The Seher School operate in the empty courtyard outside a metro station which is not sufficient enough for other utilization but is spacious enough for 50 odd people. The students of this school are shoe shiners who wander around the commercial spaces in and around Connaught Place, Delhi. The school works like a regular school but it runs only for two hours between 7:30 to 9:30. The school focuses on teaching the Hindi language in the beginning and when the student is fluent enough to read and write Hindi, we work on the comprehension. Further, we educate the student about the relevant government schemes and other facilities such as banking for saving money. The other social skills such hygiene and cleanliness are also included in the teaching lessons. Moreover, when the student is educated enough to understand the Hindi language we follow the NCERT curriculum, one book at a time. Apart from Hindi, we also teach basic Maths and English.
The Seher school was started for a single individual for whom we felt that he can do a lot in life if he gets some literacy skills. The school project really got better day by day. At present, the school serve those unfortunate individuals who have lost their school going age and cannot take admission into a mainstream school due to unavoidable circumstances. We have more than 40 students with us and their average age is around 17 years. However, the 40 students don't come every day since they rotate their working locations and many visit their villages in between. The average age of students is around 17 years.
Since, the school serve mostly to migrant shoe shiners from Rajasthan so they keep going back to their villages on occasions such as Diwali, Holi and some other regular life events so assessing the impact at the individual level is difficult. Assessing impact becomes more difficult because every student in the school came with a different level. Some of the students have been to schools so they know some basics like knowing letters or having some reading ability. However, 90 percent of children were illiterate before join our school and after attending 40-50 classes most of them were able to read and write.
We have observed some indirect impacts too. We were reported that the older students have started teaching their siblings, wives and children. And recently around 40 children of their community were enrolled into schools who were earlier into begging or child labour. Many women who were also into begging have left the begging and have started working as a household maid in the local areas. The students have started protesting at their village level against many social evils such as dowry, alcoholism etc. Also, due to education, they have started finding alternate occupations such as driving etc.