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Jul 20, 2012 at 02:37pm IST

Thane NGO helping tribal children join mainstream

Wada: An NGO in Thane, Maharashtra, is providing supplementary education and food to over 3500 tribal students from its Wada taluka. Their mission is to help assimilate the children into mainstream society, seamlessly.

Learning Space, the NGO, conducts classes in English for the children to help assimilate them into mainstream society. And former ad professional and author Nitin Orayan, who runs the NGO, is trying to make the transition simple.

Says Orayan, "I was interacting with the children, teaching them English, counting numbers with them and I realised it was something I enjoyed doing, teaching them something valuable."

Started with just 15 students ten years ago, Learning Space today provides supplementary education and meals to over 3500 tribal children.

In order to make them self-reliant, the NGO trains the students in art and craft, all funded by individual and corporate donations. While students themselves endorse the benefits of speaking the Queen's language through interactive street plays, pass-outs like Ganesh, are now teaching others.

"I like volunteering with Learning Space foundation. It has given me a lot and this is an educational NGO. I like to work for education," Ganesh says.

A tie-up with the government-sponsored Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has widened its reach to village schools, where younger children are taught the basics of conversation with the help of audio visual aids.

While the Right to Education (RTE) will ensure a syllabus-based education to the children, supplementary programmes like teaching through audio-visual aids will bridge the gap of individual, specialised skill building.

Rahul Dhum, Block Development Officer of Wada, says, "We support the agency as it has managed to reach far flung areas where even we cannot reach."

For generation next, change is here.

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