Waste-pickers meet to get their children EWS seats

KKPKP got 40 children of waste-pickers EWS seats in Pvt schools; this year's target is 200 to 250 students

Over 300 waste-pickers from Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad participated in the Shikshan Haqq Parishad organised by Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat's (KKPKP) to spread awareness on the 25 per cent reservation in private schools under RTE. The aim of the conference was to help waste-pickers to admit their children in private schools under the EWS quota.

Last year, KKPKP succeeded in placing 40 children from waste-pickers' families in private schools, this year they are aiming at 200 to 250 students.

KKPKP is a body of waste-pickers and itinerant scrap buyers that works for improving their livelihood.

"We strive to prevent children from the waste-pickers' community from taking up the job of waste-picking and ensure the children get formal education. The provision of 25 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections in private schools is a very important one and needs to be implemented diligently. It's obvious that waste-pickers' families belong to the lowest strata of society and hence it is important these kids are admitted to good private schools," said Dipanita Sengupta, a social worker with KKPKP.

At the interaction, parents who had last year got their children admitted to private schools through the EWS quota shared their experiences and encouraged and inspired others from the community to do the same.

Some parents who faced difficulty in approaching schools shared their difficulties.

"While the Zilla Parishad has announced that forms for 25% reservation will be available in schools from January 1, none of the 6-7 schools visited by waste-pickers could provide forms or give clear information regarding the admission process. Some had asked for money while others told them the forms will be available only after January 31. Actually, the admissions process ends much before that," said Sengupta.

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