Beena Rao’s Prayas provides free education to more than 5000 slum children
Surat, an Indian city, known for its Flyovers. Surat is the world’s biggest diamond polishing hub. In a nutshell, Surat is a model city of the 21st century. But, its biggest lacuna lies in the quality of primary school education. Beena Rao, a lecturer at Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology started Prayas in 2006, to facilitate the deprived children with the quality education.
As per the RTE act, 2009, education is free and compulsory for the children between the age of six to fourteen. Due to this, it is often seen children getting promoted to the next level irrespective of their academic performances. This gap in standards is mostly noticed in government schools frequented by underprivileged children and slum kids. In order to bridge that gap, Beena Rao started Prayas, which provides free coaching classes for the underprivileged children living in the slum areas of Surat, Gujarat.
There are volunteers to teach the children from 3rd to 8th grade. Funds for Prayas are generally managed from the donations or Beena Rao bears her own. The main emphasis is given to the holistic development of the children with discipline and moral values. Workshops are also conducted in the areas like craft, science, yoga and sports for older children to help them plan their career accordingly.
Beena Rao’s efforts have brought a great transformation in the children. Most of the children are now disciplined and far away from their slang and abuse lingos. Their academic performance has improved considerably and most importantly, school dropout numbers have been reduced.
The initiative that Beena Rao has started along with her husband has grown to cover more than 5000 children in eight different locations of Surat. Beena Rao’s Prayas is helping these slum children to touch some new heights, by positively addressing the gap.