India’s Lessons

Delhi impoverished residential areaOswego students traveled to Delhi and Hissar-Haryan in India in 2010 to teach and interact with some of the country's poorest children as they visited special schools designed to save the children from life in the slums.

The short study-abroad course “Schools and Urban Society in a Global Context” led by Virginia MacEntee and R. Deborah Davis of the curriculum and instruction faculty partnered with the three schools of the Sankalp Society, a private effort led by Anupriya Chadha to help the most marginalized children access education that transforms their lives.

Chadha combines money she earns training teachers and parents of special-needs children with donations to support the effort. “The hope is that after three years, after the schools have proven themselves, they can receive government support,” MacEntee said.

While in the state of Hissar-Haryana, Oswego students helped in the village schools of Uklana, Parbhuwala and Bithmara, speaking English with their 130 students. While the classrooms lacked desks and chairs, the program provided attention the students need, a mid-day meal and help with health and hygiene issues.

“Learning English for these children could be the difference between life and death," Davis said. "It could be the difference between growing up to be ‘rag pickers’ or getting a job that can support their families.”

Photo: Oswego students visited poverty-stricken sections of Delhi.

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