A school that has been supporting children from the streets right up to college for more than two decades, now has an affiliation of a central board.
Future Hope School got the CBSE affiliation on March 1 and will be sending out the first batch of Class X students in 2023.
So far the students would appear for boards from different schools but despite the affiliation those heading the charitable organisation promises that it will remain a free school and continue to serve those in the “bottom of the pile.” The process for the affiliation began about two years back.
The first step was getting the no-objection certificate from the state government, following which there was inspection from the Central Board of Secondary Education.
“The charter of Future Hope makes it very clear and that is to always work for the poor children. We go to the bottom of the pile for someone who would find it difficult to go to a school,” said Sujata Sen, CEO of Future Hope.
“It was never the ambition of Future Hope to become big in the education sector but we needed to do something for the children and it grew organically…as we took in more children we realised we need the affiliation,” said Sen.
She said that the school has a very stringent verification process while taking in kids which includes surprise visits to the homes of the children in the slums. They also speak to the people in the locality to find more information about these kids But the challenge that the school continues to face is that the number of such needy kids is more than they can accommodate. The school in such Students of Future Hope. (File pictures) conditions admit poor kids to other schools and keep supporting them.
At present here are about 300 students in Future Hope and another 100 in other schools supported by Future Hope.
Students in Future Hope are between 6 to 22 years and after an “intervention of 15 odd years the individuals come out independent,” said Sen.
The children and individuals come from families in distress.
Many of the children live in 6ft by 6ft houses where the same space is used as the kitchen, the living room and the bedroom.
Bringing such children to school means providing them with uniform and stationary. Future Hope does push children to sports and that means the organisation has to provide for their sport equipment, including shoes.
Future Hope stared in 1987 as a home for street and slum children that provided safety and security for them.
The school like a tutorial came up in 1998 when those in the organisation came across “stumbling blocks” while trying to put children to schools.
“Every school has a specific age criteria (like six years for Class I) and we stumbled a lot…some of these children were eight or nine years of age. So we created our own school,” said Sen.
Future Hope plans to come up with a new campus in Rajarhat The architectural designs is ready and the new campus will have football and cricket fields and they will grow their own vegetables..