Prayagraj: A group of five students decided to turn into teachers for slum children, and 20 months later, the initiative has turned into a full-blown campaign that now has received over 80 students in this district of Uttar Pradesh.
"We saw slum children begging outside a temple and working as rag-pickers. We decided to teach them on Sundays. However, it was difficult to convince and motivate them.
We visited their homes with eatables and promised to give them more if they came to study. Slowly, the numbers increased, and we could see that they were keen to learn," says Shiv Pratap Singh Rana, a law student and a key member of the group.
This group of students also distributes stationery, slippers, eatables, and clothes to slum kids who do not have a monetary support.
Parents of these students, seeing their commitment to the cause-have now started donating funds.
Since most of these children are supporting their families, the challenge was keeping them engaged.
"We started activity-based learning so that they get some time to play as well and even arranged necessary articles for them," said Singh.
The group brainstormed and recalled all the tricks they had learned in their school days to make theories, formulae, and equations, simpler and fun for these children to understand.
Classes are held under the Yamuna bridge and the dropout is almost zero.
Students from other colleges are also joining in the campaign and teach the students subjects that will help them in life."Our biggest challenge is to make science and mathematics fun to learn because these subjects are dreaded by most. The two-hour classes focus on real-life applications of various theories so that children can understand and do not have to learn by rote method," said Singh.
Singh, the group leader, has got selected for the Combined Defence Services Examination this year, but his fellow friends are determined to continue teaching the kids.