The Nabadisha Program dedicated to the education of street & slum children

Nabadisha – a joint project of the Kolkata Police,Vikramshila & CRY.

This orgnaisation is an example of a unique partnership between the Calcutta Police, an NGO partner and CRY. Nabadisha, started in January 1999 by the Calcutta Police in an attempt to extend a helping hand to the city’s street children Its only agenda at the time was healthcare, but a few months later it collaborated with CRY and its NGO partner resulting in non-formal education being added to the programme. Today, there are over 15 centres conducting non-formal education programmes in various police stations of the city that take in children from the 5-14 age group. The older children are sent to vocational training centres run by other organisations. So far, out of 700 children enrolled, 600 have been enrolled into mainstream government-assisted schools.

Short term objective of Nabadisha
To run informal education programme inside or vicinity of the police station for street and slum children, children in conflict with law, children of the criminals, substances abused children, and main stream them in to formal government school.

Long term objective of Navadisha
Bridging the gap between Police and Community, through sensitization and orientation on J.J.Act and Child right for Police to emerge as the true ambassador of Human Right a as whole and Child Right in particular.

Naba Disha- Quality Education Intervention in Urban Slums

Vikramshila began work with children in the urban slums in 1999 with the Kolkata Police. This led to the creation of a project called Naba Disha which worked in alternate education centers, that aimed to mainstream the out of school children to formal schools after a period of 3-4 years and also worked with formal schools for quality improvement. The project now runs in 20 centers. It caters to about 1800 students of age groups from 3-16 and has 4-5 levels in which these children are grouped. The centers are managed by 55 trained teachers of Vikramshila who follow a child centered, holistic and innovative pedagogy weaved around the state curriculum, giving each child an enabling, nurturing environment, that allows them to learn at their own pace. Peer learning is encouraged in these centers and the pedagogy caters to 4 different sets of learners- a) pre schoolers, b) primary level for those enrolled in these centers, c) post primary level for those children who have been mainstreamed in government schools, d) secondary level to those who have moved beyond the upper primary level. The Centers follow a multilingual approach as children come from a mix of Hindu, Urdu and Bengali speaking homes. Some centers may have children speaking all three languages.

Naba Disha however, is not just an educational intervention. It seeks to touch each and every aspect of a child’s life and bring about a culture of change in urban slums and crime prone areas, by sensitizing the communities, developing their levels of understanding through education and help foster better dialogue between police and community. The centers provide much needed neutral space for the community where they can voice their needs and aspirations.

256B Prince Anwar Shah Road Kolkata 700045
West Bengal , India

Call us on
91-33-3292 6084/91-33-24229124
91-33-2422 4855/91-33-24229175

Fax: 91-33-24229176



Vikramshila Education Resource Society (VERS)
VERS is an NGO involved with Kolkata Police’s street children education programme Naba Disha and runs schools for children in need of care and protection as well as for school dropouts. Of the 32 schools, VERS runs 15 centres, including the one at Kalighat police station, where the Banerjees are now volunteering.

The Nabadisha Program is primarily dedicated to the education of street & slum children by providing them with preparatory schooling before mainstreaming them into formal schools.
Through this program, the organization attempts to bring children residing in crime prone areas into the societal mainstream by giving them the opportunity for quality education. In addition to working with children, the program is involved in awareness building and training of police officers on issues of child rights and juvenile justice.