RAJ (14 yrs)(Name changed to protect identity) IS THE LIVING PROOF THAT A LITTLE CONCERN IS ALL IT TAKES TO HELP ACTUALIZE AN INDIVIDUAL’S POTENTIAL…
In 2009, Raj joined the children collective’s of SCSTEDS. Since then, his life has changed dramatically.
It was in October 2008 he took refuge under his maternal aunty residing in Vyasarpadi as both his parents lost their dear lives in an accident. Raj was suddenly affected psychologically and was finding difficult to cope up with the new neighbourhood where every day life was a challenge. It was during this scenario that Mr. Thangaraj of SCSTEDS intervened. He admitted Raj in the neighbouring school and familiarised Raj with the SCSTEDS’ children collectives.
Shortly after joining the Children Collectives, Raj was referred to join the football team of SCSTEDS. Being part of a team, Raj developed employable skills, like showing up on time, working well with others and self-confidence. He stayed connected with his team mates and mentor, Mr. Thangaraj who helped him balance his school education and Soccer practice sessions. Raj participated actively in the children collective activities. His constant involvement and dedication for soccer made him an important forward player in the under 14 STEDS team. After participating in more than 30 games representing STEDS, Raj was directly selected for the Tamilnadu State under 14 team. Last week he travelled all the way to Mumbai to participate in a soccer match representing Tamilnadu state. This young aspirer tells, “I am happy that I could represent Tamilnadu now. One day will come and I will make into the Indian Football team. This achievement is because of SCSTEDS. Master Thangaraj identified my potentials and guided me throughout. I will equally concentrate on my studies and make STEDS proud”
Young Raj has discovered his love for soccer. He now is one role model for all the children in the slums of Vyasarpadi. He continues to motivate and encourage young children to concentrate on schoolings as well sports.
Raj is presently studying in class 9 at the Corporation Higher Secondary School located at B Kalyanapuram, Vyasarpadi.
Diya (Name changed to protect identity) (14 yrs) was working with a detergent manufacturing factory before she was identified as a drop out from school in the year 2011. Diya was forced to take up the job, to economically support her family, when her father was diagnosed for Tuberculosis. In the factory, she was engaged in the packing section. She has to wrap the soaps in the wrapper and for a day she used to wrap hundreds of soap. She was paid a sum of Rs. 1500 for the work she performed.
One of Diya’s friends is an active member of the SCSTEDS-Children collective. During one of the meetingthat particular friend revealed Diya’s state and requested the group to take immediate action. SCSTEDS’s representative spoke to Kanmani and understood her interest towards education. Her parents were counselled about the ill-effects of child labour and the importance of education. Her parents agreed to send Diya to school. Now Diya is re-enrolled in class 8 and continuing her education with pride.
Status of Children:
More than 650 children play soccer and 95 children are into SCSTEDS foot ball team under various categories ranging from sub-junior, junior, senior & super senior. Around 142 children play chess and 253 children are carom players. They also play in and district level teams. 75 children are into the scouts & guides team of SCSTEDS.
Last year, more than 200 children in the intervention slums were engaged into the summer camp activities. Foot ball coaching, basic computer education, chess, carom and social education through songs was imparted to the young minds. This summer camp exclusively aimed to develop their physical strength and mental development. All the above children actively,participated in the Football, chess and carom competition.
Slum Children Sports Talents Education Development Society, TN – works with the issues of marginalized slum children and their parents and seeks to bring the community together by using sports and games amongst children; with the aim to promote social and collective responsibility
Name of the Organisation: Slum Children Sports Talents Education Development Society
1. Geographical area
2. The Situation
The urban slums are characterized by lack of basic services like water, sanitation, health, education etc. and see an alarming increase of issues such as child labor, delinquency, abuse, exploitation, running away, broken homes, illiteracy, alcoholism, drugs, illicit liquor, prostitution etc. 98% of the population living in these 6 slums work in unorganized sector as daily labor. More than 8000 people living without proper housing. 78% of the families earn about Rs.2000 a month and suffer from not being able to meet their ends. The huge debt burden on the 45% families push them and make them more vulnerable, children from these families enter in to work force to pay the monthly interest to money lenders. Children who have to be in the school are pushed to work to support their families.
