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Nov 2, 2015

Updates from Aasraa Trust

Mobile Learning Centre: Anti Begging Campaign
Mobile Learning Centre: Anti Begging Campaign

Launch of Mobile Learning Centre: We have launched two Mobile Learning Centers- revolutionary classrooms on wheels for street & slum children. No child will be unreachable or unteachable. These buses are equipped with high tech audio visual learning, educational materials, refreshments and basic medical care. The first bus (funds donated by ONGC) operates near the Bindal slum area, reaching close to 80 children a day.

The second bus (funds donated by Gyan Jyoti Trust) is an extention of the Anti-Begging Campaign targeted towards children who beg for a living and do not attend school. This bus travels across Dehradun picking up children from the streets and initiates them into literacy through art and drama.

WE ARE AWAITING SPONSORSHIP FOR THE RUNNING COST OF THE SECOND BUS. 

Aasraa joins Swachh Bharat initiative: Swachh Bharat Event, sponsored by ONGC in association with Aasraa Trust & Waste Warriors was organized on 28th September in Kishan Nagar Chowk, Dehradun. School students, children from the rag picking community, Team ONGC, children & staff members of Aasraa Trust, Waste Warriors joined the cause to make India clean, green and healthy. Waste disposal awareness workshop and a clean-up drive were the highlights of this event.

 

Launch of Music Room: At Aasraa, we have introduced music as a tool of healing, learning and self expression. The children are learning nursery rhymes, patriotic songs, poems, alphabets through the sing song method. We have also inaugurated a new music room at our boys hostel facility on the occasion of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s birth anniversary. The instruments were donated by Prof Dhirendra and Mrs Nirmala Sharma,friends of Dr. Kalam.

Art Therapy at Aasraa: Many of our children come from backgrounds where they have witnessed harsh, abusive behavior. They are victims of domestic abuse, sexual exploitation, physical violence, often abandoned and left helpless. Art, as we all know is a wonderful medium of expression. It is a powerful healing tool. Ms. Christina DeCesare, an art therapist from USA, conducted a two day Art Therapy session for our children and teachers. She demonstrated how art can be used for different purposes like classroom management and to strengthen the understanding between students and teachers.

Aasraa Girl wins silver at State meet: Versha Godwal, won the silver medal at the Uttarakhand Open Junior State Level Taekwondo Competition! Versha is a student of class 8 in Olympus High School. We are so proud of her achievements.

Puja, Nikita & Sunny join the hostel: Please join us in welcoming three new children to our hostel facility. 14 year old Puja was found abandoned in Haridwar railway station and was brought to us through Child Welfare Centre. She has no formal education and has joined our street smart program post which she will graduate to the NIOS program. Nikita, age 15 is an orphan who has studied upto class 10. She is now preparing for class 11 exams for which she will appear next year. Sunny, age 9 was brought to us through 'Smile Program' which looks after many children and he has joined our street smart program as well

Student visitors at Aasraa: We had 50 student visitors from the G.D Goenka School, New Delhi who visited as a part of their travels with a group called Explorars. We also hosted exchange students from The Doon School who visited all our projects and interacted with our children. All these children ate together, played together and prayed together. It was quite amazing to see children from two different worlds come together so naturally. Interactions like these always prove to us that children everywhere are the same. They just need love and kindness to flourish and blossom.

Medical Care: 

  • Ashish, age 11, had a 3.5 hour sling surgery performed by Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Himanshu Kochhar & his team at Max Hospital. Ashish had fractured his arm and the bones were incorrectly set. Thanks to Max India Foundation (who gave us a 50% discount) and three Good Samaritan’s, Ashish should be able to use his arm very soon.
  • 800+ children were successfully administered de-worming and Vitamin A tablets, thanks to Vitamin Angels
  • With the help of Max Foundation, close to 300 children will be inoculated against Typhoid this month

 

 

 

 

 

Puja, Nikita & Sunny
Puja, Nikita & Sunny
Versha wins silver at State meet
Versha wins silver at State meet
Art therapy class in progress
Art therapy class in progress
Ashish in recovery mode after surgery
Ashish in recovery mode after surgery
Launch of Music Room
Launch of Music Room
Oct 20, 2015

Mainstreaming children into schools

SGRR students attending the after school program
SGRR students attending the after school program

In the last report, we shared an update about Chandni. This time, we bring you a video update of Chandni speaking about her journey till date. Please follow the below given link to see the video. 

