Here comes a cheerful news for destitute children. Under Sarva Shikshana Abhiyan, Education Department is launching a pioneer project in Mysore district named 'Chinnara Thangudhama'.
The project aims to provide free food and shelter for deprived children in the age group of 6 to 14 years providing them free boarding and lodging facilities.
The center houses children who have run away from houses; destitute children caught for non-serious offenses; children rescued from child labourers and also those who are freed from child traffickers. It also undertakes free health check-up and provides free education for the children housed here. Apart this, even children addicted to drinking, smoking, drugs and other vices will also be brought here and sent to drug De-addiction programmes which will be conducted by the Centre.
The government has already sanctioned an annual grant of Rs 15,20,000 for the maintenance of Thangudhama and has signed a MoU with a private NGO named Don Boscoe. The task is identifying the homeless and destitute children living within the limits of the Mysore City Corporation in places like Railway Station, Bus Stands, construction sites, market areas, places of worship like temples, mosques and churches, hotels, marriage halls, places of mining, theatres, slum areas, traffic junctions, small industries, workshops, garages and even those employed as domestic labourers.
The Thangudhama will be started in a rented building shortly and the initial amount released for the project is Rs 7 lakh, of which Rs 2,90,000 has already been paid to Don Bosco to trace the children. Don Boscoe is conducting survey in city since December 10 and the exact number of children identified will be available by December 25.
Under the Right to Education Act (RTE), in the total number of identified children, some of the the children will be sent to residential school and other to Chinnara Thangudhama. At present plans have been made to send about hundred children (boys and girls) who were already studying in 6th to 8th Standard to residential schools at Kannada Practicing School in Nazarbad and in the same some amount has also been transferred to the School SDMC Account.
In addition to Mysore, Chinnara Thangu Dhama has also been set up in other eight districts across the State, such as Bangalore, Hubli-Dharwad, Mangalore, Belgaum, Gulbarga, Tumkur, Davanagere and Bellary.
Speaking to Express Assistant Programme Co-ordinator for Samanvaya Yojana, Revanna Surendra, said, 'earlier dropout children were traced only through school records. Children who absented consecutively for three months from school were identified as drop-outs. Due to launch of the programme the destitute children will be traced and provided with food and shelter.