Jhajjar (Haryana), Feb.25 : Brick kiln labourers in Haryana can now provide school education to their kids without bothering to send them to distant places for the same, for the State Government has set up temporary classes for them at kilns.
Hundreds of brick kiln labourers' children are today benefiting from the newly set up classrooms which have been opened here under the Central Government's Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for All) scheme.
"I am enjoying attending school with friends. Earlier, I used to work at this brick kiln. I am learning so that I could take up job when I grow up," said nine-year-old Parvati, a student and the daughter of a migrant worker from Bihar.
Presently, there are about 5,000 students taking education at nearly 100 such special classrooms that are being run in various brick kiln sites across Haryana.
Known as "Bhatti-Shalas" or, the kiln schools, this form of classroom education has come as a boon for the wards of kiln workers, who often have to compromise with their primary education due to parents' inter-State migration.
"I am really happy at finding my children being able to study at this school. The government has been kind in making such arrangement for our kids. Now these children can learn something new and develop a better understanding of the life ahead after some time," said Meera, a labourer at a kiln.
In 2006, at least 25 Bhatti Shalas were set up to cover 50 brick kilns for the labourers' children.
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan scheme is aimed at providing primary education to children between the ages of six and 14.
"The students are willing to learn and they come even on holidays," claimed Sunita Devi, a teacher at one of the Bhatti Shallas.
Several village heads have come forward to take care of the children's other basic needs.
"I am ready to come forward and help out these kids with the problems they have been facing. If the Government cannot fund other facilities, I am ready to provide these kids with clothes and shelter at my level," assured Sunil Kumar, the Sarpanch (chief) of Ismail Village.
Over 20,000 migrant workers arrive here at these brick kilns for employment.
"The children, who have been working in these brick kilns, are here to help their families at work. We have a huge number of migrant workers' since there are a lot of brick kilns in this State. We have opened three to four schools in one brick kiln, depending upon its size," said P. C. Meena, Additional District Commissioner and Administrator for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in Jhajjar District.
"We are also providing mid-day meals in these schools so that more and more children start coming here. We want that even if they there migrating to some other areas, they should educate people around them and should take the mission ahead. They should develop interest in education," Meena added.