Ugta Suraj: Ensuring a Literate Childhood in Noida & Greater Noida(U.P.)
Ugta Suraj is a program to mainstream “out of school” children in the formal school system. The program has been operational in Noida since August 2007. With firm roots in community, Ugta Suraj operates through a Network of Learning and Support Centres (LSCs) for ‘out of school’ children who are working / non-working, migrant / street and constitute the category of potential child workers in their present capacity. These children are either school drop-outs or are the first generation learners who have been deprived of formal schooling due to family or the systemic reasons.
Ugta Suraj is essentially meant for children in the age group 6 to 14 years. It basically acts as a bridge between the formal school system and the community. It motivates and prepares the children for formal school and helps them get admission in government and charitable schools. Thereupon, it maintains a close touch with the children and helps them with their academic curriculum and assimilation in the school environment. This monitoring extends for the period of one year and all efforts are made to see that children do not drop out of school.
Learning and Support Centers (LSCs)
An LSC is a center for underprivileged children, a space of their own, whereby, they can indulge in various educational and recreational activities through games and direct interaction with facilitators and volunteers. In each center, 40 – 45 children are enrolled for one year and depending on their overall performance, they are mainstreamed in different levels in a formal school.
At the center, children are provided all the learning material and stationery items. It is equipped with story books and games of various kinds. The centers are housed within the community center of a village.
Around 1500 children have been mainstreamed so far in the government, charitable and private schools running in Noida and Greater Noida.
The present status of Ugta Suraj
Ugta Suraj is currently running through a network of 5 LSCs at different locations in Noida and Greater Noida in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. These partner LSCs are:
The Nagla center:
The Nagla centre is situated in the Barat Ghar of village Nagla in Phase II, Noida (U.P.). The children sit in the big room with three side open window with open space in the front courtyard. The Barat Ghar is equipped with basic amenities such as a bathroom, open space for children to play and clean drinking water through taps. Electricity is however, at a premium due to general scarcity in the area.
The children come from the adjoining Slum (jhuggi) colony predominantly inhabited by the migrant population. There are two facilitators at the center. They visit community frequently to maintain rapport with the people. They visit the home of those who get absent at the centre. The centre is an integral part of Ugta Suraj programme and has been operational since 2013.
The Hoshiyarpur Centre:
The Hoshiyarpur centre is situated in a Chaupal in village Hoshiyarpur in Sector-51, Noida (U.P.). The Chaupal comprises a cemented hall with an open courtyard in front. This center started in the current session 2015-16 after the exit of Ugta Suraj from village Barola situated in Sector-48, Noida. year 2009. The children come from the adjoining slum (jhuggi) colony predominantly inhabited by the migrant population. The place has been given by the village Pradhan for Ugta Suraj children to study and play.
There are two facilitators at the center, while one lives in the community, the other comes from the neighbouring village Barola. Children are very comfortable with both of them.
The Nithari Centre:
Nithri center is situated in Garat Ghar near Sector- 31, Noida. The children sit in the big hall with an open courtyard. The children here come from the adjoining jhuggi colony predominantly inhabited by the migrant labour. The center is an integral part of Ugta Suraj programme and has been operational since 21 August 2008. A total of 55 children attend this center everyday.
The Tugalpur center:
Tugalpur center is located in Barat Ghar, village Tugalpur in Greater Noida. It is located near the famous Pari Chowk. The center started in January 2014 and caters to children living in rented rooms and jhuggies in and around the village. Around 45 children are presently studying at this center.
The Navada Centre:
The Navada centre is situated in Barat Ghar in village Navada in Greater Noida (U.P.). Predominantly a rural community, the children sit in the big hall with an open courtyard in front. The children come from the adjoining jhuggi colony predominantly inhabited by the migrant labour. The centre started in the current session 2015-16. A total of 46 children are attending the center everyday