Published: 27th November 2020
This Bengaluru cop takes classes every morning for 60 children of migrant labourers
Hailing from Ballari district in North Karnataka, Shanthappa also worked as a migrant labourer two decades ago when he lost his father. Hence, he tries to help them in all the ways he can
While children studying at private schools have access to online classes and platforms, what about those kids who don't have access to gadgets and spend time sitting idle at their home or on roads? That's the thought that compelled Shanthappa Jademmnavar, a Police Sub-Inspector working at the Annapoorneshwari Nagar Police Station to start taking classes for children of these migrant labourers, who usually sit in the roadside sheds in Annapoorneshwari Nagar. He says, "When I used to go on rounds during the lockdown, I observed the migrant labourers and their children struggling for food and other necessities. Hence, I provided them groceries and other necessities worth Rs 32 lakh from my money as well as the funds raised through sponsorship. But once the lockdown was removed, labourers were back to work. However, children from across age groups would spend time sitting idle on roads and sheds. That's when I decided to start a class for these kids."
Initially, Shanthappa started taking classes only for 10 children. As the word of his classes spread, the number of children increased from 10 to 60. From children of five years to class 10, Shanthappa conducts classes for all of them. He says, "My classes is more value-based education than curriculum-based. While kids below five years are taught the alphabet, rhymes and name of states and cities, children belonging to other age group are taught History, general concepts in Science and Maths. Since we have open classes, it becomes difficult for children to gather during heavy rains. A few people have also provided mats and solar powered lights to these children so that they can do homework and projects assigned to them."
Shanthappa's duty begins exactly at 8.30 am and he ensures that he conducts classes for these children for an hour from 7 am to 8 am. "At times when I am not able to visit these children, I inform the volunteers who work with me to conduct classes for these children. Currently, I am also trying to convince the parents of these children to admit them at hostels and schools provided by the government for free of cost," says Shanthappa, who also worked as a migrant labourer two decades ago and knows the plight of these workers.