Important Dates 2010-2011

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The Background

Ludhiana, an industrial city in the Punjab, has had a large number of migrants who have settled down for the last few generations. There are at present more than 150 slum pockets dotted around Ludhiana. The slum dwellers not only comprise small time laborers but also scavengers, beggars, physically handicapped and even some pickpockets and small thieves. These slums are devoid of any and all facilities including sanitation and water supply.

Wylie’s Role

As one of our main motives behind setting up the Wylie Memorial High School was to bring good education to the underprivileged, we contacted people living in some of the slums to encourage them to educate their children. We have, over the years, made numerous attempts to bring some of the children from the slums into our school. We have provided the children with free education but sadly, we have found that all of these children drop out of school within the first three to four months of school.

Subsequently, we had extensive discussions about this problem and realized that the only option available to us was to take a school into the slums, thereby eliminating all the problems which children from these deprived area face in the mainstream schools. This entailed setting up of fresh infrastructure at the slum to ensure maximum advantage to our target of educating these poor children.

Slum Development Project

With this aim in mind, we started our Slum Development Project in April 2002. Since then the slum school has run with an average of around 90 children. As the children are from migrant families, we have had some children leave as their families relocated. Over the years, people in the area are now aware of the project and are supportive in sending their children.

Wylie Memorial High School looks after all educational needs of the children including all books and consumables. We have taken two rooms on rent and have hired two ladies from the area to supervise the children. Teachers on the rolls of Wylie travel the eight kilometers to the slum school to ensure that good learning takes place.

The Future Roadmap

With the school for children running successfully, plans are afoot to take this project to the next dimension. We hope to commence an adult literacy programme which will enable adults of marginalized communities to be able to learn the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic.

Concurrently, we are also looking to run a vocational course for empowering women of the same communities. Learning skills which will add to the household income in addition to making them independent will go a long way in ensuring a brighter future, not only for themselves, but for their future generations.