Tong-Len has been very concerned to provide education and support for the children of the families that were evicted from their homes in Charan Khad in June 2016. In addition to taking more children into the hostel programme, Tong-Len has ensured that as many as possible have the opportunity of a school education and that support is also provided for the very young pre-school children.
Most of he families from Charan have set up their ‘shelters’ in a number of locations some 15 km from Dharamsala, close to the village of Chetru. The first urgent need was to provide transportation for the children who had previously been attending school in Dharamsala, without which their school attendance would be difficult if not impossible. Tong-Len purchased a bus which currently transports about 27 children to schools in Dharamsala and an additional 100 or so to local schools near Chetru.
In addition, Tong-Len has established a tuition centre at Dhagwar (3 km from Chetru) in rented accommodation. At the end of the school day the children are collected from the various schools and taken to the centre where staff support the children with their homework and where they have an opportunity to discuss their school work before being transported back to their families.
In the larger of the slum camps, near Chetru, Tong-Len has constructed a simple corrugated structure as a base in which to provide support for the very young pre-school children. Here about 20 children are washed in a hygienic environment and receive care, a nutritious midday meal and opportunities for play and basic education. It is hoped to expand the number of children involved.