IIT Bhubaneswar conducts Literacy Programme for Children of Migrant Workers

IIT Bhubaneswar conducts Literacy Programme for Children of Migrant Workers

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar, as part of its social responsibility, is conducting a Literacy Programme for the children of the migrant workers residing in the premises of its campus. Initiated by the efforts of the faculty members and student volunteers of the Institute, this literacy programme has been commenced from September 2023. Under this programme, these children have now got the opportunity to get enrolled in the local schools and start their basic education.

The objective of the programme was to provide basic education to these children, along with nutritional support. It may be mentioned that migrant workers from Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha are engaged in the construction works undergoing in the IIT Bhubaneswar Campus. These workers are residing in the campus of the institute with their families. Because of their migration, the education of their children was disrupted. The major objective of the programme was to enable these children who have been dropped out of schools due to migration to resume their studies and provide education to the children who were yet to start their education. In this line, under the flagship of the CSR Cell of IIT Bhubaneswar and with the efforts of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA), the Literacy Programme was rolled out for these kids. Led by Dr. Naresh Chandra Sahu, Professor-in-Charge, Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) and Dr. Seema Bahinipati, Coordinator, UBA, the faculty members and student volunteers interacted with the migrant children and their parents and motivated them to join the initiative. At the initial stage, basic education was provided to the children by the volunteers at the Central Library of the Institute. They were provided with books, school bags and other stationary items for their studies. To take this initiative a further up making provision for formal education, efforts were made for their enrollment in the local government schools. With the concerted and organized effort, as many as 16 students have recently got enrollment in different classes in Podapada Anganwadi and Podapada Upper Primary School. 

Speaking on this initiative, Dr. Naresh Chandra Sahu said: “This is one of its kind venture by IIT Bhubaneswar, which not only aims at addressing the educational needs of these children but also focuses on their over-all well-being and development. Besides the formal classes at the school, evening classes are also continued for them at the Central Library by the volunteers.” 

Informing about the approach of this initiative, Dr. Seema Bahinipati said: “Our vision was to bring these children back to education and it was a challenge at some cases, since their language of study was different in their native states. So, our literacy programme started with teaching of English and Hindi alphabets, and making them learn numbers and counting.” Their level of learning was documented on a database initially and further teaching by volunteers was done based on the data available on the database. Children receive audio-video education to raise their awareness about sanitation, cleanliness, moral values etc. “After the proper study of their growth, the school authorities were approached for their enrollment in different classes,” she added.

Apart from education, the members of this group also ensure the provision of essential nutrients under this programme. The children are provided with snacks after every class. Other nutritional support includes the distribution of healthy traditional snacks. The initiative also includes promoting social and hygiene awareness as well as moral value teaching through video screening. To enhance connectivity with these children and their families, the members have also distributed clothes to them. This programme aims at providing quality education and a healthy life to these children with many new initiatives, which will be taken up in future.