Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Education is our birth right; this thought is not just emotional but also constitutional. Every child between the age of 6-14 must get good quality free and compulsory education. Well, that’s the law on paper. The reality is there are millions of school age children who are deprived of their right to education and a better future. Pointing fingers at policy makers, administrators or ground level workers doesn’t really change much, the fact remains that in a short run these vulnerable children are the responsibility of us as a society.
In the cities the situation is still better as there is moderate government support and the NGOs work together to provide children with reasonable quality of education but in Rural India the situation is grave and government funding is virtually nonexistent. But once again this year, Umang Foundation Trust has been able to reach the children of ZP School at Talvada in Shahpur. The school is surprisingly situated right in the middle of a remote jungle in Talvada. There are no permanent roads connecting the school, only forest pavements which have been created due to continuous commute most probably by the students themselves. The students walk 4km from their village to reach the school, crossing streams and forests. Despite the children putting so much efforts in reaching the school, the school lacked resources to cater to the children. The children lacked even the very basic amenities like umbrellas which becomes vital for commute during heavy monsoon in Maharashtra. Stationaries were in short supply; the children were short of notebooks and pencils. The teachers seeing the dire need of help contacted Umang Foundation Trust to help the school with basic resources as we had done last year.
Accumulating these resources amidst the lockdown was another big challenge. We couldn’t simply go about asking the corporates or do fund raising sessions. Everything had to been done online. The educational resources had to be backed up with sanitization resources like handwash, hand sanitizer, masks etc. because for knowledge to flow the children must feel safe in the school. We were able to accumulate the basic resources like books, slates, school, bags, stationary, water purifiers, sanitizers, hand wash, bathing soaps, face masks, umbrellas, raincoats etc. with help of devoted team and generous donors from across the country. Team Umang travelled all the way from Mumbai to Talvade and from there walked for 4 hours to reach this very remote school in the middle of the jungle to help the persistent children of ZP school with a few resources which might help in their quest of attaining knowledge and becoming an asset to the society. Before handing over the resources to the children we sanitized all of the resources to following all covid appropriate behaviors
The happiness and contentment that Team Umang saw on the faces of the children was beyond measure. It makes our otherwise very hard job a little more easier knowing that we are able bring even occasionally so, a smile on these children’s faces. We are glad to have been able to reach out to these vulnerable children and help them during this very hard pandemic. This has only been possible due to our hard working and committed team. Thank you to all the donors who made this possible!