in Mira Road - a suburb of Mumbai - where he attended school. While walking to school daily, he and his friend noticed a house, which was locked for many days. One day they decided to tamper with the lock and break into the house. He was fifteen years of age when he broke into the first house. Umed and his friend continued walking this path and they broke into other homes as well and robbed them. They felt that it would not be possible for the police to catch up with them as they were students and the police would probably be looking for adults. In Jan 2014, though, their plans were rudely dashed when the police picked them up and placed them in the Bhiwandi Observation Home because of their age.

Umed stayed there for two months and then was shifted to the David Sassoon Industrial School in Matunga. It was there, in the month of March, that Sahaara met him. He was very quiet and reserved but easy to talk to. In July, when he joined the Computer class, his interaction with the Sahaara staff increased. As they interacted, the teacher got to know about his past and what was the sequence of events that landed him in the Home.

Over the next few days, he opened up and spoke about the bad choices that he had made in life, which had resulted in him being away from his family and staying in an institution. There was a visible repentance from his side as he decided never to walk that path of robbery again.

He says that he wants to grow up and major in computers or an electrical job. He is an enthusiastic learner. Although he is not strong in operating a computer, he is eager to learn and is the first one to show up for class! He is good in Math but his grasp of English is poor and thus he struggles with concepts in the computer class. Acknowledging his weakness, he has now begun to devote more time in learning English words so that he can grow in the skill of operating computers.

He wants to return to his family and live a normal life once he is released in the year 2015.

*Name changed to protect identity.

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Attachments:

Sahaara believes that every person has a dream, and our work centers around ensuring that marginalized persons are able to articulate and work towards achieving their dream. Children living in Mumbai juvenile homes are one of the most marginalized children in Mumbai. Institutionalized, these children are most often from highly poverty stricken families. 

As a part of the holistic intervention therein, Sahaara imparts computer education to the children between fourteen to eighteen years of age in the juvenile homes. Sahaara’s in-house computer course delivers a fitting foundation to the children preparing their skills for the technology-driven world outside the homes. The children attending the computer training get a start which will help them break out of the poverty cycle and fulfill their dreams of a stable future.

Ashok is excited to learn computers!

Ashok* is a 15 year old boy studying in the 4th grade at the DSIS (David Sassoon Industrial School) Home. Ashok’s parents died when he was very young and since then he stayed with his relatives. However, there were financial challenges as they were a poor family.

Ashok thought he could earn some money and so he started working as a rag picker near Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station in Mumbai. He was still a minor at the time. While working one day, he met one of his friends who told him about a catering job in Gujrat. Convinced with the offer, Ashok and his friend decided to go to Gujrat. While they were waiting at CST railway station for the train, some social workers observed these boys, sensed something strange, and so approached the two boys. On interrogation, they found out that the boys were minor and were running away from home for a job. The social workers brought Ashok to Dongri but his friend managed to escape. They admitted him in the Umerkhadi Observation Home. Ashok stayed there for 3 months. None of his family members came looking for him. Therefore, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) shifted him to DSIS Home. From the past 2 years, he is staying in DSIS.

Sahaara met Ashok in June 2014, when he joined Sahaara’s computer training centre that is run at the DSIS home. He was so excited to see the computer and to put his hands on it. He never thought he would ever be able to learn the computer but there he was in the Computer Training Centre! He always came to the class on time, paid full attention to what the teacher taught. He was thrilled when he first used the functions ‘Cut, Copy and paste’ on the computer. During one of the class, Ashok heard his computer teacher saying that the ‘English’ language is very important when it comes to operate the computers. Since then he has started learning English and takes the effort to understand and remember the computer terms. He also spends time practicing typing.

Ashok is a very hard working boy and is a genuine learner who earlier dreamed to just work as a labourer but now dreams to work in an office.

* Name changed to protect identity.

Links:


Attachments:

Sahaara believes that every person has a dream, and our work centers around ensuring that marginalized persons are able to articulate and work towards achieving their dream. Children living in Mumbai juvenile homes are one of the most marginalized children in Mumbai. Institutionalized, these children are most often from highly poverty stricken families. 

As a part of the holistic intervention therein, Sahaara imparts computer education to the children between fourteen to eighteen years of age in the juvenile homes. Sahaara’s in-house computer course delivers a fitting foundation to the children preparing their skills for the technology-driven world outside the homes. The children attending the computer training get a start which will help them break out of the poverty cycle and fulfill their dreams of a stable future.

Salim* completes his computer course!

Salim is an 18-year-old boy staying in David Sassoon Industrial School (DSIS). He is an eighth class student and has just completed Sahaara’s course in Basic Computer Literacy.

Salim hails from the city of Mumbai. He was around 14-years-old when his parents passed away and since then, he was in the care of his elder sister who lived in the western suburbs of Mumbai. As his sister had a low income and found it difficult to handle the expenses, Salim wanted to leave his studies and find a job so that he does not become a burden on her. On being offered a catering job in the city of Ahmedabad in Gujrat by a stranger, Salim was excited and decided to leave Mumbai in the year 2011. While waiting at the Mumbai Central railway station for the person who promised him a job, a policeman and a social worker approached him and, on questioning, found that he was under-age and straying away from home for a job. The policeman took Salim and admitted him in the Umerkhadi Observation Home where minor children who are straying away are kept. Salim’s sister was under the impression that he was in Ahmedabad. During the time he was in Umerkhadi Observation Home, Salim’s sister got married and moved to her husband’s village. When she was informed about Salim, she came to meet him. She realized that Salim’s educational needs could be met through the Observation Home and hence, decided to let him continue stay there. Salim was later shifted to DSIS in 2012.

Sahaara met Salim when he joined Sahaara computer training centre run at the DSIS home for the July 2013 batch. In the beginning of the course he was not too comfortable attending the class as he could not speak English. He was very irregular but gradually he felt comfortable as the Sahaara teachers helped him to converse in Basic English and helped him overcome the difficulties he had in learning computers. In December 2013, he completed his computer-training course in the basics with good grades.

Salim desires to enter into a job where he could use his computer skills. He also desires to buy a used computer as soon as he gets a job so that he can continue to practice all that he has learnt. Sahaara is counselling him for his career and will be referring him to an After Care Home where he can be accommodated after he leaves DSIS. Salim is grateful to Sahaara for helping him learn computers and for encouraging him to work towards fulfilling his dreams.

* Name changed to protect identity

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Organization

Project Leader

Rahul Thomas

Mr.
Mumbai, Maharashtra India

Where is this project located?

Map of Impart computer literacy to poor children in India