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Brick Field School



A Project-in collaboration with Loreto Day School

Brick fields are the temporary habitat of some most disadvantaged community from rural West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand. A considerable number of children come every year with their parents who work as brick field labours in the numerous brick fields scattered throughout West Bengal including our project site. In the district of North 24 Parganas the brickfields chimneys are seen at both the river bank of the Ganges where thousands of labours work during the summer for more than six months a year with their children. The children above 6-7 years mostly help their parents in brick production and household chores. As these children stay here for almost half the year within the brick field area, they cannot get admission in any formal school at their native village or the opportunity to seek basic education at any formal school at their workplace, since the same is not permitted by the brick field management.  
  Their parents are also completely ignorant about the necessity of education as they have remained illiterate through generations. Thus the children never get any functional education from their parents or the scope to go to school. They do not have basic idea of hygiene. They cannot identify themselves or their parents through names. They cannot provide information of their permanent address. Hence the easily fall prey to greedy and dishonest businessmen. The children can neither identify numbers, including bus numbers, phone numbers nor calculate money
In such circumstances Naihati Prolife initiated a functional school within 3 brick fields at Shibdaspore village, North 24 Parganas district in the year 2008. After a series of advocacy meeting with the 15 brick field owners three of them permitted us to start a two hours school during the recess of the labours. Here the children are taught to identify the numbers and alphabets. They are taught to write their name the name of their parents, their village address. Besides the children & their parents are taught about the basic ideas of hygiene i.e. brushing teeth, bathing regularly, washing hands before taking food, washing their cloths at least in fresh water, proper toilet practice etc. As most of the labours come from Bihar and U.P. the mode of teaching is in Hindi. Also they were taught to draw, sing and dance.