A self-help group has started a floating school on the River Ganges. The unique school, based aboard a boat, brings education to underprivileged children in India's Varanasi city.
In India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state, a school is being set up onboard a boat, floating on the River Ganges.
This unique step is being taken by a self-help group, to offer education to the underprivileged children of India's holy city of Varanasi.
The students of this school have never received education before.
They have been busy working by catching fish or ferrying tourists. Most of them are children of fishermen.
Dr Rajiv Srivastava, an assistant professor at Banaras Hindu University, is the founding member of the self-help group “Vishal Bharat Sansthan."
Dr Srivastava says that the children do not want to leave their environment to study, nor can they afford to study regularly because they belong to poor families.
[Dr Rajiv Srivastava, Founder of “Vishal Bharat Sansthan ]: (Male, Hindi)
"All over India there are millions of children who are uneducated. Especially those who live near the banks of the River Ganges, depend on the river for their livelihood. And especially the children of fishermen do not go to school, as there is no facility of education for them. These children also do not want to leave their environment. That's why Vishal Bharat Sansthan has started this school in which children will study on a boat."
[Abhishek , Student]: (Male, Hindi)
"I did not study before. I used to catch fish from the Ganges. I used to take tourists on a ride on our boat. I did not feel good about it. But when Dr Srivastava came, all of us started studying. Before, we did not have the privilege of education but now it's possible. I’m studying mathematics, English, and numbers. I want to become a leader."
Although students are still few, Dr Srivastava expects numbers to grow over the coming months.