Dehradun: At the Prem Nagar police station Dehradun. ‘history’ is more than the record of a criminal’s past. Numbers don’t just tot up thefts and murders, and letters are as much about apples and birds as the different subsections of the penal code. If you don’t believe it, drop by before 9.30am, when a soft-top van chugs in with children from the Nanda ki Chowki slum across the Tons river. In no time at all, the police station forecourt turns into a cheerful little school with a mixed bag of students aged 4-12 years taking their places on a durree spread between potted plants. The classes go on for six hours, till 3.30pm, and the subjects vary with the age and learning levels of students. The children have never had any formal schooling, so some of the older ones also need a primer in Hindi, English and arithmetic. Those who can read well are taught history and geography, too. The school now has 51 students, but when it started in March there were only 10.