The Sulabh Foundation, since its inception, has set upon itself the task of uplifting the children of scavengers by innovative steps to enable their rehabilitation in society.
Sulabh Public School
The Sulabh Movement started with the objective to liberate and elevate the status of scavengers. Towards this, it adopted a two-pronged strategy; a state-of-the-art technology to reach sanitation facilities even to the poorest, and to bring scavengers in the mainstream of Indian society. The Sulabh International, under the inspiring leadership of its Founder, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, branched into several inter-related activities meant not only to rehabilitate, socially and economically, those weaned away from scavenging, but also to restore their self-esteem and self-respect. Towards this, the Sulabh International Centre for Action Sociology (SICAS) was established in 1993. The main objectives were to develop a systematic understanding of the social, economic and psychological problems of scavengers or Balmikis and to evolve and implement a range of innovative, sustainable and replicable activities which would bring the Balmikis into the national mainstream.
Education holds the key to any major change and development. Literacy and education in India are woefully low, particularly among Dalits and Balmikis. In recent years, the educational infrastructure has expanded considerably and schools have been set up on commercial lines. These schools offer physical and instructional facilities comparable to those in developed countries. But very few children coming from low-income households, particularly Balmikis have access to these centres of quality education. Moreover, since most of them are first-generation learners, they are hardly inclined towards the education of their children, especially of girls. With this objective of imparting quality education, Sulabh Public School was set up in Delhi in 1992. The school aims to prepare children from the weaker sections of society for a better life.
The school brings quality education within the reach of boys and girls from Balmiki families. Apart from English and Hindi, Sanskrit is also included in the curricula, not only to provide modern, but also the traditional learning, so that the children do not forget the roots of Indian culture. Previously Balmikis were not permitted to learn Sanskrit! The school also offers a wide range of support facilities. In addition, it regularly organizes co-curricular activities with a view to promoting social integration. This serves as a role-model to be replicated throughout India towards providing quality education to poor students.
The Sulabh Public School has marked features that distinguish it from others. The ratio of the students is 60 percent Balmikis and 40 percent from the general category. Balmiki students are provided free tuition fee, uniform, books and stationary. The School is recognized by the Directorate of Education, Govt. of Delhi. It provides education up to tenth standard. The present strength of the School is nearly 400 students.