From Child Labour to a Chance at School

Apr 4, 2013

From Child Labour to a chance at school (Jan-Mar)

Class Activity
Class Activity

Child Friendly Spaces

Saath Charitable Trust

SAATH was registered as a Public charitable Trust in 1989, They started the Integrated Community Development Programme, an approach that seeks to turn slums into vibrant neighbourhoods. SAATH caters to the multiple needs of the poor at once by providing them with one-stop centers, through which slum residents have access to services such as health, education, employment, micro finance and affordable housing.

They invest in human capacity of persons to manage their programmes in their communities. Communities co-invest with them and donors by for the programmes, deciding and implementing them. They engage institutions, corporates and individuals throughout the world as partners and supporters of integrated development in India. 

SAATH was initiated with mission to make human settlements an equitable living environment, where all residents and vulnerable people have access to basic needs for development like health, education, essential infrastructure services and livelihood options, irrespective of their economic and social status .

  • Vision: Saath envisions inclusive and empowered communities and individuals.
  • Mission: To make human settlements equitable living environments where all residents and vulnerable people have access to health, education, essential infrastructure services and livelihood options, irrespective of their  economic and social status.


SAATH designed Child-Friendly Spaces- a unique, 4-hour non-formal education course with an aim to later enroll them in formal education. With a steady influx of migrating families to urban settlements and poor quality of education, creating alternative education spaces for quality education has become important.

Objective of the Programme

The main and objective of this programme is to reach the Children of labourers and help them gain formal education eventually and there after making them skilled and self sufficient. Children from the slums, child labourers as well as children of labourers on construction sites all require a strong base in education and access to quality education. Dropouts from school need to be Continuously counseled and encouraged to go back to school. The education programs designed at Saath recognize this need and aim to bridge this gap.


Currently, there are 6 Child Friendly Space centers; 3 in the slums of Ahmedabad and 3 on construction sites.  Through  our CFS centers, we have steered more than 2000 child labourers and children of labourers back into formal schooling systems.

Quarterly Status of CFS (January-March)

For overall development of a child during January to March, 2013 various activities were conducted at 6 child friendly centers. Following are the brief description of kind of activities conducted at various centers.

Gupta Nagar

The Vasna Guptanagar centre is temporarily on hold as the teacher running the centre was sick and had to undergo an operation. A new teacher has been recruited in her place and the centre will start running again shortly.


In the Fatehwadi (Juhapura) Center, Teachers taught basics of alphabets of Gujarati, English and Hindi and how to do simple subtractions, carry-on additions and tables. Children also learned to identify various fruits and vegetables and read/write numbers from 1 to 10 through indoor games and activities. Also they learned tables from 1 to 10 and numbers. They were taught about the Indian festivals and given the knowledge about different vehicles and their uses, water and its importance. Also they were taken to WDC centre along with volunteers from France, Behrampura and Guptangar Holi celebration for various activities.  Along with education they were provided nutritious fruits and snacks. During this quarter children at the centre celebrated festivals like Makar Sakranti, Republic Day.
Khodiyar Nagar
In the Behrampura (Khodiyarnagar) CFS, kids were taught names of flowers and vegetables from the chart in Hindi. Also they were taught simple examples of subtraction, addition and tables. Also they were taught about nutrient values of fruits and vegetables. Different games and activities were done with the kids which included singing games, kite games, snakes and ladders etc. Children drew the pictures of Indian National Flag and also sang the national song on the republic day. Also the kids interacted with volunteers from France in various activities.

SW Park – Naroda

In SW Park Naroda, kids were taught basic Gujarati grammar and words. They were taught basic numbers, and simple addition and subtraction. To increase their basic knowledge general information about birds and animals, fruits, vegetables and the voices of different animals was taught through different charts.
The children were taught about money, and basic transactions about buying and selling through money. They were also taught painting.

They were also taught names of the days and months. Kites were given to children for the festival of Makar Sankranti and also for the Republic Day a sports day was done in which different sports were played.

SW Park - Vasna

At SW Park Vasna Center, Shahwadi, kids in the centre were taught about the importance of the cleanliness of the body. They were given information about different festivals. Various activities which kids like were done for their overall development. Kids were taught simple words in Gujarati.

Moreover, Kids were given balanced diet that can lead to their physical and mental development. Various songs and stories based on moral were also told. Kids celebrated the festival of Makar Sankranti in the month of January.
They were also taken to gardens for various outdoor activities.

Devnandan Supreme – Vastral

Kids were taught about alphabets, numbers and figures and simple addition and subtraction examples. Also they were taught drawing and learnt about different words. Also the festival of Makar Sankranti was celebrated in which the kids were distributed kites and various other things. Also the kids were taken to Behrampura and did various activities with volunteers from Mumbai.

In the craft section paper cutting was taught to childrens for creativity and they were taught to make lunchboxes from papers.

Umang Lamba

In Umang Lamba, kids were taught numbers from 1 to 40. Also they learnt basic alphabets. The children were taught to identify words, birds, animals and also were given basic knowledge about health and cleanliness. A sketch competition was also held between kids. For mental and creative development of kids they were told to make anything they want from clay in which children made various items. The children were given information about domestic and wild animals, names of fruits and their tastes and vehicles.


