In 2013-14, Kumar launched a free educational empowerment programme, called ‘Ente Kongappadam (my Kongappadam)’, giving tuitions to children from the colony who were in Classes VIII, IX and X. He roped in students from NSS Engineering College to volunteer as teachers and started morning and evening classes at an anganwadi in the colony.
The project has so far helped 38 students pursue education beyond Class X. For a colony that had no graduates, there are now three who are in under-graduation courses and two who are set to join this year. Besides, there are students pursing diploma courses. Since the project began, says Kumar, only one student from the colony has failed Class 10.
Prof P R Suresh of NSS Engineering College, who helped Kumar with the programme, says, “To get children in the colony to start dreaming big, we took them on a tour of the college.”
“Until last year, engineering students worked as tuition teachers, but now, we get students from within the colony and teachers living in the area to give classes,” he adds.
Read more of this encouraging story in a report by Shaju Philip published in The Indian Express...