Taking young India from streets to schools

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New Delhi, Sep 25 (UNI) Fifteen-year-old Malik, a rag picker in the Capital until last year, today not only goes to school but is also a constant promoter of a literacy programme among the people in his community.

Thanks to the CHILDSCAPES programme run by PVRNEST (PVR network for enablement and social transformation) which has brought a new ray of hope to 75 disadvantaged children of the Vasant Vihar area in the capital, most of who were beggars and rag pickers.

Talking about the initiative PVR Ltd CMD Ajay Bijli said, ''PVR Childscapes has been conceptualised in order to transform in a positive way the lives of street children, who most often do not get opportunities and their potential goes undeveloped or misused.'' ''Apart from education we provide them with meals everyday so that they do not have to worry about earning a living and can concentrate on their studies,'' he added.

In order to motivate ordinary lives for their extraordinary contribution in developing the Childscapes community model, PVR Cinema today conferred the 'Childscapes Award for Excellence' on the teachers and volunteers working for the programme.

The awards which carried a citation and a cash prize were handed over by Minister of State for Women&Child Development Renuka Chowdhury.

Commending the PVR initiative, Ms Chowdhury said, " This is the vision that needs to be envisaged by both the public and the private sector who will have to join hands to help develop a young educated India.'' ''Education, Nutrition, Information and accessibity needs to be provided to these children so that they can make our country proud in the future,'' she added.

Those who were felicitated for their extraordinary contribution to the social cause includes Jagdish Kaur -- a teacher by profession who has given 17 years of her life working on for the street children and theatre activist Nikhil Raj who has given his utmost support in developing theatre practices in street childrean. His students include Rahul who has worked in Bollywood hits like Omkara and Blue Umbrella. Rahul was one of the many street children until a year ago in the Basant Lok area of the capital.

''I did not like the job of rag picking but had to do it to earn a living. But now I do not have to worry about that and can wholeheartedly concentrate on my studies,'' says Shankar, a rag picker at Basant Lok Community Centre, who not only goes to school but also ensures that all 12 children from his slum attend the school every morning.

Aiming to extend its scope of activities beyond Vasant Vihar, PVR cinemas today also launched the Saket Chapter of its programme to restore the lives and dignity of underprevileged and destitute children in the area through educational social and cultural activities.

Started with a belief that companies can make an effective difference in improving the quality of life in the communities they operate, the programme has been intiated in association with Bhagidari, National Geographic Channel, PVR Cinemas, Literacy India , Rajan Imports Ltd. and Anupam Shopping Arcade Association.

UNI

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