Nov 1, 2018

Annual Tour, 2018

Background

Inspired by Mira Nair's film 'Salaam Bombay' in 1988, Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT) grew out of Nukkad – a street-based intervention programme that began working with street children in and around New Delhi Railway Station.

 

A sense of security – be it a safe sleeping place, a small cupboard to store their personal belongings, a somewhat set pattern to life (e.g. regulated timings for food, study, play, roll call and going to bed etc.) gives the children an environment to be creative and grow naturally, yet instils in them the idea of discipline and hard work to achieve their dreams. Once the sheer struggle for survival is over, only then can they begin to articulate and work towards their future.

 

Understanding their need for security, nutrition, and opportunities, SBT started a full-care residential program called Arushi children’s home in Gurgaon. This Home was specially designed to cater to all aspects of a child friendly home- ventilation, amphitheatre, open space around the building for playing, classrooms and dormitories. Arushi is an initiative to offer 24 hour shelter to girls between the ages of 5 years to 18 years living on the streets. The children Home consists of 56 beds for children in 4 dormitories. Each dormitory has 14 beds. Each dormitory is attached with toilet and bathroom. There is kitchen and dining space. There is a medical Van for children in need of medical service.

Introduction

Arushi children’s home offers girls a comprehensive package of services including education, vocational training, skill development and extra-curricular activities. A crucial component of extra-curricular activities forms tours and trips with in and out of the state. Under SBT’s purview of work, these trips are carefully planned as they mean much more than mere exposure visits. The trips serve as a platform for girls rescued from streets to shed their inhibitions, mingle with each other and the staff members and take a fresh look at life leaving behind the past.

 

Girls at a famous temple at Panchmarhi

 

In this sense, the trips have an emotionally recuperative effect on girls which at times is life changing. Many girls upon going for such trips have shared that they were able to connect with other children of their age who have gone through a similar pain in the past. They found a family in these children and agreed to give themselves another chance.

 

Very often, staff members have also observed that children who did not open up or were aggressive had a change of heart once they came back from a trip after spending a lot of time with other girls. As evident, tours and trips at SBT serve a dual purpose of educating the children about the world around and strengthening them emotionally and psychologically. Annual tour, thus, forms an integral part of services provided at Arushi home for holistic development of children. The purpose and goal of the tour is essentially to create awareness among girls and help them gain new perspective about the outside world and bring them closer to each other and the staff members. Girls also get chance to visit places they never been before.

Annual Tour Update

This year the girls went for an annual trip to Panchmarhi, Madhya Pradesh was organized in June, 2018. Around 45 girls and five staff members went for the trip with the permission of Child Welfare committee. The key rationale behind this trip is to enable girls know more about new places, about each other, to develop the culture of sharing and trust.

 

The girls stayed in Chunmun Cottages with a picturesque scenery surrounding them. To ensure that the all the activities planned during the visit rolled out on time, girls formed discipline committees. In the cottages indoor activities were planned to encourage the team spirit among the girls

 

On day one the girls settled down, played indoor games such as badminton, Ludo and got an opportunity to build closer bonds with their housemates and staff members. The next day girls went for a visit to “Jata shankar Mahadev“ temple. The visit helped girls learn about culture and religious prominence of the temple.

 

Girls Bonding with Each Other

 

On next day girls were taken to Pandava caves. The girls were mesmerised to see these ancient and historical caves. They learnt about legends pertaining to Mahabharta period associated with these caves.

 

To emphasise the importance of physical activity and good health, the girls were encouraged to for trekking. The girls woke up early and took up trekking as a physical challenge. Most of them loved trekking and enjoyed walking amidst the nature. On the last day of the trip, the girls went to see beautiful water falls at Dhupgarh and Reechh Garh.

The trip brought girls closer to the nature and history. They learnt a lot during the trip. The trip brought visible changes in terms of strong bonds between the girls and staff, enhanced knowledge about the new places, environment and flora and fauna in particular.

