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6.2.1   Commencement:        1982

Background: Preprimary schooling is necessary for proper mental development in early childhood. Quality Primary education with adequate guidance and motivation from parents is also essential to lay the right foundation for a good educational career. Dalit Children do not have access for either, what with the lack of facilities and the disadvantage of illiteracy of the parents. As a result Dalit Children are handicapped and are at a distinct disadvantage in comparison with other children when they go up in the educational ladder with compounding and cascading effect right through their careers. This in turn results in their cumulating backwardness generation after generation as a Community.

CARDS recognized these disabilities of the Dalit Community and started the programme of Bala Vikas Kendras.

6.2.2   Objectives:

To provide facilities for good preprimary schooling and quality primary education to overcome the inherent disabilities of Dalit Students in the existing educational system due to the prevailing hierarchical Indian Social Order and the Socio Economic disparities resulting from it.

6.2.3   Activities:

1. Preprimary and Primary schools exclusively for Dalit Children on the model of the Kindergarten Schools of the general educational system.

2. Play and Song methods of Preprimary and Primary level education.

3. The schools are to supplement existing educational facilities in the Govt. Schools and are not a substitute for them.

4. The Schools provide rehabilitation to child labour under the Govt. sponsored National Child Labour Project by giving them Bridge courses of education before sending them to regular schools.

Locally available Dalit Youth are selected to run the schools by giving them training at CARDS in the techniques of the system with particular reference to Rural and Dalit issues.