Monday, July 15, 2013

Title: The fruit of persistence

Door Step School’s Parents Participation in Children’s Education (PPCE)
team succeeds in persuading the parents of children with long absenteeism

Meera and Vittal are siblings who live near the 'Mineral Company' on the Punyadham Ashram road in Kondhwa. As a part of the Every Child Counts (ECC) campaign last year (June 2012), they were enrolled in Somji School in Kondhwa. However, they attended school only for a few days because of the inconvenience they faced in commuting to school. They could not walk to school as the road leading to it had heavy traffic. There was nobody to escort them to school. Their elder brother Ravi’s job required him to move around in Pune so he could neither drop them nor pick them up from school. Parents got worried about the safety of children and dropped the idea of sending them to school.

Meera and Vittal with their family

In February (2013), as part of the PPCE project, the PPCE facilitators visited various schools in Mohammedwadi and Kondhwa and made a list of children who were either irregular or were consistently absent from school. Meera and Vittal’s names figured in this list. The facilitators met their parents/guardians as a part of the follow-up plan. Here, they met the parents and Ravi, and talked to them and explained the importance of school.   
Meera and Vittal’s parents were illiterate and Ravi had studied up to class I. The nature of Ravi’s work had changed recently and he no longer had to travel around Pune. Several meetings later, the family got convinced and Ravi agreed to drop and pick up his siblings.
Now, Meera attends school in the morning shift and Vittal in the afternoon. As a result, first in the morning, Ravi escorts Meera to school. Then, in the afternoon, he escorts Vittal to school and brings back Meera! They have been attending school regularly since March 2013. The team visited the school in June 2013 and both Meera and Vittal were there in school.

Vittal in School

Persistent encouragement   overcame the obstacles in this case. Another notable point in this case was that even after Ravi’s schedule changed, it did not occur to the family that Meera and Vittal could now be dropped to school.  One of our goals is to encourage parents to be proactive and take initiative and interest in their children’s education.

Meera in School

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