Conclusion

In view of the expected outcomes, it can be said that the tour was extremely successful. The tour met three objectives. These were,

  • Exposing girls to nature and flora and fauna and inculcate a sense of environment conservation among them
  • Strengthening their rapport with each other and staff members
Oct 29, 2018

Progress Report DMRC Residential Centre

Introduction


Street children are deprived of protective environment of family. Article 20 of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes the right of such children who cannot be looked after by their own family to special care. The Government of India also accorded serious attention to provide protective environment of children in need of care including street children through enactment of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 and subsequent amendments to the Act. The Act in its Section 37 provides for establishment of shelter homes for children in need of care and protection. Significance of shelter homes and residential centres for street children is immense, given the exploitative, violent and hostile situations they face in cities. Shelter homes or residential centres act as safety nets protecting street children from sexual abuse and exploitation, physical violence and child labour.
SBT Residential Centres are Unique
Unlike orphanages, shelter homes and other child care institutions, full-care and short stay residential homes provide an enabling environment to children to realize their potential to the fullest. An attempt is made to educate and help children develop intellectually at these centres. However, children who are not inclined towards academics are not pushed towards a definite career path. Children are provided opportunities to develop their hidden talents and skills. They are encouraged to pursue dance, puppetry, acting, painting and photography as well.
DMRC Children Home for Boys
DMRC Children’s Home was established as part of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s corporate social responsibility. The home on an average houses 125 boys from the age of five to below 18 years. The centre provides shelter, education, clothing, food and all needed amenities to children rescued from streets.
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In the reporting period, the centre already housed 130 children and a total of new 114 new children were admitted to the centre. Of these a total of 105 children were restored, transferred and released on the orders of the Child Welfare Committee. As on March 21, 2018, the centre housed a total of 139 children.
Activities and Progress Update
Education
Laying adequate emphasis on the role of education to develop personality and character of children, the centre makes all efforts to link children to education. The education programme at the centre is pliable as it is based on the individual needs of children. Depending on their existing knowledge and preparedness children are provided education through different modes including non-formal education (NFE), open school, and formal education.
During the reporting period a total of 60 children have been provided formal education. A total of 10 boys have been transitioned from NFE programme to formal education. New enrolment of 37 children has been made in schools. Apart from this, 18 children are getting education through distance learning in NIOS. All new children have been covered under NFE program. Approximately 250 children have benefitted through NFE classes.


Food and Nutrition


The three balanced meals provided to children residing at the centre in addition to an evening snacks. The diet entails a well-balanced nutritious diet. The school going children get nutritious lunch boxes packed for their schools. Seasonal fresh fruits are part of the evening snacks. Special diets are also been provided to sick children and the boys who are into sport activities. On an average food and nutrition services are provided to a total of 130-140 children at the centre.
Health
Regular medical check- ups of children are done at the centre. A full time doctor employed with SBT comes regularly to conduct medical check-ups. The centre has two medical social workers to take care of the children’s medical needs and emergency cases. Apart from the health check-ups, specialised care is provided to children. In the reporting period a number of children were provided specialised care. (For details See Table)