  • Workers keep on migrating to different sites and different cities which creates a hindrance in tracking trained children.
  • Lack of funding stops from opening up of new classes.
  • Stationary, Toys, Teacher Expenses, Snacks are becoming costlier.
  • The attrition rates of students are increasing.
  • Children are from scattered age groups and so the activities cannot be standardized.
  • Education is a barrier to the parents of such children and thus it takes time to make them aware and understand the importance of getting their ward enrolled to CFS.

Status of CFS

Child Friendly Spaces- Status in March’13
No.  Name of the Centre          No. of Children
                                                  Boy   Girl  Total
1    Fatehwadi                               10    20    30
2    Behrampura- Khodiyarnagar       9    21    30
3    Naroda- Swaminarayan park     20    24    44
4    Lambha- Umang Lambha         24    22    46
5    Shahwadi- Swaminarayan park 26    25    51
6    Vastral- Devnandan Supremus  18    20    38
                                       Total    107    132    239

Child Friendly Spaces (January – March’13)
                                                 Newly Enrolled Children
No. Name of the Centre            Jan  Feb Mar  Total
1    Fatehwadi                                 3     -    -       3
2    Behrampura- Khodiyarnagar        -      -    -       -
3    Naroda- Swaminarayan park        -    14    10   24
4    Lambha- Umang Lambha           10    10    7    27
5    Shahwadi- Swaminarayan park    9    -       -      -
6    Vastral- Devnandan Supremus      6    13    -    19
                                            Total    28    37    17    82

In the month of March from the Behrampura – Khodiyarnagr centre 2 children were enrolled into school.

Case Studies

Name: Shahina (Name Changed)
Age: 12 years
Shahina is a migrant, her family shifted from Delhi to Ahmedabad in search of work opportunity. When she came in contact with field worker of SAATH she showed a keen interest in joining CFS center, field officer convinced her family to send her to the center. After joining CFS initially she had a problem adjusting to the language but slowly picked up the language. She is a quick learner. One day Shahina’s mother came to CFS center and told CFS teacher Firdausben that her daughter  has adjusted well in the new atmosphere and now they want her to be admitted to a formal school, but since they do not have any birth certificate document she is not getting admission anywhere. Firdausben gave assurance to help her. She took the matter to SAATH monitoring committee. Committee decided send a representative, Firdausben and Shahina to a nearby school, they presented her case in front of school administration and thanks to Right to Education act after an initial hesitancy she was admitted to STP course in the school. After completing the STP course Shahina is now directly admitted to fourth standard. “Due to Saath’s effort my child got admitted to school I would like to thank the organization for that”, says Shahina’s mother.

Tale of Three dropout’s brother-sister

Name: Shabneen (Name Changed), Age: 6 years
Name:  Mubarika (Name Changed), Age: 13 years
Name: Karim (Name Changed), Age: 12 years
Shabneen , Mubarika and Karim lived in the Fatehwadi area of Juhapura they lived with their parents. Due to poor financial condition they could not continue their studies. To support her family Mubarika started maid work at a nearby bungalow along with her mother and her brother - sister also started their work at a nearby local store packing food materials. They came into contact of Saath’s field worker, they narrated their story to them. Field worker then met their mother and convince her to send them to CFS center. Finally she agreed to send them to the CFS center.  All of them were dropouts so CFS centre teacher took initiative and meet nearby school principal and convince him to enroll them into School’s STP course.  Principal finally agreed and they were enrolled into STP course.  After completing STP course now Shabneen and Karim got admitted to 2nd standard and Mubarika was admitted in 3rd standard. “We love to go to the school because teachers are very good and we have made lots of friend here”, says Mubarika.

Name: Usman (Name Changed)
Age: 11 years
During a field visit Saath’s field worker met Shaikh Usman and his family. During the interactions we found out that he was very naughty and due to this he was not going to school. His parents had also made many efforts to put him back to school but were not successful. Finally field worker told his parents to put Usman in CFS center. After little hesitancy they agreed to send him to a CFS Center.  Usman was very naughty so was not ready to sit in the class for first few days but slowly he got interested in kind of teaching and activities other children were doing in the class. His class participation also increased. Constant interactions with other children care and guidance of teacher made him more punctual and disciplined child. As he was a dropout so centre teacher took an initiative and enrolled Usman in a STP course to a nearby formal school and soon he will be admitted into a formal standard. “ I am really thankful to Saath for the kind of effort they have put into my child’s education” says, Usman’s mother.


We are looking at fund raising of  Rs. 1.48 crores in next two years for education children from slums, child labourers and children of labourers on construction sites. The cost of running one education centre is Rs. 2 Lakh per year.

Future Goals

To reach out to at least 3,000 child labourers and children of labourers and providing quality education in at least two more slums in Ahmedabad.

Knowledge Sharing
Knowledge Sharing
15 Students - France conducted  workshop with CFS
15 Students - France conducted workshop with CFS
15 Students - France conducted craft workshop-CFS
15 Students - France conducted craft workshop-CFS
Children celebrated Herbal Holi - CEE
Children celebrated Herbal Holi - CEE
Children learned importance of Herbal Holi - CEE
Children learned importance of Herbal Holi - CEE



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Project Leader

Keren Nazareth

Ahmedabad, Gujarat India

Where is this project located?

Map of From Child Labour to a Chance at School