Srinagar, Mar 12 (ANI): For orphans and youth in Kashmir, a new ray of hope has emerged in the form of free computer education.
The Central Government's 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan' (SSA) scheme provides two IT courses free of cost to youths in Srinagar.
"These free courses are offered to orphans and the youth below poverty line (BPL) here. Out team first goes out and verifies that whether they belong to BPL category or not. And if a father is disabled because of the situation here and his child is deserving and willing to pursue this course then also we provide them this opportunity," said Mohammad Saleem Bhat, course coordinator 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan'.
About fifty students are pursuing computer courses at present at the Islamic Science Foundation Institute and they are hopeful about their career prospects.
"All the facilities are available to us here like all other private institute. I am really happy that people like me - orphans and the ones who belong to below poverty line are getting this opportunity to pursue this course," said Farooq Khan, an orphan.
Some of the teachers also feel that such a platform would certainly help the students to achieve their dreams in life. There are mostly orphans in the valley. They do not get the platform that they actually want to have in life. We are thankful to SSA which has initiated this platform for the children who cannot afford it otherwise," said Sheeba, a teacher.
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, is a flagship programme of the Government of India aimed at achieving the goal of universalization of elementary education by 2010.
When the Indian Government launched the campaign for universal education in 2001, there were still at least 32 million children out of the schools, according to the education authorities.
That figure has gone down to seven million in 2007, although new data from the family welfare ministry puts the number higher. By Afzal Butt(ANI)