The idea for the HOPE foundation School in Bangalore was born in 1992 during a medical camp in the Id-Gha Mohella slum in the city. Healthcare was not the only need of the residents of the densely populated settlement. With no access to quality education, most of the people were illiterate and so were their children. Boys were sent off to work with their fathers as coolies, mechanics or carpenters, while the girls helped their mothers as maids.
In 1994, HOPE foundation started a pre-school in a tiny rented room in the colony. We visited every one of the 200 families living there to persuade them to send their children to the school. We eventually started the school with 30 children.
For the first eight months, we went to the children’s homes every day and helped them get dressed for school to ensure that they did not miss a single day. The students were also provided with high protein mix cake. They learned alphabets, numbers and nursery rhymes. We taught them how to eat, how to speak, etc. The progress of the students soon inspired other families in the colony to send their children to school. In the second year, we got 150 new enrolments. This was a huge encouragement for us.
Today, the school is housed in an entire building, with 12 teachers and 264 children presently enrolled, from Lower Kindergarten to 7th Standard.