Right to Education Act mandates school enrolment however, without any provision for school transport, children are often unable to attend school. This leads to irregularity at school and also in dropouts. Door Step School has thus been bridging this gap by providing school transport using its own vehicles as well as private transport.
To enable the parents to play an active role in their children’s education, we gradually hand over this responsibility of providing the school transport to them (this is done in phases: after providing transport from DSS for a year or sometimes more, depending on the parents’ level of awareness, we take partial support from the parents to provide transport and then once we see that they are motivated enough, we encourage them to take charge).
This takes convincing not only the parents but also the private school transport drivers. We would like to extend our appreciation to one such driver, Mr. Janardan Jaagde, who has been providing school transport to the children we have enrolled in the ZP School in Narhe since the last year. In the beginning he was a little upset since the condition of roads to this school is very bad. Especially in the rains Mr. Jaagde would complain that he had to put all the earned money into repairs for the vehicle. Door Step School’s staff would keep explaining the parents’ situation to him, they would tell him about the work DSS is doing, they would urge him to keep going showing him how important it is for them to continuing schooling. Mr. Jaagde said at the time that, he would see how the situation is 2-3 months down the line and if it doesn’t work for him, he would stop providing the transport.
Gradually as he worked more with these children, he has become more involved in the work. There are no complaints about the road from him. On the contrary, he not only helps us ensure their regularity to school by not taking any holidays, he also keeps a check on the children’s attendance: he contacts our staff as well as the parents if he notices that a particular child has not been availing of the transport.
One such time when he noticed that a girl named Renuka Vankeri was not coming since 3-4 days, he called her parents. The mother informed him that she had lost his job. She informed him that she is a single mother of two children and the younger child has also been unwell of late. She said she could not afford Renuka’s transport fees and hence she stopped sending her to school. Mr. Jaagde then took it upon himself to pay for her transport fees for the next 3 months. It is touching to see people such as Mr. Jaagde to understand the importance of sending children to school and helping them out in whatever way possible! Renuka is now regular to school, thanks to Jaagde kaka!