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Friday, April 16, 2021

Punjab farmers’ group starts ‘informal school’ for slum children

This initiative is part of the multiple "sewa" practices being offered at the protest site, where farmers are demonstrating against three new farm laws.

A farmers’ group from Punjab’s Anandpur Sahib has started an “informal school” in a makeshift tent at the Singhu border for local slum children.

The temporary school was started this week and was pioneered by writer Bir Singh and advocate Dinesh Chaddha. This initiative is part of the multiple “sewa” practices being offered at the protest site, where farmers are demonstrating against three new farm laws.

“Everything here is “sewa“. We saw so many children from neighbouring slums roaming around for food, and thought why not also help them keep engaged in a constructive way,” NDTV quoted Satnam Singh, a volunteer, is saying.

Satnam said that the educated farmers at the site are teaching the children. Every day, about 60-70 children across age groups have been coming to them to read, write, draw and listen to stories.

“The first day we had to encourage them to come and study here by giving them fruit juice and snacks, but over the last two days they have been coming on their own, and have brought their friends too,” Satnam Singh said.

“The teachers ask them what class they are studying in and teach them according to the expected syllabi,” he added.

Satnam said that a similar facility has been arranged at Tikri border protest site.

Several NGOs and individuals have been extending their help to the farmer by organising community kitchens, distributing items of daily need, and setting up medical camps. Many have volunteered to clean utensils, collect garbage, charge mobile phones, wash clothes etc. 

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