We are up with our second offstage story- the story of RTE admissions. One of our student, Sujeet will narrate it in his own perspective. Go through his interesting narration and explore how RTE shaped his life.

Hello Everyone!!

How are you all doing in these tough times? I am utilising this time to prepare myself for JNV entrance exams. Oh! I forgot to introduce myself. I am Sujeet, a student of class 4 in ‘New Hopes Carmel’ school. I live with my family in 'Bodhisattva' slum, a slum near IET college's campus. So, are you wondering about the contradictory words- ‘New Hopes Carmel School’ and 'slum’. Everybody does. But now it's normal for me and all my friends living in my neighborhood. It's not like I was born for schooling and stuffs. My childhood was very different and very difficult from yours. School was a dream for me and everyone in my slum. In mornings, I along with my friends used to collect useful stuffs from the piles of garbage. Whenever, I came across School going kids with their school bags on back, I always used to wonder that how will it feel like having school bag on back, instead of this garbage bag, how will it feel like going to school instead of going to work, how will it feel like studying and playing instead of working and begging. All those were my golden dreams. I also insisted my parents, once or twice, to send me to schools, but they were also helpless. They couldn't afford the huge amount that will cost in my schooling. I had already declared the rag-picking as my fate.

The Bodhisatva Nagar Slum

But one day, everything changed in my life. It was year 2015. I was as usual wondering with my friends in my neighborhood when some strangers came in our slum. They told our parents that they want to teach us. My father was not much willing, but my mother knew it well that how hard I wanted to study. She convinced my father to let me study, only for an hour a day. I was so happy that day, finally I was going to learn those alphabets. Those strangers seems some angel to me. Later I came to know that they are themselve students of the IET college and they are going to teach us free of cost, so that we can write our own destiny.

The first ever classes of परमार्थ in slum

That was wonderful. Time passed by and I was then able to write at least name of myself and my parents. I along with some of my friends used to visit the college on a daily basis to learn more and more. They named our school as परमार्थ, I was small at that time to understand its meaning. We call them as Sir and Mam, as they were our first teacher. I was much happy then, those rag-picking bags were no more heavier for me, because I could now actually study in evening. I was happy with my life.

But life had one more beautiful surprise for me. One day, Sir and Mam (bhaiyaa-didi of IET) told us that they will get our admission done in nearby private schools. I was unable to believe their words, but glare of going school hit different in my eyes. They told our parents that they were planning to send us schools as nothing can beat the environment that a child get in school. Our parents asked how will they send us schools, who will pay the fees, and I was listening everything from the side of door. Sir told my parents that they will manage everything through RTE, that was a new word for me, but words were of least importance for me at that time. Sir further added that my parents will not have to spend a single penny on my education, and convinced them in the last.

Convincing Slum Dwellers why is Schooling important

Sir asked for some of the documents, which my father told that he has not any. For once, I felt my dream scattering in pieces, but then Sir told my father to not worry, they will manage it, too. And, guess what, they had said it right, they had managed everything, least I cared about 'How', and almost after a month they informed us that we got admitted in schools and we have to go schools from tomorrow. I was unable to sleep at that night, next morning I will be experiencing my own dream. Total 15 of us got admitted in nearby private schools in the first year of attempt of our Sir and Mam i.e. 2016. I was among one of them. Everything was so different in school, we were now able to sit with those kids whom we used to came across in the morning. Everything was a fairy tale.

The first batch of RTE admissions by परमार्थ - RTE admission 2016-17

Our Sirs and Madams were out there to send maximum of us in schools. In four successive year, they were able to admit almost 150 of us to private schools. In morning we use to visit school and in evening we visit our same coaching 'परमार्थ', Now,I know its meaning. Recently, my younger brother has to be enrolled in private school through RTE. Now I know RTE is Right to Education, i.e. everyone has right to get educated, no matter where they belongs. It was made for people like us but neither me nor my parents were aware of it. Many schemes do not reaches its true beneficiaries. All thanks to my Sir and Mam that they touched our lives and shaped it. Last time, my brother has to be enrolled for RTE and now I was in age to understand the 'How', the process of RTE. First and foremost thing that my Sir and Mam do is to take a complete survey of our slums, to analyze that who can get admission this year, it depends on the age of kid, na.

A wholesome survey of slum to analyze the kids that can be admitted through RTE

After the analysis they do another survey of eligible kids to find out their details and if they have required documents. The documents required are income, birth and identity certificate. You can guess easily that in our slum, nobody have it on their own. But, Sir and Mam took all the pain, they run here and there, from one office to other, from one official to other, so that they can get our required documents. It's not an easy job in our country to get certificates with ease, it sometime take almost a month, and my Sir and Mam put all their efforts for our sake.

Collecting all the required documents for the RTE application

Once the date of RTE openings is announced, they fill forms for all of shortlisted kids. Result of admissions are announced through lottery system and almost every application gets approved. This year my brother also got admission in 'Tagore Public School'. The happiness on his face reminds me of mine, of 4 years back. He was among 32 students that my Sir and Mam were able to get admitted in nearby schools. They also provide financial help to economically weaker kids. Rest is procured in our bank accounts by the Government, and it is nevertheless mentioning that my Sir and Mam help our parents to have a bank account.

Volunteers of परमार्थ and slum dwellers in school to do admission formalities

List of student admitted this time through RTE - RTE admission 2020-21

Our Sir and Mam are our guardian too. They visit our schools in every single Parent Teacher meeting, to discuss our progress. Our teachers and Principal know them very well and they discuss everything related to us with them.

One of our several students who won prizes for their academic performance and co-curricular activities in their schools

I am a very bright student of my class and my teachers often appreciate me infront of my parents and my Sirs and Mams. Last year I stood first in my class. Now my parents also believe in me and motivate me to shape my destiny. This year I will appear in JNV entrance exam and my Sir and Mam are helping me in all possible way to crack it. Wish me and my friends with all the lucks and your blessings so that we can achieve something, someday and make our parents and Sir-Mam proud.

The happy faces of little toddlers of परमार्थ on their first day of school-Seeking your blessings!!

Whole process in a nutshell

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