Towards Future

Partner From
01/01/2015 - On Going
Towards future logo

Supported by: Wipro Cares

About the organization

Towards Future is working in the field of child education, child protection, and women empowerment since 2009. With this mission, Towards Future tries to provide basic support on child education, nutrition, and child protection through different programs and events.  The objective of these programs and events is to bring children back to their formal school. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most public schools were closed for nearly two years. This long closure created a learning gap among the children who are first-generation schoolgoers. Towards Future tried to be with these children by introducing new programs like Community Learning Centres, Introducing library programs for the children of primary schools, etc. 

Location of work

Our program continues in three different districts – North & South 24 Parganas and Nadia district of West Bengal. Currently, we are continuing our library program with government-sponsored primary schools in Rajarhat and Kolkata district.

We have planned to expand our library program in some more schools and to introduce community learning centers for the children of high schools. The objective of introducing these programs is to motivate children to read books and to reduce school dropouts. 

With the help of the Wipro Foundation, we are working on an education program for the children of migrant laborers working in the brick kilns. This program is continuing in two different locations – Rajarhat of North 24 Parganas district and Bhangar 2 of South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. Right now the program covers 216 children in three different brick kilns. This includes the UBW brick kiln at Rajarhat of North 24 Parganas district; TBM and Tarak brick kiln at Bhangar 2 block of South 24 Parganas.

Learning and challenges

During the last one year, we learned the following.

Children from 8 to 10 years old are very much interested in our foundational literacy and numeracy program. They are very regular and pick up the lesson very fast. Their performance is also very satisfactory. Children of this age group also improved parallelly in reading and writing skills.

Children are also interested in our library class and their comprehensive skills also improved a lot. The number of repeating families increased on the project site which is very rare in the brick industry. 

In terms of challenges, we have aspired to bring older children (11 to 14 years) into the fold of our interventions. But it is very difficult. They have already started to work in the brick fields with their parents to earn money. These children do not want to lose their earnings. These children are comparatively shy than the younger group. 

These senior children do not want to face the challenges of reading and writing. They only attend our learning centre after repeated visits and that is only during lunchtime. Their progress is very slow in comparison to the younger children. Girls of this age group have added responsibilities like cooking food for the family members, looking after the younger siblings, etc., which makes them irregular in our campsite centers. 

Plan of action

Our project team will visit the source area during their stay in the source village. This visit will help to keep track of how many children get enrolled in formal school in their source area during their stay. The team will try to make these children connected with the formal schools in the source areas so that the children should not face any difficulties in enrolment. 

The team will also try to find someone in the source area who can help these enrolled children in education source areas. If required we will provide support to that resource person. We continue our library class in all campsite centers with the intention of catering to the learning needs of older children. Instead of reading textbooks, they might feel comfortable to read story books and to participate in discussing those books with the library educators. 

Our team also connected with the block-level and district-level labor officials. But these officers did not show their interest in this connection. Assuming, these officers might have a prior connection with the brick owners/contractors for not interfering in their business.