Going about her day, our founder, Mom Banerjee saw many out-of-school children in the adjoining areas of Brookefields, Bangalore. The children would be gambling, picking rags, doing some menial work, looking after siblings, doing household chores or simply whiling away their time. The sight got her thinking about why these children were not at school.
Mom was always looking for an opportunity to take part in the development of social and economic growth of the community around. This had been her personal and professional goal since childhood.
She decided to do something about the schooling of migrant children. However, her initial efforts to enrol these children to government schools did not work.
- The children did not understand Kannada, the common language of delivery in government schools in Karnataka.
- Most of the families were migrants from villages of Assam, Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, UP, Andhra Pradesh and North Karnataka.
- The children, of various ages, spoke different languages and were illiterate in any language.
- These families would not stay permanently or for a long duration in this place.
What Mom and the initial Samridhdhi team identified was the stark need of a “tailor-made school” that could address diverse linguistic needs with a multilevel classroom structure that accommodated children of all ages and regions.
That is how the idea of Samridhdhi, and the first Bridge Program, came about.