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Chatralayas (Free student Hostels)

Campaign by All India Movement for Seva (AIM for Seva)

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Story

People in the rural and tribal parts of India are still impoverished and lack basic necessities like the right to education and care. Another deep-rooted problem is that the parents / elders in the families have not been formally educated, and have managed their livelihood by observing and learning the family occupation. In other words, while they have been employed per se, they have not been able to better their economic position or benefit from advancements that the urban society enjoys. This continues to trap them in a vicious cycle of poverty and hardship, which affects them and their progeny. The fundamental understanding that education will expand their knowledge base, enable access to opportunities and contribute to their overall well-being is unknown to them. As a ripple effect, children are not sent to school. Among the few who choose to send their children to school, the tendency among the children to drop out is pronounced, especially in higher classes and requires adequate after school support to cope up with his / her studies. Unfortunately, there is very little or no motivation provided to the children to push them to continue going to school and completing their formal education.

AIM for Seva recommends that education is the primary means to help lift these families from poverty – and enable social mobility and economic upliftment. The problem is multi-pronged. The deeper, pressing issues include the inability to send children to school due to lack of finances, absence of a nurturing learning environment, and felt urgency to send children to work so that they could contribute to the family income. Once these children get into work at a young age, they may remain mired in the cycle of economic stagnation – which will affect generations to come. An educated child becomes an agent of positive change: They will become economically empowered and lift their family out of poverty. Further, they will ensure that the next generation is set on the path of academic, economic and social aspiration. For this, children need a chance to enlarge their viewpoints – made possible through access to formal, value-based education.

To achieve this, AIM for Seva instituted the model of Chatralayam (free student hostels). Our solution is unique as it addresses all the challenges listed above under one roof. Chatralayam offers a holistic program that provides education, after school support, physical and psychological well-being.

We start with educating the parents / caretakers on the value of education, and how it would help children in the development of their intellect, attitude and character. This is not just about the children completing formal education and taking up jobs. Education introduces children to a wider base of knowledge, provides them with skills and perspectives, and equips them with confidence to hold their own. Education also enables them to bring modern developments and methodologies to their traditional family occupations. We assure the parents that their children will be taken care of, and that their safety is our top priority.

At a Chatralayam, school fees, uniforms, books and notebooks, and a simple living place with 3 nutritious meals are provided free. When these basic needs are given, the child is able to focus completely on studies – which will go a long way in building their capabilities. Through this, we also remove the anxieties relating to financial limitations, thereby ensuring that parents are supportive of the children’s education. The Chatralayam model is a successful one as these children live in the Chatralayas till they complete school education, thereby enabling us to contribute to their life progress.

Organisers
All India Movement for Seva (AIM for Seva)

All India Movement for Seva (AIM for Seva)

Beneficiary Charity

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