Our work in Guwahati, Assam is focused in the heart of one of the city’s largest slum settlements, the Narangi housing colony. Spanning across a four-mile stretch near the Narangi railway station, the colony is home to about 1,000 families who do not have access to basic amenities such as sanitation, drinking water and electricity.
Children have little access to education and many of them end up on the streets – begging, picking rags or scavenging for a living. The closest school is nearly two miles away across the Narangi railway tracks, making it dangerous for the children, especially the younger ones, walk to school unaccompanied. While the fees are nominal in the schools nearby, children often drop out soon after joining because there is not enough motivation to keep them in school. These circumstances inspired us to start a non-formal education center here in 2007. We also have a vocational training program for women.