Centres for mainstreaming rag pickers opened in Jharkhand

February 4th, 2009 - 4:21 pm ICT by ANI  

By Girija Shankar Ojha
Ranchi, Feb 4 (ANI): Jharkhand Government has opened drop-in-centres for mainstreaming the rag pickers under an education project.
Many children living in the slums of the state capital Ranchi are forced to become rag pickers because of extreme poverty. They pick up waste plastics, paper and other articles and sell it for recycling purposes.
These children earn somewhere around rupees 10 to 20 a day from rag picking Their earning is an extra source of income for their parents, thus, their parents show reluctance in sending the children to schools.
The State Government, under the Jharkhand Education Project, has set up drop-in-centres to bring the children engaged in rag picking into the mainstream of life and then impart them with education. But local authorities have been finding it hard to wean the children to the drop-in centres.
Government is taking help of the self-help group REDS to motivate more and more children to join these centres. This has helped in attracting about 8,000 children to these centres.
“These children are very different from other children. These kids have lot of potential in them but so far nobody has come forward to make these children realise their true worth. First, we want these children to get familiarized with these institutions, we want them to stop roaming around and then we will start educating them,” said Pradeep Kumar Chanbey, District Superintendent of Education, Ranchi.
Many of the children who have joined drop-in centres are now keen to get educated.
” I have not started studying yet, but given a chance I definitely want to study. I want to become a doctor,” said Anjali, a rag picker.
These centres are not as of now asking the children to leave garbage picking in view of their poor family incomes. But eventually they intend to convince their parents to make their children leave their profession and devote themselves fully to getting education. (ANI)

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