The development corridor in Odisha has seen rapid industrialisation in the last couple of decades with manufacturing giants like Jindal, Tata Steel, Bhushan Steel and many others entering into the state and marking their territories with full gusto. As a result there is widespread disruption of the local population from the region most of whom comprise of primitive tribes. In order to compensate for their losses Tata Steel Foundation has initiated the 1000 school project to make sure that the children of these exploited lands are not bereft of education.
The project mainly aims at bridging the learning deficit and making sure that all the children learn at their age appropriate levels. Access to education for all and quality of education are looked into as the primary objectives of the project.
One common finding amongst all the schools undertaken by the project is the high drop-out rate of boys and girls from school after long breaks in the curriculum. For e.g., it is seen that students enrolled in schools do not return to study after summer vacations and are kept back at home by their families. Small girls are often forced to marry at a very early age and small boys are pushed into child labour, sometimes in horrifying working conditions to add to the meagre income of his family.
To prevent such situations from taking place the 1000 school project organises summer camps for the kids during the vacation wherein they go to their respective village schools and play games and have fun while learning something new everyday during the camps. This keeps the flow of education intact amongst the children which has drastically reduced their drop-out rates from school.
Following is a series of images offering a sneak peek into a colourful world of smiles, laughter and fun; a bubble of joy which the kids create around themselves forgetting the treacherous world outside for a brief moment of time.
Tata Steel Foundation