“Technology empowers and we now dream of changing our lives. Had it not been for ejunction through Literacy India, we would never aspire for any other work, being from the community of scavengers. This course has opened up several choices for us”: Youth beneficiaries belonging to the scavengers community of Belgachia in Howrah.
Vast land expanses of waste dumping stations and one of the biggest slum areas of West Bengal are what define Belgachia,a place in Howrah district near Howrah Station and Salkia. With waste material dumping stations dotting the place, the local communities there are largely engaged in rag picking and scavenging as primary means of livelihood. The garbage mounds stand nearly six storeys high and are getting bigger every day. Under its shadow, hundreds of families scavenge and live, unaware of the dangers looming overhead. If the worst does happen and the hills of filth cave in, lives of multitudes will be exposed to danger.
The populace is largely migrant communities from Bihar, and Dom (helping hand in crematorium) by caste. Children roam since morning with a big bag for rag picking, earning between Rs100 to Rs 150 per day. Very few go to school and even those who do, engage in rag picking after school. Scavenging, rickshaw pulling, vending vegetables are the dominant professions and some travel outside to work as domestic helps. Substance abuse, domestic violence, early marriages and physical abuse is rampant and there is complete lack of exposure and motivation, making it a critical social issue of the area.
ejunction started its centre in Belgachia in February 2014 among this youth in order to introduce them to the world of computers, impart soft skills trainings and make them employable.
ejunction :Literacy India &Belgachia Computer Centre
ejunction provides the following services in this centre:
- Active involvement in government primary School through ICT programme for poor children;
- Youth vocational training programme on Computer Basic courseand making them job ready.
- So far 200 students have registered for the programme, out of whom 96 attend classes regularly;
- 70 students have visited a corporate office and hotel as part of their exposure visit;
- 20 have been selected for Hoonar Se Rojgaar, a placement programmeorganized by Taj Bengal , Kolkata;
- 11 have already been selected by BMA Wealth Creators, 2 of the students are working with Axis Bank, 10 candidates are working in Avani Mall;
- The remaining are still studying, getting ready for government jobs or doing some odd jobs.