SIALKOT-An educational project, launched by a social arm of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and supported by philanthropists, has met with great success in educating out-of-school children especially nomad and garbage collecting kids.

In 2009, the Child and Social Development Organization (CSDO), a social arm of SCCI, started the multi-phased education promotion project in active collaboration with philanthropists.

Now, the doors of education are opened for all the nomad children indulged in garbage collection and begging. The CSDO has established as many as 14 CSDO schools out of which 10 such schools have been established in Sialkot district under the supervision of Punjab Education Foundation(PEF).

Now, the CSDO has extended this education promotion programme to neighbouring Narowal and Gujranwala districts as well by establishing two such schools each in these districts.

CSDO Project Director Ejaz Ahmed said that as many as 1,700 students, most of them nomad children, beggars and garbage collectors have been getting the education from nursery to middle level.

He said that the doors of quality education are opened for these children for making them useful citizens of the country, enabling them to get education and serve the nation in a better way. He said that it was a unique and pleasant experience to give education to those children belonging to nomad families, as there was no concept of getting education in nomad families earlier. He said that the nomad children have become pride, as they have been giving the fantastic educational performance.

Ejaz added that the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF), a Denmark based Pakistani philanthropist Syed Munawar Hussain and Mrs Anita Khawaja are actively supporting these students.

“Though we have very limited resources, but have established the standard of education to these students as per the high standard schools here,” he added.

Everyone seems to be much delighted by seeing the books in those little hands which were indulged in garbage collecting and begging and the brilliant educational results by these children reveal the success story of the system, he said.

The system has given admission to Chaand Khushi (16) to eight class. Chaand had been indulged in garbage collection in Sialkot and its surroundings.

Chaand has become now one of the most promising third-grade students at the CSDO School.

Ejaz Ahmed sought the active cooperation from all segments of the society to encourage and support these children in education, besides, coming forward to play their pivotal role in supporting and promoting the noble cause.

Shumaila Nawaz, a teacher, said that when she spotted Chaand collecting garbage one morning, she followed his home and convinced his mother to let him obtain education at the CSDO School. “I was desperate to get him off the street and into the school,” she said.

President of Child and Social Development Organization, Majid Raza Bhutta was optimistic that most of them will complete their primary school education and will continue studying at the secondary level.

Meanwhile, Sonita Liaqat, a CSDO School student at Ghurhi Malhiyaan, has recently passed her fifth grade examination. She said, “I worked as a housemaid for one hour in the morning before coming to this school. I love to be at the school, studying and learning new things every day.”

Meanwhile, Classic School System Managing Director Faisal Manzur announced full support to these nomad children studying in CSDO schools. He said, “We have opened the doors of quality education to such brilliant students, besides, giving the necessary training to the teachers at CSDO schools.”