Although ADATS has been able to attract funding support for it’s major thrust in peoples’ organisation and income and asset creation, children’s education has lagged behind, although it is an area of major concern.
From 1979 to 1992, an ActionAid Child Sponsorship programme was run in Bagepalli taluk benefiting 3,000 children, their families and communities. From a situation where coolie children hardly ever went to school, a new culture was introduced, positively affecting their child socialisation concepts and child rearing practices. This programme was withdrawn in 1992, when ActionAid restructured and rationalised it’s partner-based projects in India and decided to implement it’s own programmes.
In view of the vast changes sweeping the country, the coolies realise that unless their children are equipped to meet the challenges of tomorrow with self-confidence and equanimity, the very institutions they have built against all odds will be in vain. Past experience gives the coolies the conviction that unless a Children’s Education & First Line Health Service programme is started up, their children will grow up in the same mould as they have. Without a basic education, the children will lack the self-esteem and courage to question their plight and proactively seek a change for the better.