“Ramapir No Tekro” houses more than 30,000 families, most of which fall under ‘Below Poverty Line’. Since education has until recently been a rarity they earn their living chiefly by labor work. The multifarious issues they face are dealt with in traditional manner as it was in earlier times. Having no education, most of the households have very little or no information about government schemes that could help them considerably. With so many schemes introduced by the government every now and then, even a learned person finds it difficult to keep track of current affairs. It was seen that slum folks were devoid of their rights as individuals, fathers, mothers, students, wives, daughters, business owners, etc. just due to lack of information. A bridging was required between them and the government.
Lok Seva Kendra, i.e. Public Service Center, was started by Jeevantirth in 2010. Even though we have our Urban Initiative, headquarters right amidst Ramapir No Tekro, the LSK has been opened in clear view, on the main road that borders Ramapir no Tekro. The chief reason for this is that anyone, from anywhere, in need of assistance can easily locate it. People come to the center with various questions and doubts about their concerns; they now know that many of their issues can be addressed through government programs that they were oblivious to. Generally we have inquiries about various government schemes, widow support programs (vidhava sahaay), election cards, caste certificates, government scholarships, admissions through RTE, etc. Men and women visit LSK without hesitation regardless of what category their issues falls into; be it social, financial, education, personal issues or anything else, LSK provides pinpoint guidance, information and help without confining itself to specific duties.
This has created a sense of awareness in the public of Ramapir no Tekro; any new information now spreads quickly through people. Subsequently they have gained experience in dealing with legal papers and learned about their rights as Indian citizens. They have been freed from exploiting middlemen that they had to seek out for legal matters. Humble slum folks have grown sensible enough to identify fraudulent schemes. Since many of our staff members are from Ramapir no Tekro itself they identify people’s troubles as their own. Due to this folks visit LSK with personal family issues as well. Proper guidance and counseling is provided to the person that has been proven to be helpful.
One of our recent successes is that more than 95% of the 100% children that applied for enrollment in reputed schools under Right To Education program (RTE) got placed successfully. Earlier only 2% of the slum’s children filled out this form due to lack of awareness and access. Various general programs held by Jeevantirth like Health Checkup Camps, awareness rallies, cultural plays, etc. are executed at LSK for all to benefit from. For this reason Lok Seva Kendra is also addressed as Information Center, Guidance Center and Counseling Center.
How can you help?
Time to time we are faced with different situations. At times a child needs financial assistance for his/her education, and at times an adult trying to fight an addiction needs a means of livelihood to channel his/her energy. The reader can provide help through physical, mental or monetary support.