The Shivananda Nagar slum comprises 35 migrant families from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. They often visit their native villages, which keeps children out of school for months

Thirteen-year-old Hari Prasad, who lives in a slum in Shivananda Nagar here, was enrolled in Vivek Nagar Government Telugu-Medium Higher Primary School on Monday.

His father Narayana Swami is a gardener and the only earning member in a family with three children. However, he is keen on educating his children. “Parents should be determined and persuade their children to study and not work during their childhood,” he says.

There was a time, though, when Hari accompanied his father to work as he did not want to go to school. For about four months he worked as a gardener. Eventually, persuasion by his father and volunteers of Child Rights and You (CRY), made him return to school. This year, he is in Class 9.

The Shivananda Nagar slum comprises 35 migrant families from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. They often visit their native villages, which keeps children out of school for months. These children often lose interest in studies and drop out, the way Hari did.

What adds to the problem is the dearth of Telugu- and Tamil-medium schools in the locality. There is only one Telugu-medium government primary school in the area and a Tamil HAL-aided school. The nearest school after these is in Ulsoor. Most government schools lack hostel or bus facilities, which compel them to travel long distances.

Hari, against all these odds, is now in school.

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