Chennai

“Poverty, lack of education inextricably linked”

Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to India Daniele Smadja with a group of children in Kaladipet on Monday. Photo: PTI

Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to India Daniele Smadja with a group of children in Kaladipet on Monday. Photo: PTI  

The Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to India Daniele Amadja said she was “very happy” with the progress that has been made in several EU-assisted community projects in north Chennai.

Ms. Amadja, in the city as part of a delegation that also included two Consul-Generals from France and Germany, visited a primary school and a rehabilitation centre for child labourers in Tiruvottiyur on Monday.

The EU has contributed €192,000 over three years to the programme, undertaken in 25 deprived communities across north Chennai. The implementation of the project was awarded to a joint partnership of non-governmental organisations from the U.K. and India, who have worked to improve access to education in these areas for children, not only by creating measures that will prevent more of them falling into child labour but also by helping those that have already done so.

The delegates were given a traditional welcome at the primary school which they visited in Kargil Nagar, before going in to meet the young boys and girls and present them gifts. It was at this point that the Ambassador was affectionately mobbed by a group of clamouring children. Before this project was initiated in October 2007, there was no school in the area. But with the current facilities now in place, families in which both parents have jobs are no longer forced to take their children to work, therefore denying them education during the vital early years.

The final stop for the delegates was the Child Labour Centre in Kaladipet, which provides a second chance for those who have dropped out of school (often because of child labour) to reintegrate themselves into the State education system. “Poverty and lack of education are inextricably linked,” said Alison Harrison of the International Children’s Trust, which co-manages the project with Indian NGO Arunodhaya. It is hoped that by enabling them to get back into school — and stay there — children will avoid destroying their future at such an early age.

There are currently six different NGO projects being supported by the EU in Tamil Nadu, to the value of €4.3 million.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 4:13:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/ldquoPoverty-lack-of-education-inextricably-linkedrdquo/article16814819.ece

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