Since February 2018, Kantabai Dhende has been informing women on the right to free admission, under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. She has been doing this with the support of community messengers like Mahananda Bhalerao, Ujjawala Kamble, Priyanka Gavli, Chhaya Kasbe and Surekha Vanjare, who are working on building awareness on RTE in Visharantwadi and Yerwada areas of Pune.
Fifty eight year old Kantabai Dhende is a resident of 112 B Vishratwadi. Her husband is a carpenter and she runs a small grocery shop out of her house. She has two daughters, who are married and living separately in their marital homes.
She was working with the Department of Social Development, of the Pune Municipal Corporation from 1999, as a Residential Community Volunteers (RCV). In this capacity she engaged in doing community development work for urban poor women, children in since then their settlements. In November 2015, she joined Sahaya Single Window as a community messenger and has been focusing on educating community members on various household security schemes.
When asked about the work she is doing, Kantabai spoke of a time when, “there was no one to help us when we needed it. Our children studied in nearby government schools and we had no time to pay attention to their education. We used to send them to school till they reached 8-10 standards after which we would find employment for them in some small job or business. There was never enough to think big. But now, RTE is providing the community with an opportunity to enroll their children in good schools with support from Sahaya Single Window.”
Kantabai and her team have also been emphasizing on the importance of education among other community members because as she added, “if we are able to get admission for our children in good schools from the onset, it can ensure great start for their future.”
Enrolled in the Single Window Camp
Community led Sahaya Single Window, in collaboration with the Department of Social Development, Pune Corporation and CFAR, have enrolled 17 under the Right to Education in preprimary schools.
Meanwhile, 22 children have benefitted from the financial support scheme, of the Department of Social Development of Pune Municipal Corporation, under which they have received Rs. 10,000/- to buy new bicycles.
Total 15 children got admission for pre primary education in reputed Schools, on an average the school fees are 15 to 30 thousand rupees per year.
Total 17 school going children were benefited with the financial assistance scheme of Rs. 10,000/- to buy a new bicycle.