The programme focuses on eradicating child labour in all forms and mainstreaming them into the education system. Child Labour, according to us, refers to any child who is not in school. A strict and systematic child tracking system is therefore in place until the child turns 18 to ensure that children do not drop out of school again.
Special Training Centres are run for school drop outs, migrants, child labourers, children never enrolled in school or children irregular in school especially those from vulnerable communities and tribal settlements, that help prepare them to attend full time school. The signature initiative is the Residential Special Training Centers that are meant specifically for child labourers between the age of 6-14 years. The children stay at these centers for a period of up to 18 months after which they are mainstreamed to Government Schools. They get a chance to relive their lost childhood, make friends, play and learn.
Child Learning Centres address slow learning levels of children in Government Schools and also aid learning for primary school children to cope with the syllabus.
Transit Schools focus on providing additional learning aid through evening tuition centres for students who have failed the 10th or 12th grade. Dedicated teachers train students to pass their exams.
Meet Suguna. She is 22, an employee at Hand in Hand India, holder of a Master’s degree and has been freed from child labour. Her story is a testament to our success as it begins and continues with Hand in Hand India.
Suguna belongs to the first batch of students of Poongavanam residential special training centre. When she was moved from working in a weaving loom day and night to our residential school, her life transformed overnight. She mingled with other children, and regained her lost childhood. After excelling in her higher education, she joined a course on computer applications, for which she received financial assistance from Hand in Hand India. Suguna tasted the fruit of her relentless effort and hardwork when she was recruited as a trainee in the IT team. She has now relocated to Chennai and hopes to support other children who have had difficult childhoods.