— at Rock Garden, Chandigarh.
the weather is kinder now and the morning assembly of the first shift is pleasant .The assembly is valuable for us as prayers and national anthem is followed by oral learning some warming up and a lot of feeling part of a happy school experience
The mothers outreach continues, this time at Col No 4 , an innocuous name for the 2nd largest slum of Chandigarh. Our monthly Health Camp was held at the same time as there are large numbers of children and mothers with very poor health.Malnutrition and low immunity is one of the reasons out of school children suffer impaired cognitive ability and erratic attendance and soon drop out. We provide full follow up and free medication and medical staff from a reputed hospital.
the mothers motivational week culminated in a beautiful finale with Malini Awasthi regaling a full house of out of school children and their mothers with her amazing voice and beautiful personality. The children were bouncing in their seats and ready to dance in the aisles! The folk songs delighted the mothers especially .
The English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) provides a foundation of English language skills to talented teens under the auspices of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs,U.S. Department of State. Vatsal Chaya is the partner institution which will implement the Program in Chandigarh for 100 , economically disadvantaged youth. The Access Program provides a foundation of English Language skills through afterschool and intensive programming . Since its inception in 2004, approximately 95,000 students in more than 85 countries have participated in the Access Program.
The health and malnutrition initiative continues.A database of all the children we cover is being made ,deworming ,vitamins medication done as required is …nutritional support is however still on a small scale
.Any advice about dry ready to eat therapeutic foods any1
Full page article on Vatsal Chaya ‘ work in Daily Post. Thank you Daily Post for bringing a voice to our children
As mentioned elsewhere in our vison and mission targeting gender inequality is a strong and central aim for us. The entrenched ,deep rooted opposition to educating girls, the deliberate marginalisation within the family has led to a deep chasm of ignorance,superstiiton,disempowered mindsets and low self esteem. The severity of deprivation and poverty in the women and children we work with is closely tied to these with the constant factor of illiteracy and absence of skills. . Low wages through menial jobs in the informal sector keep them shackled to a daily struggle to survive, they remain below the poverty line and even a small illness or crisis can derail the entire family. Children are then forced to work and add to the family resources and school is not an option anymore.
Skill training and practical knowledge is an integral part of our enabling programs.
We effectively try to encompass the deficits of the mother and child in 3 areas– education,health and skill training . Though we cannot ensure removal of the deficits we do succeed in reducing them. The major thrust is on gender in the skilling program since within the vast numbers of unskilled urban unemployed the ratio of unskilled women is much bigger than the males and adds to the deep seated gender burden. Skilling a woman delivers the happy bonus of not just better wages but an improved status within the family and a big step forward in her personal growth.
The women and teens gain in confidence and self respect when they are encouraged to participate in their way out of poverty not just become passive recipients of charity.
The mothers and older siblings are counselled and motivated to join short term training courses and encouraged to join self help groups afterwards. As always flexible options and contextual interventions make a difference. Day Care for very young children of the women in the training center, literacy classes in the same premises, a flexible time frame to mix and match the education and the training, counselling and motivating opposing family members , monthly health camp with free medication and community events to create bonding.
Apprenticeship programs for a few older children have also been started together with secondary schooling. Boys ,especially over 13 are pulled out from school and pressured to earn .
We are empanelled as an authorised skill provider under the Urban Poverty Alleviation Program of the Government and have conducted 5 training programs for women in the Below Poverty Line category under the SJSRY Cell in varied creative skills.