New Delhi [India], February 11 (ANI): Around 12 noon, a little far from the sound of speeches and patriotic songs at Ghazipur border, one can hear the voice of young children learning alphabets, poems or counting inside a makeshift "pathshala" in the middle of the protest site.
Seven years old Sadhna is coming here to study for the last eight days from nearby Khora village. Now, she is fluent in counting till 50 in English.
Another child, Mantisha who used to study in a government school in Ghazipur is continuing to learn English alphabets and several Hindi and English poems here.
She said, "The class begins at 10 am but I come here as early as possible and wait for the class to start. I have made a few friends here. I like it very much"
Their parents work as labourers in nearby places.
Since January 22 till date, this "Pathshala" has seen an increase in the number of students. It now has about 70-80 students.
Nirdesh Singh from Mata Savitri Bai Phule Mahasabha who is running this Pathshala told ANI, "We have opened a pathshala in a makeshift shelter. We thought of opening this school when we got to know from many that several children present here (Ghazipur) were just spending their days loitering around here and there."
"Although, a few parents have mobile phones with internet access but the connectivity remains very poor in the area. A few carried their school books but preferred not to study. We thought of engaging them in their studies and started this initiative immediately. We believe that education must not be compromised under any circumstances."
Till January 26, many students whose parents were involved in agricultural activities came here to join the protest. However, after the situation became volatile, a few preferred leaving their child's education but then the teachers started encouraging the children.
Many children were seen near the protest site who were either picking up garbage or waiting for langar.
Mahender Yadav, the initiator of this Pathshala said, "We have been working to impart education for a long time. After we joined the protest we thought of continue doing what we used to do i.e educating children."
Although education at protest sites be it Singhu or Ghazipur continues with various initiatives such as free books, library but this Pathshala is the first of its kind that has arranged classes and lunch breaks periodically.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three newly enacted farm laws: Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)