Nagpur: Vishwa Hindu Jankalyan Parishad’s ‘Platform Gyan Mandir’,Nagpur, has transformed the lives of the children who had lost the joy of childhood and were begging on the platforms to earn their bread and butter. The ‘train of their life’ was running parallel to every train that was arriving on the platform. One day, they got the proper platform. Platform Gyan Mandir is the name of the school where the Railway Police have enrolled these children.
This residential school is located at Nagpur near Geetanjali Cinema Hall. Now these children stay here, play and learn. Values are also inculcated among them besides studies. The school grooms their lives by showing them the path of good conduct. Railway Police and Vishwa Hindu Jankalyan Parishad have rescued them from entering into the world of crime by roaming around the railway station.
Ravindra Singhal was Railway Police Superintendant at Nagpur. He saw some children begging at the railway platform and was disheartened to see their plight. Some of these children were even less than three years of age while some were about six to seven. He decided to pull these children out from such dirty environment and give them a new life by starting a residential school for them. He sought the consent of Nagpur Mayor Archana Dehankar. Dehankar, while approving the project, provided a corporation building for the school and, thus the foundation of the school was laid with the active co-operation of Vishwa Hindu Jankalyan Parishad.
Today a group of 45 children comprising abandoned and runaway children from across Maharashtra and other states are being imparted education at a residential ‘Platform School’ here under Centre’s flagship programme Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
The ‘Platform Dyan Mandir’ better known as Platform School is run in a premises provided by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) in Bajaria locality near the railway station here.
The educational expense of these children is borne by the government under the SSA.
These children, mostly boys, were found living in an isolated manner at railway platforms across the state and mostly indulged in begging, bag lifting and stealing.
A majority of them are runway children who left their homes due to various reasons including domestic violence, quarrels and mental torture. Poverty is also one of the reasons to leave home as some parents were unable to feed them two time meals, Shrikant Aglawe, the man who manage told NT.
These children are now blossoming against odds, he said.
One of the residential school inmates, a teen aged boy from Bhandara who ran away and was picked up from Mumbai, has done well in the HSSC examination scoring 60 percent marks.
The Platform School is providing him all sort of assistance since he is seeking admission in a local Engineering College to pursue not only higher education but also higher goals.
Similarly, two other boys have cleared SSC.
“Here in the Platform School, we are inculcating a sense of belonging in these inmates and are trying to bring them into the main stream.
Also, over a period of time, they had developed some bad habits while roaming on platforms..We are working on it, Aglawe, who is also city president of VHP, said.
The concept of starting such a school for these school dropouts and orphaned children germinated while travelling with a senior VHP functionary few years back when they came across such children begging on platforms in shabby clothes, he said.
These children are from various states like Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Bihar, Aglawe added.