Signal School a golden ray of hope

Signal School a golden ray of hope came into the life of children living on signals of teen hat naka, Thane, Maharashtra. As soon as signal turn into red and traffic is stopped, small helpless hand knocked our posh car windows in the hope of some food or alms with no grace and dreams in their eyes. Who are these children? They are not always beggars or kidnapped children. They too live with their family. On the streets, their families, uneducated, they don’t have proper address or even ID proofs of being Indian citizens. Who will look at their future? Is this a future of our country? Families living with social pressure, indebtedness, addiction, superstition and children living in a condition where there is no hope of life, no meaning of living, and no respectful life at all. Don’t they have right to live with dignity? To find out answers of these questions and to end this problem signal school has came into existence.

Signal school is an innovative concept initiated by SBV; it aims towards providing mainstream education to the children living on streets. To terminate begging from children’s lives. To provide primary and secondary education to underprivileged children by friendly education. To bring weak and deprived children in mainstream education. To develop cognitive skills of children through social participation.


    To provide facility of education to homeless children and bring them into society and make them liberate civilian. Also, to change the social perception about them.


  • To provide primary and secondary education to underprivileged children by friendly education.
  • To bring weak and deprived children in mainstream education.
  • To develop cognitive skills of children through social participation.

Background of the students

Above factors affect a child in various ways. It makes child physically, emotionally and intellectually weak. Socially exploited and eventually s/he become vulnerable section of the society. SBV is concerned about the future of children living on the roads in extreme poverty and very bad living conditions. We have done a survey to identify their background, and to get related information from them. Parents of these children are migrants from various places in and around Maharashtra. They belong to Pardhi (Hunter) community. Traditionally this community neither have their land nor they live in any particular village they keep migrate in search of livelihood. Earlier their livelihood was hunting animals to eat, sell or to do business of their skin, teeth etc. But then because it banned by government they started living in villages and working on others lands as daily wage worker. But because of there is draught in villages from 2-3 years there is no work left for this community. So they migrated towards different metropolitan cities where they can earn livelihood. Now some of them are in Thane. They sell some small things on signals.

This is third generation of these immigrants, they earn through their businesses but they don’t do any kind of savings, their life indiscipline. They are very good at business so their children are. They are now living on hand to mouth conditions so children in the family also have to work with families. In these family conditions they lost their childhood, and started behaving like a grown up person. Families of these children are not much happy about education of their children because they carry some of the misconceptions like, they feel its waste of time; they are not going to get anything from this bookish education. If children are studying they will go away from business and couldn’t earn anything afterwards.

We can’t say parents are wrong; they are themselves struggling to make their both the ends meet. In this situation in early childhood their children started helping their families. So now families are worried because if one earning member stops earning it affects their daily life. After so many convincing conversations at last parents got ready to send their children to school.

Need of Signal School

According to The Right to Education, 2009 every child in age group of 6 to 14 should get free and compulsory education. It is their Right to get education. But due to some contemporary problems like poverty, unemployment and migration children are not able to pursue their education. Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan scheme there are many programs conducted such as, community schools, Sakhar shala (for sugarcane workers children), pashan shala (for quarry worker’s children), Rajiv Gandhi sandhishala, seasonal hostels for migrant children etc. still children are not going to school. There are many children whose education is suffering due to migration and poverty. Government and society should work hand in hand to take these children into mainstream education. Samarth Bharat Vyaspith has identified these issues and pulled their socks to start work on it with innovative idea and efficient staff of “Signal School”. TMC commissioner Mr. Sanjiv Jaiswal and Deputy commissioner Mr. Manish Joshi has whole heartedly given this responsibility of signal school to SBV

There are many migrant families who come to Mumbai in search of work and spread to all over Mumbai and its suburbs. You can find their children on streets, under flyovers, on signals etc. doing some small businesses of selling things like flowers, games, or sometimes begging. SBV found such underprivileged children on Tin hat naka signal which is busiest signal in Maharashtra. They started their Signal School, under a flyover at Tin Hat Naka. SBV wants to address migrant dropout students; they can start their education again in signal school, children will be in safe environment, they will get a vision to look at their life and future. With this thinking SBV started signal school.

Beginning of the program

14th June, 2016 was first day of our signal school. We literally went to streets and collect the students. Right now 30 students are studying in the school. Out of them 14 girls and 16 boys are there. It started with non-formal education to formal education. Initially they were taught to keep themselves clean and healthy. Then we started activities like drawing and handicraft with them. Slowly we started with ABCD and Marathi language with them. Once they found safety and belongingness in the school. They develop feeling of responsibility in the school. And they start coming daily.

In the school timing of 11am to 7pm apart from education signal school takes and arranges a lot of activities for children’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social development. They are provided with all basic services like food, clothing and shelter too (for boys). A maintained garden, night shelter for boys, medical camps and exposure visits are regularly arranged by school and management.

With the integrated approach of SBV staff, appointed well qualified teachers, parents towards children is helping for the holistic development of all 30 children studying right now in the school. Regular assessments of students and parents teachers meetings are arranged.

holistic development of children

SBV’s concept is to provide children with all the following things, which they don’t get in their life. These things are needed to grow a good, independent and responsible personality. SBV is taking a lot of efforts to give these children a different life experiences to grow their personality as a good and responsible citizen.

1. Medical treatment:

These children eat stale food; sleep on dusty roads, their unhygienic environment and living patterns are making them weak, and they become vulnerable to many diseases. SBV signal school provide them with complete health check up and treatment. Till now we have done eyes check up camps, dental check up camps etc.

2. Special class for English language:

English classes are arranged for these students in the school itself. In contemporary world of globalization our children should not fall behind is main objective behind it. This also helped them in their regular English study.

3. Moral education:

This is to help children in terms of developing their morals and values in their life. To start logical thinking. Also it helps them to develop their decision making capacity and inter-personal skills.

4. Khel katta- vachan katta (Reading platform - Playing platform)

To take these children out of their stressful life in terms of mental and physical improvements, Signal school provide them with a library and equipments to play such as merry-go-round, see-saw, swing, slides etc. Playing helps them to develop their loco-motor skills and to manage their feeling and emotions.

5. Night shelter is also provided for boys:

These children sleep on streets, where there is a lot of disturbance in their sleep which results into less concentration and no attentiveness. Signal school provide night shelter to boys. Due to lack of safety measures we could not allow girls to live in shelter.

6. Nutritious meal:

We provide children with 3 time’s nutritious food that includes milk, fruits, green vegetables and leafy vegetables etc. In the beginning of school children were malnourished and having many diseases. This food provides them nourishment and helps them to develop their capacity to fight with diseases.

7. Exposure visits:

We take these students for trips and various places for exposure of outside food. Our staff keep informs us and arranges small visits for students for their development

8. Skill related education:

With formal education students are provided with general knowledge, education through play etc. So these children will try to stand on their own feet in future.

9. Counselling:

It is done according to the needs of children and groups. Personal counselling helps children to boost their confidence. Also they are being told about how to take care of own physic, to live in healthy and hygienic surroundings.