Reaching Hand distributes bus passes to under-privileged students at K R Puram School, Karnataka

Shivraj wanted to explain to them about the financial struggle, he had to undergo everyday while going to the school.

Case study taken by Vinod and Deepa Patel

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A school boy waved to his friends inside the KR Puram School as he passed by. He was in a rush to get back to his class. But, on the way, when he came across Reaching Hand team, he wanted to spend a few moments to talk to them.

He introduced himself as Shivraj and is a 9th standard student at the KR Puram Government School.

He wanted to explain to them about the financial struggle, he had to undergo everyday while going to the school. This is one of the major reasons which is keeping many students out of school.

Shivraj lives with his mother, father, two brothers and one sister. He explained that conditions are difficult at his home.

“My parents do mason work on construction sites. As I often see them struggling to send me to school and take care of my siblings, I decided to walk to school.

His house is far away from the school. “I come every day from Battahalli. It takes a minimum of ₹5 to come to school in the morning and another ₹5 to go home after the classes. That means he has to shell out ₹10 every day, adding up to almost ₹300 rupees every month. I can get a yearly pass for ₹750 rupees, but that is way too much for my family to spend on sending me to school and I have to make the long walk every day.

Things changed for the better for students like Shivraj, when Reaching Hand recently distributed bus passes to underprivileged students at the KR Puram School.

He says “Reaching Hand has given me a bus pass and it has been very helpful. Cost is no longer an issue and I can easily come to school. It makes me feel motivated to learn.”

Shivraj wants to be an engineer. “When I grow up, I want to be an engineer and I know my school and teachers will help me get there,” he says.

Through initiatives like bus pass distribution, Reaching Hand hopes to continue encouraging students like Shivraj to attend the school and reach those heights.

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Are you aware that many underprivileged students are opting out of school just b’coz they don’t have school bags.

A few days ago, Mahantesh used to carry his school books in an old – ripped sack. His parents were too poor that they could not afford to buy him a school bag.  I had no other choice but to carry my books in a sack, says Mahantesh, an 8th standard student of KR Puram Government School.

“It was really embarrassing to carry it. Besides, I could not put all my things in it. My family is very poor and I could not expect my father to buy me a school bag,” he says.

Mahantesh’s is not an isolated case. There are many children around us whose parents cannot afford to buy them a school bag, forcing many of them to opt out of school.

Keeping this in mind, Reaching Hand has initiated a campaign to provide school kit for every underprivileged child for just Rs 500. This school kit includes study materials, stationery, and health and hygiene kit.

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We aim to cover 5000 students by December 2016.

After getting a bag Mahantesh responds happily.

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“I don’t have to carry a ripped sack anymore for I have received a new school bag from Reaching Hand. I am so happy that I can carry most of my things in this bag. I often play kabbadi and hockey with my friends and I carry the water –bottle I got along with this bag, every time. Thank you so much, Reaching Hand.”

For more details, please see http://reachinghand.org/bagtoschool/