You might recall that we had only one boy in class VIII and only four in class VII in our school in the last academic year. This is not surprising as there is hardly any education among the musahar community and these five boys were first to be taken under the project when it was launched in 2005. These boys belong to two neighbouring musahar ghettoes where one active NGO was running a small informal school. As it is not possible to run very senior classes for just a few students, I am happy to inform that the senior most boy of the school has been admitted at Gyan Niketan, a leading school of Patna . He was tested and found fit enough to be admitted to the school. This boy now has a level playing field to compete with the best and all doors of higher education are now open to him. Sky is the limit for him. This I believe is a significant development and is an incontrovertible validation of the vision and mission of our project. Hopefully the other four boys in our senior class will also find slots in leading schools in Patna next year but, thereafter, God willing SSK will be in position to run senior classes providing quality education.
In my last newsletter I had mentioned about Mrs. Geetha Prasad, an extremely sincere and talented volunteer taking classes in communicative English. She has designed an audio-visual course which she is now running at the school. Within these few months the results have been remarkable. I am convinced that within two to three years our children will have as good if not better command over spoken English than the children of any other school in Patna . The computer center at the school has also become functional. We have 20 computers with two printers and have employed an experienced part time teacher. Children in class three and above shall be attending computer classes. I believe all the children are very keen to learn computer and I hope they take to computers like fish to water. Imagine the impact of computer savvy musahar children well versed in the English language passing out from a school which has given them all-round quality education.
‘The Slumdog Millionaire’ has taken the world by storm. It encapsulates the hope, aspirations and character of a slum boy, but the road to realizing his dreams and becoming a millionaire is make believe and a fantasy. This is reel life and not real life. What our project envisions to achieve is to give the slum boys of slums which are much worse than what you see at Dharavi (Mumbai) and give them credible hope to realize their aspirations by imparting to them quality education. This will give them a new life and open up the doors of the 21st century. Who knows if some of them really become millionaires. But more importantly all of them shall be catalyst of change in their community, perhaps the most exploited, pitiable and deprived community in India . This is the silent revolution which we hope to achieve.
This financial year began on April 01 and we will have to continue our relentless efforts to raise financial resources to develop the school further and create a corpus to ensure continuity. I look forward to your continuing support.
J. K. Sinha
Shoshit Seva Sangh