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Onderstaand artikel is gepubliceerd in / This article was published in: The Hindu, October 28, 1999      

Child labour: replication of
Ranga Reddy district's success favoured

Mr. Marten Kircz, member of the executive board of the Algemene Onderwijsbond of the Netherlands, speaking at the State conference of the Bala Karmika Vimochana Vedika in Hyderabad on Wednesday. From left are Ms. Rani Kumudini, Collector, Ranga Reddy district and Ms. Shantha Sinha of the MV Foundation. At right is Mr. Gerard Oonk of the India Committee of the Netherlands.
HYDERABAD, OCT. 27. "Indian kids are like rough gems who can be polished only through education. Only then will India go forward. Education is the answer to eradication of child labour and it is imperative that the success story of Ranga Reddy district in bringing children back to school is replicated".

These were the words of Mr. Marten Kircz, a Teachers International leader and Executive Member of the Netherlands Teachers Union (Algemene Onderwijsbond), used to appreciate the work done by Government teachers who were members of the Bala Karmika Vimochana Vedika-Forum for Liberation of Child Labour (BKVV) and the M. Venkatarangaiya Foundation (MVF) in Ranga Reddy in the endeavour to eradicate child labour and bring children back to school.

At a State-level conference of the BKVV on Monday, a delegation of 17 teachers from the Netherlands and BKVV members from 11 districts shared their experiences. They stressed the need for people, especially teachers, both in the Government and private schools to join hands and give the shape of a mass movement in turning children into good citizens of the future.
Mrs. I. Rani Kumudini, who inaugurated the conference, said bringing children into school was an intellectual challenge that could be met and the goal achieved, only with grit and determination. She urged teachers to come together in improving awareness levels among people, especially the rural poor, so that they sent their wards to school, despite their poverty.
She described how voluntary action had spurred Government teachers and village elders had toiled to make Ranga Reddy district a model.
She announced that two bridge courses for boys would soon be conducted in Ranga Reddy district. So far, eight bridge courses had been conducted, with good results, but they had been only for adolescent girls.
She said that having gone through the bridge courses, 100 students had qualified for admission to the 7th standard, while 300 more had learnt enough to join the 5th standard.

Mrs. Shantha Sinha, Secretary Trustee of the BKVV, said that once children were encouraged to go to school, and motivated enough to continue, what was required was sharing of experiences and hard work to replicate success stories.

One of the visitors and a teacher for six years, Ms. Nanda Pellicaan, said that after interacting with villagers, she had realised that back in Holland, people were easier to convince. She said she was impressed with the work done in Ranga Reddy and added that she would go back and spread the good word around.

While. Mr. Anjaiah, a volunteer, welcomed the gathering, Mrs. Geetanjali from Nellore district, proposed a vote of thanks. Earlier, the Managing Trustee of BKVV, Mr. M. Anandam, presented a report on the MVF-BKVV initiative.


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