Table 1: Children Provided Specialised Medical Care
Treatment services
No of children
Neuro and seizure disorder
07
Psychological/Psychiatric Treatment
07
Thalassemia
01
Asthma
03
Hepatitis B
01
Speech Therapy
02
Physically Impaired
01
Spinal Problem
01
Tuberculosis
01
Total
24 children
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Extra-curricular Activities
Children are engaged in various activities like football, cricket, soccer and squash. A sports teacher at the centre channelises children’s energy in lots of indoor and outdoor activities. Children also attend swimming and karate classes and participate in various local and inter-organizational games & sports competitions. Children’s involvement in extra-curricular activities ensures their all-round development. (For Details See Table Below)
Table 2: Children Engaged in Extra-curricular Activities*
Extra-curricular Activities
No of Children
Dance Class
50
Library Facility
300
Theatre Class
35
Squash
3
Athlete
2
Football
6
Kick Boxing
2
*These numbers are not mutually exclusive, a child can opt for more than one extracurricular activities.
Skill development
To prepare adolescents for an adult life, they are linked to skill development and vocational training courses. Children at DMRC are provided theatre and dance classes. Theatre is one of the primary ways children learn about life: about actions and consequences, about customs and beliefs, about others and themselves. Apart from this, in house classes for electrical and electronic course are provided to children. Also children are given computer training. (For Details See Table)
Table 3: Skill Development and Vocational Training
Vocational training and Skill Development Courses
Number of children
In-house training (Electrical and Electronic)
100
City Walk Training
4
Dance Training
1
Art and Craft (Prabhat Resource Centre)
5
Cooking & Baking
3
Hospitality
1
Industrial Training Institute
1
Photography
1
General Duty Assistant
1
Facility Care & Management
3
Marketing & Personality Development
2
Total
122


Rehabilitation and Job Placement


Rehabilitation is an ongoing process at the centre. The adolescent boys are prepared for an adult life through engaging them in education, vocational training, and dance and sports classes. A career counselor guides them to opt for suitable vocational training courses. Many children also excel in theatre & dance and opt them as a career option. In the reporting period, DMRC CHB has successfully rehabilitated 12 children with job placements.
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Festival celebration


Event and festival celebration is one of favorite activities of the children at the centre. These celebrations inculcate cultural and secular values among children. All children are very happy and energized during these celebrations. Children celebrated Lohri, Diwali, Christmas, New Year, Republic Day and Holi in the reporting period.
Trips and Tours
Curiosity and exploration is inherent in children. Through the means of recreation and excursions the children are helped to develop the power of observations, exploration, judgment and drawing inferences, and to develop the co-operative attitude and leadership skills in them. Children have been to various exposure visits during the reporting period.
Challenges
Centre faces following challenges in dealing with children on a regular basis.
1. Rehabilitation and restoration of children with special needs is a problem as there is a dearth of good aftercare organizations for such children. Establishing communication channels with children suffering from speech and hearing disabilities also requires special skills and efforts on the part of the staff and thus, poses a challenge.
2. Rehabilitation of juvenile in conflict with law also remains a challenge. These children who were once involved in criminal activities take time to adjust to a normal life.
3. Presence of behavioral issues due to substance use among children also creates problems. Addressing these issues by the counsellor and centre team takes a lot of psychological effort.
Future Plan


The DMRC CHB team has envisaged a clear future plan with set targets to further improve the outreach and quality of services at the centre.
To overcome the existing challenges
New admission of 10 children in regular school
Admission of 10 children in vocational training
Admission of two special children in Lady Noyce School
Making new strategies to prevent substance use
Networking to rehabilitate and better management of speech and hearing impaired child


Significant Change Story


A child named Vinod got admitted by an unknown person in very ill condition with severe bed sore and wounds in anal passage at LNJP Hospital. The child was then presented to CWC after discharge by Police and was brought to DMRC for further care. The doctor at the centre suggested regular dressing for bed sore and anal wounds in unconscious state as child was acutely malnourished. Though the dressing was done in-house but it was to be done under proper medical supervision. At the centre the child was provide proper medical care, dressing and highly nutritious diet. Child was then referred to GB Pant Hospital by LNJP for mental health analysis as he was passing stool and urine at bed only. After the diagnosis at GB Pant Hospital, doctor changed the drug regime and advised for high protein diet for him and recommended an exercise therapy for a week. After a week’s treatment, in-house doctor conducted a complete full body check-up and saw sign of recovery and normalcy. Presently, the child is on medication and recovering fast.
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Oct 18, 2018

Child Development Unit

Progress Report Child Development Unit

Girls Shelter Home

 

 Contents

 

Child Development Unit (CDU): Introduction and Background. 