The Street Smart program started with 4 street children and 3 teachers on the pavements of Dehradun. In the past 6 years, we have initiated close to 1000 children into education and have successfully mainstreamed 180 children into fulltime schools. This year our first batch of rag picking children were admitted into an English medium school for a better chance at education. This batch of 18 students (10 girls) were very excited to study in a new school but also sad about leaving their old school friends and teachers behind.  The new school has brought with it new possibilities and also challenges. The children are learning a new language as all their subject matter is now in English. We have dedicated an English teacher for after school support along with a Maths teacher. The kids are learning to read their English books through phonetics and now have a better understanding of the content as well.

Recently, we noted a slump in their attendance in school. On enquiry, we got to know some of our children were being bullied in school. They were being called, ‘Kabadi’(rubbish) and faced discrimination. During counselling, they were told to take pride in their work and tell their new classmates that yes, they are rag pickers and this occupation feeds their whole family. They were told to ask their classmates if they ever provided for their families. That did the trick. Our kids have many more friends now!

With every little win comes a little setback but we will keep powering through the hurdles. It is important to not lose sight of the bigger goal. Our big goal is to see our kids regularly attending school. We see them acing their tests. We see them being the first in their family to graduate school and college. We see them writing their names with pride and living a life of dignity.

Thank you everyone for contributing towards the welfare of our children for which we cannot thank you enough. We urge more people to join our cause. Currently, 40 of our children are waiting to be mainstreamed and are in need of sponsorships.  Join us in giving them an opportunity to attend school but more than that give them HOPE. A hope for a brighter future…

Links:

Aug 3, 2015

An Update on Chandni

Chandni attending mainstream school
Chandni attending mainstream school

Aasraa Trust discovered Chandni begging on one of Dehradun’s busiest intersections six years ago.After many months of counselling, she joined our Street Smart program with the lure of a bath, a meal and an education. After almost two years of ABCs and 123, Chandni was deemed fit to start formal education at a local government residential school supported by Aasraa Trust in 3rd grade. Besides education, we felt the need to give Chandni her independence back, so we had a special prosthetic leg made for her by an Australian gentleman called Mr. Pete Farrand.

Today, Chandni is in 5th grade, she can read and writes her name with great pride. She walks around her school campus comfortably and likes to play games with other girls.  She enjoys reading Hindi and solving Maths questions.

Chandni’s parents, who are daily wage laborers, are proud of her achievements. They once thought she deserved to be a beggar just because she was differently abled. Thankfully, with her determination Chandni has proved them wrong and has forced them to change their opinion.

Her friends describe her as a sociable girl who believes in sharing; she is the same Chandni who was too possessive about her belongings and would carry her small bag everywhere few years back.

Chandni’s teacher, warden and confidant, Ms. Sangeeta Joshi says, “She would cry and fall asleep during her classes in the initial days of joining school, and today she is sincere in her schoolwork and completes her classwork and homework with dedication & diligence.”

She is a gifted composer of her own music and lyrics which she remembered until now by memory as she was illiterate. We are happy she can read and write; maybe she will record her own album one day!

Chandni has gone beyond just looking out for herself. Not only is she is independent and well organized in her school work but she has taken over a big sisters responsibility for junior students in the hostel.

Chandni is constantly described as a model student by her peers and teachers, a girl who is exemplary. But more importantly this little girl is a lesson for the rest of the world- ‘Everyone deserves a second chance.’

 A lot has changed in the life of Chandni in the last few years but her radiant smile remains… ALL THANKS TO THE SUPPORT OF OUR DONORS.

Chandni attending Street Smart program
Chandni attending Street Smart program
 
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