No one deserves to live on streets and definitely, not young girls, for whom every night is a struggle for survival.
While various non-profit organisations have come to their rescue by offering them a roof on their heads through shelter homes, their educational and professional aspirations often remain unaddressed.
In this scenario, the Social Welfare Department of the Kerala state government has risen to the occasion by setting up a facility that will train the brightest of girls living in rescue homes to crack civil service examinations.
In a tripartite initiative, in association with Ernakulam district panchayat and a partner non-profit organisation, the department will be establishing the first ‘Tejomaya’ home by June next year. It will house a maximum of 45 girls who have passed their Class 10 exams.
The facility will be set up in an area allocated by the district panchayat in Edakkattuvayal and will be co-managed by the residents, who will be selected on the basis of their academic performance alone.
“We have around 1,200 children living in rescue homes across the state. But unfortunately, there is no segregation here on the basis of skills. Some of the students are self-motivated and academically bright, while the others aren’t. By letting the bright kids mix with others, we’re playing a role in demotivating them. So we thought of opening these homes to train the former group exclusively,” says IAS officer Biju Prabhakar to EdexLive.
Prabhakar serves as the Special Secretary-in-charge of the Department of Social Justice and Women and Child Development of the Government of Kerala.
Prabhakar also shared that this home will have skill development and production centres and in addition to that, the girls would be given training in agriculture and horticulture. “
We’re hoping to make this a model for other homes too. We’re associating here with the Kerala Academy for Skills Excellence (KASE) to train these children and make them employable and independent at the earliest,” he added.
After seeing the success of the pilot project, the state department plans to establish many such institutions not only for girls, but also boys.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)