CDU Team.. 

Key Activities. 

Challenges. 

Impact. 

 

  

Child Development Unit (CDU): Introduction and Background

Salaam Baalak Trust’s Mental Health Programme started in the year 2003 with the aim to provide psychological support to children rescued from the streets and ensure their emotional and mental well-being. Presently the Mental Health Programme team comprises 10 members including counsellors designated for every children’s home/residential centre of SBT. The Programme is recognized as one of its kind due to its uniqueness and focus on professional and trained care to children rescued from streets.

Expanding its scope of work to respond to the special needs of children with disabilities, the Mental Health Programme team has initiated the Child Development Unit. In the year 2015, the Unit was set up for providing care to children with neuro-developmental difficulties. The Unit is operational at Aarushi children’s home of SBT. The interventions at the Unit hinges on an integrative and inclusive approach whereby the girls with additional support needs are housed in the same accommodation as the other girls.

Vision: The vision of the Unit is to provide children with neuro-developmental difficulties a safe and nurturing environment; protect these children from abuse and facilitate early screening of the problems and provide timely intervention. The Unit strives to provide24x7 special care and emotional support to these children.

Objective: Child development unit was started with the objective to mainstream the children with neuro-developmental disorders through an inclusive approach at Aarushi children’s home so that they can learn basic self-care and communication skills to express and meet their individual needs.

Inclusion criterion: Due to the paucity of resources and funds, it has been decided to keep maximum 10 children in CDU with mild neuro-developmental difficulties. The maximum age of the girls to be put in CDU is designated as 13 years.

CDU Team

The unit has one developmental therapist who fulfils the supervisory role. The unit has three qualified caretakers who are trained at regular intervals on various therapies.

Key Activities

All children coming to the centre are screened using a baseline assessment interview at the first point of contact. During the interview if the child presents mental health concerns, the counsellor then does a more his/her comprehensive assessment. There is a follow up discussion with the senior consultant and psychiatrist Dr. Amit Sen to confirm the diagnosis and to ascertain if the child fits in to the criterion of CDU.

 

The children are then provided individual and group sessions. To provide specialised therapies to these children such as sensory integration, occupational therapy, speech therapy they are sent to a private organization called Children First for these therapies because at present SBT does not have an interdisciplinary team with these specific skills. Apart from this, the individual education plan of each child is prepared and followed at children’s home. The key services provided to the children at the Unit have been listed below.

  • 24x7 hours Special care and emotional support
  • Pharmacology
  • Activities of daily living skills training
  • Occupational therapy at Children First
  • Speech Therapy
  • Day care educational support and vocational training
  • Therapeutic session with CDU Therapist 

 

Challenges

It was initially difficult for other children to be empathetic and compassionate towards the children in CDU as they did not understand their differential needs. It was difficult for them to accept them.

Developing the infrastructure and resources is key to sustain this project. Working with special needs requires an interdisciplinary team comprising speech therapist, occupational therapist, developmental therapist and a psychiatrist. To constitute this team a lot funds are required and hence, budget remains a constraint.

Safety of these children is a key concern and since Autism has comorbidity with other medical conditions so there have been few crisis situations wherein children may hurt or harm themselves.

The aim of the development unit to rehabilitate the children into mainstream society and but finding job opportunities for these children is difficult. Since, these children vary in their skills and abilities as well as functional needs; employment should ideally involve a wide range of opportunities, from secure/sheltered settings to supported employment.

There are many existing Government schemes for people with disability but it’s a very cumbersome job to avail these facilities.

Impact

By creating Child Development Unit, the team have been able to provide a safe environment to children with neuro-developmental disorders. With regular intensive therapy and pharmacological support many children have learnt the basic self-help skills and are independent. Looking at the progress of the children, we have been able to send five children from CDU to a special needs school where the focus is on various therapies and also on vocational training.

 
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