Bhatu Sawant – Spreading education with Signal Shala

If you are passing through teen haath naka, Thane Mumbai, I can bet you just can’t miss seeing Signal Shala under the flyover. When I saw the first time was really curious and excited to know exactly what this is all about and how it operates here.

Signal Shala

With little research when I got to know the reason for this school under the flyover it just made me feel proud that yes, there is someone who is giving so much value to education and not at all treating education as a business.

But who was the mind behind this education system, it’s Bhatu Sawant is the CEO of Samarth Bharat Vyaspeeth (SBV) which is an NGO. While speaking to him he shared his motive behind this Signal Shala ” We believe that unless are not going to uplift the last person standing in the last queue in this country, we will not be able to move towards development at any level….if you consider children who work and beg at various traffic signals in India, there aren’t many people working for them. This idea has given birth to this school.”

What is Signal Shala?

It’s one of its own kind and unique school with the sole motive to educate kids whom you must have seen on traffic signals begging, selling toys or dustbin bags. Bhatu shared that “it’s not always true all kids staying on the signal are kidnapped kids or beggers, some stay with their families and due to lack of education, employment, address proof they are just standing behind in terms of their education.”

Signal Shala

This must be not an easy job to make these people understand the importance of education, and guess I was right he shared the challenges he faced during the initial stage to convince, some were just looking for education but due to lack of money and other support they just took step back and others were rigid how to send kids in this school.

Sharing more about his journey he told “It was 14th June 2016 the first day of our signal school. We literally went to the streets and collect the students.”

That was really challenging and today he happily admits “We have 46 students are studying where 14 are girls and 16 boys. Started with basic hygiene education we started with ABCD and Marathi language and now they fell more happy spending time in school and regular with attendance

Facilities available for students

Coming to the facilities, under which the basic requirement is trained teachers. Do they have teachers? Yes, they have qualified teachers who are in continuous work of making the right leaders for tomorrow. He told “Along with qualified teachers who have min B.Ed degree, we provide kids daily needs which is essential to maintain hygiene like soaps, toothpaste, brushes, and shampoo. Not only this, clothes, books, stationery also provided with nutritious food three times a day.

They are not only stopped here, apart from book and course knowledge, yes not to miss syllabus is provided through the audio-visual facility which is used step by step for every class. Knowing that extracurricular activities hold an equally important place in the total development of kids and education, it is provided to them with field trips and tours too!!

Mr. Bhatu shared that “We have provided kids lockers where they keep their belongings and clothes and to give them proper public speaking exposure we provide them stage Khel katta- vachan katta and special English classes to stand equally with other kids of the society”.

They are celebrating each and every festival, an occasion to make them understand the values along with their studies. To keep them fit even sports day used to organized too.

The school which is operating from a shipping container was revamped and classrooms were made along with toilets, teachers room with fans and even a projector. As it is under the flyover it used to get very noisy and so the container has been made airtight.

It’s not wrong to mention and state that this school is really building up great citizens and great leaders for tomorrow and the future of our country is bright as they will surely keep our India on top charts if we can educate even a single person.

If you want to get associated and help these little wonders do visit their website.

This post is written under 26 inspiring stories series for AtoZ challenge hosted by Blogchatter!!

Copyright © Ruchi Verma

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