Educating migrant children of brick kiln workers in Tamil Nadu

These young migrant children wandered around the brick kilns, and were being exposed to serious safety hazards. Slowly, yet surely they were also being forced into child labor in the brick kilns.

Tamil Nadu is a land of 3,000 brick kilns where 90% of the 300,000 workers are seasonal migrants from within and outside the state. In early 2012, an ILP survey in Tiruvallur district found that 99% of the young migrant children were not going to pre-schools; the situation was equally abysmal for children of school-going age.

ILP partnered with IRCDS, a passionate and experienced local NGO to begin transforming the brick kiln areas in
Tiruvallur. ILP & IRCDS made a deliberate and conscious decision to involve all the stakeholders in bringing about this change. Parents, brick kiln owners and all relevant government departments at the local/district/state levels were roped in.

This enabled ILP to expand its efforts from covering just 21 villages in 2012 to 282 villages in 2016.

Achievements In the ILP Covered Brick Kilns
  • 67% of 3-6 year old children of migrant families are attending pre-schools
  • 85% of 6-14 year old children of migrant families are attending to schools
  • 98% of the brick kiln owners have appointed child caretakers in the kilns
  • 87% of children continue their education even after they go back to their hometowns
Achievements At District & State Level
  • State Govt. stipulated that ILP model must be followed with children from migrant families
  • Tiruvallur Govt. helped to move over 6,000 children back in school in the last 2 years
  • Tiruvallur Govt. appointed 88 education volunteers in 2016 to cover the migrant children
  • Govt. is supplying native-language learning materials for children migrating from other

We are at the cusp of transforming the lives of the brick-kiln workers’ children forever. They can now continue their education without breaks even when their parents migrate for work.