Almost 40% of children don’t attend school in the age group of 14 to 18, while 25% children in the age group of 6-14 are not in schools. Children are employed in various manual and unorganized sectors like steel vessel polishing, fish cleaning, loading and unloading, automobile workshops, plastic companies, construction, hotels, sweet and tea shops, textile shops, phone booths and other menial jobs. These children experience high levels of exploitation at work and are very under-paid for it. Their earnings are around Rs.200 per week and play an important role in supporting the daily needs of their families. Orphan or semi-orphan children, children from broken and destitute families are most prone to labor at an early childhood stage. Almost 35 to 40% of marriages in the area are child marriages. Social & work exploitations force parents to get their daughters married at the earliest, between the ages of 16 & 19. Poor incomes of the adults also push the children to exploitative and cheap labor system.
This keeps the children away from schools. However, non existence of Government schools; long travels to the existent schools; poor quality of education & lack of basic infrastructures like libraries, play grounds, toilets, drinking water at the these schools; inadequate support from the teachers to motivate children to learn; failure in making school an attractive place to learn are also some of the immediate causes for children to discontinue schooling, apart from the prevalent conditions of the family.
Malnutrition is very rampant in the operation area almost. In the operational area, there are only nine Anganwadi centres and more than 37% children are not accessing ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme) services. Most of the Anganwadi centres lack basic infrastructure facilities. The Urban Health centre just provides first aid health services. The residents of the locality will have to travel around 2 to 5 km to access primary health needs.
3. Key initiatives undertaken
The impact of SCSTEDS in the year 2012-13 is as follows:
For SCSTEDS, the most importance impact is to have trained more than 1045 children on various sports like football, chess and caroms and to get them acquainted with various life skills. Every child in Vyasarpadi is influenced and is part of this process of inner and community transformation of challenging the status quo by using football as an effective means. The SCSTEDS team is the only one to have a signed MOU with the sports development authority of Tamil Nadu, and had an opportunity to play with a European team in Sweden. Many of the SCSTEDS team members have been a part of national and international teams and played at events like the International sub junior football match at Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh. The children also made into the junior level national player list, Indian homeless team and represented India in France. The children also represented Tamil Nadu state in the State level football tournament and SCSTEDS football team also participated in the Chennai Champion Trophy apart from league matches with teams from Indian Airlines and Bharat Petroleum.
It is to be noted that some of the players who were a part of the Sweden Youth World cup were barely 15 when they represented India. There are many others like them who, if provided with the right opportunity would be able to showcase their potential to the world and be instrumental in bring about a social transformation.
This year the SCSTEDS team participated in the City Spaces Campaign-Soccer for Change initiative. This campaign sponsored the SCSTEDS team; about 80 children and 2 referees’ participated. ‘Soccer for Change” was a joint initiative of ActionAid, Child Rights and You (CRY) and SC STEDS (Slum Children Sports Talent and Education Development Society) that was held on 23rd December 2012 to highlight the issues that children of the urban deprived communities face. This was a one-day tournament between 8 renowned soccer teams consisting of children from our Partner SCSTEDS. These children are using Soccer as a medium to assert for their rights to lead a quality life in the cities with access to all basic amenities including adequate houses with security to land tenure; access to quality education; better nutrition, health care and sanitation facilities.
Over the years, with help from the project staff, several groups have been formed within the community to create sensitivity about a variety of issues. The adolescent girl groups have proved to be very strong in this respect taking up issues like child marriage and domestic violence whole is responding to the interactions with the project team as can be seen from the success stories that are now trickling in.
The annual budget for CWS is Rs.11,21,760/-
(Eleven Lakhs Twenty One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Rupees only)
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