A tuition centre in Vyasarpadi is helping children stay in schools and providing a path to college and employment.
What’s it about? Vyasarpadi is home to the most manual workers in the city. It’s also known that school kids here face drug addiction. Facing discrimination and with little money, they often drop out of school. Thanks to an initiative called Vyasai Thozhargal or Comrades of Vyasarpadi, a group of first-generation graduates started a free tuition centre.
- The centre is called Dr Ambedkar Pagutharivu Padasalai. With minimal funds, the parents of the kids chipped in and helped build the centre that now has hundreds of children. It has 12 teachers and 40 volunteers.
- The students are categorised based on the classes they’re in. They come to the centre after school. For parents and their kids, the centre has been a ray of light as they’re able to get a good education. There are also sports activities, meals, and a computer lab.
Volunteers and the future: Most of the volunteers have full-time jobs and spend time at the centre at the end of their workday. The teachers have more than one degree. Some are in college and come to the centre in the evenings. The goal is to ensure they can pursue a college education.
- Despite limited funds and resources, the volunteers are optimistic. There are plans to replicate this in other areas in Chennai. The volunteers don’t want the next generation to be stuck in the same cycle.