Universalization of Elementary Education Initiative for Deprived Urban Children of Dibrugarh Urban Project Period: February 2003 to February 2005. Introduction: Socio Educational Welfare Association launched a project in 2003 with the cooperation of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) targeting the deprived urban children of Dibrugarh with the aim of universal elementary education. The problems regarding the deprived urban children are peculiar and different from other groups and SEWA’s main aim is to reach these most disadvantage groups and conceive them for the commitment to education for all.Socio Educational Welfare Association launched a project in 2003 with the cooperation of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) targeting the deprived urban children of Dibrugarh with the aim of universal elementary education. The problems regarding the deprived urban children are peculiar and different from other groups and SEWA’s main aim is to reach these most disadvantage groups and conceive them for the commitment to education for all. Deprived Children of Dibrugarh Urban: A large number of Out of school children are a working child, the rag-pickers who sift through garbage in order to collect recyclable material, the firewood collector, the ones tending animals, street vending, dyeing, begging, prostitution and domestic labors, they are the Hard-to-reach group. They are the most vulnerable and elusive group of children among the out-of school children and hence require cautious and concentrated attention to ensure their protection and educational rights. These children are out of school and includes from age group 5 -14 years. They are found in different categories with various socio-economic needs. These children are not only subject to the strain and hazard of their labour, but are also denied from the education or health. Objectives:: • To identify children who are out of school in the age group of 5 – 14 years in the Dibrugarh Urban. • To assess the demographic status and educational needs of the deprived urban children so as to bring them under the coverage of universalisation of elementary education accordingly. A total of 2439 Deprived Urban Children were identified in our survey during the period. Among the total deprived urban children they are from different age group. The children from different age group are shown in the table below: Out of total 2439 deprived urban children identified, 735 (30.14%) are from the age group 8-10 years which is the highest,725(29.73%) are from the age group 3-6 years,560 (22.96%) are from the age group 11-14 years and from the age group 7 years a total of 419 (17.18%) were enrolled. Enrollment Drive-it was initiated in all the Dibrugarh Town Wards in the month of February and March of 2003 covering 5-6 years old with the objectives of achieving maximum enrollment of deprived children in to formal school. Several innovative activities were done during this phases, which includes school bharo mela,health camps, rally by children ,Kala jatras in community so on and so forth. Out of total 725 children listed in the age group 3-6 years 621 (86%) children were enrolled in class I post enrolment drive. Nine Short Term Bridge Course (STBC) were launched for 7 year old children. In STBC programme 215 DUC of age 7 years were mainstreamed in the nearby LP schools. All the services are provided free of cost in the bridge courses which includes teaching, TLM, mid-day meal etc. 17 nos. Long Term Bridge Course (LTBC) centers were identified and opened in 13th August’03.Through the LTBC programme total 462 children were covered.DUCs fall under the age group of 8-10 years were covered through the LTBC programme and after the completion of the programme total 431 children successfully mainstreamed in the near by LP/ME school. The children which was enrolled in Class I by SEWA’s efforts were first generation learners belonging to some of the most marginalized families,it was necessary that some home based followup in school be provided to such children in order to ensure their retention in the school. Total 836 DUCs covered through Remedial Teaching Programme.Total 23 Lower Primary school covered through this programme. As an experimental basis reading enhancement programme during summer vacation was conducted in 12 LP schools of Dibrugarh town for one month which results in a grand success. Total 430 in school children covered.