Initiative for slum children

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A large group of children from the Vikaspuri slum gather every day in a small room to learn football, art, and dance. Living in the midst of deprivation, these children have learnt to break social taboos and take control of their own lives, thanks to the efforts of their 'bhaiya,' Sylvester Peters, a motivational trainer by profession, who has organised these children under 'Angels.' Sylvester started teaching a few children at his Vikaspuri home as a 13 year old. Now at 34, his academy has expanded to include nearly 60 children. 'These kids would have fallen into a life of drugs and crime if they were left without any aid. Now, they are dedicated to their studies and want to make something good out of their lives,' he says.

St Mark's is a high point for these children, who say they couldn't have imagined being inside the precincts of a private school. 'It was very nice playing there. We were so nervous because we had never played with anyone outside. Now we will play again soon,' 17 year old Chandan Sharma says. 19-year-old Sanjay is going to sit for the Class X Board exams through open school. 'I have worked in a private school but this time we were guests there,' he says. 'It is our goal to make sure that our students are sensitised to the needs of others. When we learnt about Angels, I decided to help these children since it is a wonderful effort being made with no outside support,' Anjali Aggarwal, principal of St Mark's School, Paschim Vihar, says. The students of St Marks contributed money for 20 complete football kits for the children at Angels.

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