Children from fishermen families who migrate to Tragadi Bunder with their parents to engage in fishing do not get access to quality education owing to poor infrastructure. It deprives them of their right to education. During migration, education is the first causality as their studies are seriously hindered.
Lack of quality education has been a longstanding problem in rural Kutch. Despite best efforts, the learning process in children continues to be limited. CGPL, along with its partner Swadeep (an NGO) is implementing the Sagar Shala programme under Sagarbandhu Program which is for all round development of the fishermen in Tragadi Bunder in the district of Kutch.
CGPL always realizes that education is not confined to securing good grades. It focuses immensely on diversifying the existing skill sets of people and helps them to self-learn. It believes that education should reach people beyond geographical, linguistic, and economic constraints, and is working proactively to ensure the same. Moreover the continuation of the education for the transient fishermen is one of the priority so that the children can get the education at the Bunder without any hindrances or constraints
Sagar Shala is a support school for children belonging to fisherman families in Tragadi Bunder managed by CGPL (Coastal Gujarat Power Limited), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power. CGPL, along with able support from Swadeep and government-led Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) provides teachers and learning material to the children. Infrastructure in the area has also been upgraded as transient sheds where children used to study earlier have now been replaced by a tent house.
The tent structure rekindles a sense of enthusiasm among children to learn. It further reaffirms the value of Tata Culture i.e. providing long-term solutions which are sustainable. The school has been instituted to provide an opportunity to children belonging to migrant fishermen families to complete their education. It also bridges the learning gaps occurring because of their low economic status.
Nearly 60 children aged 6-14 are currently getting access to the Sagar Shala that runs for a couple of hours every day. Students are taught various subjects such as Gujarati and Mathematics through innovative, activity-led teaching and learning material.
The Sagar Shala also lays an equal amount of emphasis upon extracurricular activities like art and craft, sports, etc. For this purpose, CGPL regularly provides educational and recreational kits to the students studying at the Sagar Shala.
The support school also plans to conduct examinations to prepare children to pursue higher education. CGPL’s efforts have been appreciated by the fishing community. CGPL’s intervention to enhance the lives of the fishing community in Kutch further reiterates the age-old saying: “Keep the small things in place, and the large things would automatically fall in place”.