Happens Only In Kerala: Street Kids Being Trained To Crack Civil Services
Street children are often labeled as homeless and unfortunate as their lives are narrowed down to survival. But they are no exception to talent. The lack of insight into the lives of those who manage their livelihood along sidewalks has led us to believe that their abilities are less than that of others. When in reality, talents don’t seek a six-figure income or an apartment in the heart of a city. The potential of an individual can only be identified when they have a right platform to serve their passion and Kerala Government’s new scheme is all about breaking this myth.
The Social Welfare Department in the state is all set to open the first Tejomaya home in Kochi, a facility that will train street kids in cracking civil services examinations. Children who have completed education up to STD 10 will be hosted by this triparty initiative in association with the District Panchayat and a partner NGO. The District Panchayat's land in Edakkattuvayal in Ernakulam will soon open the first home which will be exclusive to girls.
"We have around 1,200 children living in rescue homes across the state. But unfortunately, there is no segregation here on the basis of skills. Some of the students are self-motivated and bright academically, while the others aren't. By letting the bright kids mix with others, we're playing a role in demotivating them. So we thought of opening these homes to train the former group exclusively," says Biju Prabhakar IAS, Special Secretary-in-charge of the Department of Social Justice and Women & Child Development of the Government of Kerala.
Besides helping them with civil services exams, they will also help them with skill development, horticulture, production centers and other divisions of work. "We're hoping to make this a model for other homes too," Prabhakar says. "We're associating here with the Kerala Academy for Skills Excellence (KASE) to train these children and make them employable and independent at the earliest," he adds.
The students will be chosen based on their academic excellence only and will be trained in order to guide them towards a better future. Brands like the Taj Group are also associating with the project by picking up students to train them under their wing and Prabhakar is hoping that other companies should also take such initiative and help them understand the global marketplace. This positive and constructive approach taken by the government will help facilitate self-development along with pushing them to become the ‘central actor’ in their own lives.
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