The Little Stars School school in Varanasi offers a free education to over 900 children from poor families in Nagwa, a depressed neighborhood in East of Varanasi near Assi Ghat.Asha Pandey, the school director and founder, trying to “snatch” the kids from illiteracy and child labor by offering free schooling since 1996. The Little Star is the only school of its kind in Varanasi to provide quality education for children from poor families, from kindergarten through the 12th grade at a level – adds proudly Asha – superior to public-government schools.
The school depends primarily on private donations and sponsorships as it is not financed by the government nor NGO. A teacher in india earns 3,000Rupiees (€ 20-25) a month compared to 30,000Rupie to teachers in the public schools. Supporting a child for the whole year would costs 8,000Rupiees – less than 120 € per year.
The increasing demand for this type of education is growing among the poorest of the poor. Family knows a valid education is the only way out to survive in undeveloped areas and for backward castes. An educated child can be a way of salvation (and gain) for the whole family.
There are currently three former students who are undergoing teacher-training qualification to become teachers themselves. While many among the former students were admitted to the nearby historical University of Benares.
The structure has a hostel that also houses 40 girls, either orphans or taken from the street, which otherwise would not have access to the school.
Website for online contacts & donations:
LITTLE STAR SCHOOL
Nagawa Road – Near Mazaar Majid – VARANASI