Every evening at around 5, a group of children from Bapu Nagar slum area eagerly wait for their teachers who assure them to teach basic reading and writing skills and arithmetic calculations. ‘Today’s Kalam Foundation’ is one of the NGO which is helping the slum area children to show them the bright side of the future. The volunteers are IT professionals, who have stepped ahead for this cause. Arshad Shaik, the head of the Today’s Kalam Foundation, says, “We follow the concept of Madrasas to give them the modern education. No other NGO has done this work, so far. And we feel proud that we are helpful to the society and we are experiencing the joy of giving through volunteering. Our country has a lot of youth population, hence, we want to engage youth and build a better society for harmony and peace”.
The women who live in slums and work in abysmal areas for their daily living, don’t know the benefits of education and how it can benefit their children. There is no denying, children are quick learners in their early stages of childhood, and these Kalam centres turn their attention to general knowledge-related issues like politics, geography and international issues. These slum children are also given knowledge on health and hygiene, nutrition, career counselling, self-defence, sports, vocational training and other extracurricular activities. Women, who are the backbone of the families, are given special vocational trainings like tailoring and stitching to take care of their families. The Kalam centres have also encouraged the slum children and their families by providing them with ration kits, computers for the schools, medical camps, awareness programmes, and personality development seminars. To bring excitement and fun into the life of the slum children, the Kalam centres hosts national festivals every year like Independence Day, Republic Day, Children’s Day with great gusto. They also keep others abreast about their works with a monthly magazine — Today’s Kalam — which talks about the voluntary works and events organised. Also, people who are willing to help them for the benefit of the children can contribute on their own too.