For the past 12 months, children of unorganized workers have had very limited means to access education. They do not have access to electronic devices or reliable internet connections to go to school online. According to a study conducted by the Campaign Against Child Labour, child labour has increased by 280% among children belonging to vulnerable communities. In some of the neighbourhoods that CLEAD has been involved in, we have noticed that many children have effectively dropped out of school, and getting involved in drug use and gambling if they are not going to work. Another key cause for concern has been the increased violence that women and girls have been facing during the pandemic, and instances of child marriage.
As part of an attempt to address some of these issues, CLEAD plans to conduct non-formal education in tuition centers across neighbourhoods in Chennai, as a way to help children access offline education in safe circumstances over the summer, and bridge back to school in the 2021-2022 academic year so they do not drop out of education altogether. CLEAD had already been running childcare centres in two neighbourhoods, Sathya Nagar B and Neelam Basha Dargah, and a tuition center in Kodungaiyur until the start of the pandemic. We intend to run special summer programmes for three months in these locations, as well as two other neighbourhoods where we work, Kallukuttai, Perungudi and Radhakrishnapuram, RA Puram. Two qualified teachers have been recruited from each of these communities to be trained by non-formal education professionals, so they can run these programmes in their neighbourhoods and access livelihood opportunities during the pandemic.
The goal is to target 25 primary school children for education in reading, writing, arithmetic and environmental studies, and 25 middle school children in basic concepts in science, mathematics, social science, Tamil and English in each of these neighbourhoods. The emphasis will be on activity-based learning for three hours a day. We hope to raise Rs. 3,00,000 for running these programmes in these five neighbourhoods for a period of three months (April – June). The expenses include nominal salaries of Rs. 3000 for teachers each month, daily healthy snacks for children, learning and teaching materials such as notebooks, pencils, chalk, masks and sanitizer, and training expenses. (Find a more detailed budget attached).
If we are able to raise more money, we will attempt to expand this programme into other neighbourhoods in Chennai as well, where there is a desperate need for intervention into education. Please consider donating, in order to help children go back to school!
All donations are exempt under Sec 80G of Income Tax Act (80G DIT(E)No.2(532)12-13). Receipts from the organization will reach you within 60 days from the time of donation.
CLEAD has been active in Tamil Nadu for 27 years now, without actively seeking funds from corporate funders. It is allied with registered labor unions and slumdweller rights organizations across the country and in Tamil Nadu.