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Is it a boat? It is a school? Well, both! The Varanasi Boat School is a unique initiative to spread literacy among the children of the Ganga Basin in the beautiful town of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
For a country of the staggering size of India, spreading literacy is an ongoing challenge. An important part of mitigating this challenging is making literacy more accessible – by taking it to the people through innovative routes and platforms.
This was the thinking which led Ajeet Singh, a true Do Righter, to start this innovative Boat School. Singh noticed that there were hundreds of young children, living their lives around the River Ganga in Varanasi. While they either spent their time fruitlessly on the streets or made a living through various tourist trades, they lacked literacy skills as basic as writing their own names. The children of the Ganga needed help, and standard schools and conventional classrooms were not the answer.
Enter the Varanasi Boat School.
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What looks like an ordinary wooden white boat from the outside is actually an innovative solution to the issue of illiteracy. Children spend two hours a day here to study, learn and play without any formal pressure. They learn computers, drawing, mathematics, English and anything else they want to learn. Explains Singh, “The Boat School is not a goal, it is a tool. Most of the children we have were not going to school, so we motivated them to join the Boat School. We made them enjoy education, and obviously whoever had financial difficulties with fees, we helped them out.”
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Currently, the Boat School is afloat on hope and optimism and little else. The walls are brightly painted with drawings – and the sound of laughing children brings vibrant energy to the place. However, what we’d love is a magical transformation which would equip the school with facilities such as a library, educational toys, computer stations and painting equipment to provide an ideal learning environment for the eager-to-learn children of the Ganga.
The Varanasi Boat School is looking for angels to support its noble cause. From books to drawing sheets, games, musical instruments and even another boat, there is much to do! Support the boat school by contributing or spreading the message across your social networks with #ScholarShip. Make a difference to these children of The Ganga and help Ajeet Singh on The Journey of Doing Right.
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