School on wheels; ‘Hope buses’ in New Delhi bring the school to students amid pandemic

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the students have almost forgotten the face of schools. The education was impacted and especially among the poorer section of the society.

As a step towards educating the children by any means, an interesting plan has been achieved in New Delhi.  Every weekday, four buses head into the New Delhi slums to provide the children of migrants, laborers, and scavengers an opportunity at an education they might not get otherwise.

Around 50 students, aged 6-13, took their seats on the bus. While some had to be called from their homes and prodded by volunteers, others turned up enthusiastically on their own. Some put on pause their work as ragpickers so they could study instead.

The buses are named ‘hope buses’ and each bus operates to two locations a day, setting up an onboard classroom to give children basic lessons in math, body parts, English, and Hindi along with daily meals. 

Read also: Camel brings books to the children in Pakistan amidst the Covid pandemic

Ebna Edwin, project coordinator TejasAsia says” Mainly, with mobile school buses what we aim to achieve is to bring education to doorsteps. When we look at the slums, they don’t have the mentality of whether to study or not. They are not serious about the future, career, and all. By this, we aim to make them understand the importance of education. We are making them realize that there is a lot more to do in their life.”

Schools across the country have shut and shifted classes to online mode amid the pandemic. Children in the slums who went to regular schools pre-pandemic, their parents are often too poor to afford the phones or other devices needed to study online. “Hope buses” is an initiative to bring these children back to their studies.

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