Calcutta Social Project was one of the earliest pioneers in educating Street Children, having commenced work from Madan Street and Bowbazar way back in the 1990s. Subsequently we were enrolled in The Integrated Program for Street Children by the Govt of India. In those days the program had a tremendous relevance in enabling empowerment through educational mainstreaming to Street and Slum Children.
Today the world has changed
Empowerment is no longer available as before to children mainstreamed through this process.
This is primarily because the quality of education that such children have access to is
- rote learning based,
- does not include digital skills
- lacked useful vocational training and,
- is also very inadequate in developing communication skills.
In any event, unlike 25 years before, there are now many NGOs and other agencies to deliver the conventional mainstreaming services to Street and Slum Children.
Having regard to the current scenario, and without abandoning our efforts in the sphere of education, we have taken the following decisions to empower, in contemporary terms, our street and slum children at our centres.:
- CSP street education centers are being turned into computer education centres. These will equip underprivileged youngsters to find work and livelihood by creating digital awareness of the Vocational skills that CSP has trained them in ( Handicrafts, Beautician Training ) or through Certified skills that CSP will help them acquire . These will be certified (aptitude tested) skills that CSP has counselled them in their areas of interest or ability. These Vocations could range across a whole spectrum of options... from Clothing and Garments making , Operation Theatre Technician, Fitness Training , Solar Panels Technician, Sports management , Makeup artistes to Animation and Multi medias, Food & Beverages,
A List of 105 such certifiable vocations organized by Govt and private institutions have been thoroughly researched by CSP, covering…
Eligibility and Minimum Education required | Details of Institutions providing training | Expenses | Sessions | Terms | Prospects of livelihood and Likely monthly income.
Research for more such avenues of livelihood is still ongoing.
- SAFAL centres would also become centres for facilitating (both Vernacular and English) language, communication skills and comprehension so that youngsters can convince and expand their client base and internet accessed market opportunities .
- These Centres would also run CSP’s own Vocational Training centres for Handicrafts and Beautician Practicals.
Most importantly the centres will be used as Advisory and Guidance centres for academically poor children whose career avenues have shut down due to below average academic marks or consequent to dropping out altogether after class 8 or class 10.
We have researched and found that there are tremendous numbers of training and competence courses and programs which can help a student below average academic background to acquire qualification in skills which can ensure a decent livelihood. The problem is totally inadequate awareness of such programs among both students and their guardians which has leads to despair, demoralization, and demotivation because all doors of progress appear closed to them.
These SAFAL centers will be used as hand holding guidance centers to all youngsters facing closure of future prospects.
SAFAL will be offering them advice on suitable courses “DO - ABLE” for them and also be guide them regarding where such courses are available.
CSP "@Shikshya" program will help coaching and preparing such students for eligibility tests, so that they can qualify.
CSP will also give financial aid to students and families who have proven seriousness of purpose and determination to succeed so that funding for courses is not an obstacle for their future.
In a scenario of dark hopelessness among urban poor families after they find that their hard fought formal education is worthless to change their lives, SAFAL will bring Hope and Constructive help to access potentially life changing skills.
CSP can bear testimony on its 50 years of experience that, once Hope kindles Motivaton to succeed amongst the Urban Poor, nothing can stop them from realizing their dreams.