About two decades ago, a collection of socially-awakened youths discovered that Dharavi, already then Asia's largest slum, utterly lacked a social organisation dedicated to community service and child welfare. This was a catastrophe because the people of Dharavi have always belonged entirely to the downtrodden communities. They are, to the last individual, extremely poor and needy in all respects, living a hand-to-mouth existence. By profession, they are 'daily wage labourers', at the mercy of random employment, and their work includes labour of all kinds including household chore workers, building sweepers and scavengers, rag pickers, litter and waste salvagers, material carriers, debris pullers, shoe menders, leather tanners, grocery shifters. All live far beneath the poverty line. Their lot in life makes it impossible for them to be involved in society and they have no choice but to acccept living a culturally and educationally underdeveloped life. Such people at large need to be brought up to a human living standard and then given the means to become a fruitful and integral part of society.
This brotherhood of youth quickly formed the Children's Education Society and vowed to work for these people and their children in every sphere that would bring development to their lives and all the Society's activities have been dedicated to their cause. The Matunga Labour Camp, in the centre of Dharavi, is where the Children's Education Society came to be established. Registration was obtained under the Society's Registration Act, 1860 and 1950, with entire Dharavi and its neighbourhood as its Jurisdiction for service as well as further and future projects. The Society has a structural location of nearly 6843 sq. ft.
Mr. Devanand D. Dethe was determined to implement and discharge the programmes and obligations of the society in the entire area including pre-primary and primary education and proposed to establish an Educational Institute. The CHILDREN'S EDUCATION SOCIETY was established in the year 2003 with due registration under the society's registration act 1860 and public trust act 1950, with the sole aim to impart education to the poor and needy children from all the religions, cast and creed in English medium.
Almost a decade after its inception, today, the Children's Education Society is an established entity in Dharavi and the surrounding areas as far as academia and upliftment of the backward classes in all respects are concerned.
In 1999, Mr. Parvez Damania, Founder and Chairman of Damania Airways visited the center with his wife, Mrs. Roshni Damania, and recognised a common cause and purposed to implement the programs and obligations of the Banyan Tree Centre in collaboration.
With Parvez Damania's support, and under the leadership of Devanand Dhete, a English-medium Kindergarten school and nursery was begun in 2003. The fee was maintained at the barest minimum and the school employed qualified and experienced teachers and child attendants. Soon, the Society's school also provided a computer education and guidance on information technology. The fees are the Government's prescribed rates for the courses taught as per the syllabus of Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Ltd. and the Director of Technical Education.
In 2001, the society initiated Health Camps for children as well as adults. Since patients could not afford medical treatments at other dispensaries. Parvez Damania set up a biweekly clinic for children under the with a specialist in child health in attendance. The Health Camps are organised concurrently with ongoing activities by the society. Given the poverty of the area, the camps are completely free and focus on diagnosing diseases like cancer, diabetes and other heart and ophthalmic conditions for the community.
The Center has also initiated self-employment courses for women. Separate programmes have been conducted to aid self-employment courses for women.
While concurrently running the nurssery and K.G. classes in 2006, the Society entered the field of primary education and today runs complete primary education functions at affordable fees. We are proud to say that the Children's Education Society is an established entity in the vicinity and our KG Classes are a much sought after institute in the ML Camp, Shahunagar, Mahim, Kumbharwada and PMGP Colony of Dharavi. This rise in popularity prompted Parvez Damania and Devanand Dethe to look at starting primary classes, and adding one class each year, every successive academic year. Classes 7 to 10 are being added from 2015, and financial assistance is required on an immediate basis.
For street urchins and pavement dwellers' children 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
At all roads at Dharavi, Mahim and Matunga
At the Society's premises 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Adivasipada, Goregaon, Aarey Colony 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m..
Pavement club at Hajarimal Somani Street, Opp, C.S.T. (VT), Fort, Mumbai 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
B.J.Orphange, Bhau Daji road., Matunga 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m..