Jul 28, 2017

CHILD RESOURCE CENTRE- (Oorja Sharma was interning with YUVA. she had to say about her experience)

Intern with Children & Office Staff
Intern with Children & Office Staff

Recently, I joined an NGO named YUVA (Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action) as an intern. Being in the second year of my Bachelors in management studies, I originally joined here because I needed work experience for my resume. YUVA has a lot of child resource centres (CRCs) located in various parts of Mumbai and actively works for the child rights. Lately I was given a responsibility to take an interview of the staff working for the CRC located in Lallubhai compound, one of the large slums in Mankhurd. 

The questions that I asked were related to the work that the staff had been doing, the facilities that they were providing the children, the difficulties that they faced and the change that they made. One of the most important topic was about the reason why the kids and especially girls of Lallubhai compound needed help and development.

The information and response that I got was a true eye opener and I could actually see the dark reality behind the glamourous and happening life of Mumbai. Me along with another intern, spent some time with children over there, talked to them and clicked pictures and selfies. It was surprising to know how intelligent these kids were but had lack of resources and a good lifestyle. There was absolutely no safety for the kids, especially girls who didn’t step out of the house after noon. We could see how difficult their lives were, but were still happier than most of the rich families. The kids loved coming to the CRC as they could learn more, spend time with their friends and most of all, because they felt safe and were given a large amount of freedom. We came to know a lot more about the problems of the children’s households and daily life problems. It was a really good initiative from YUVA’s side as helping the kids and the people was not an easy task and had a lot of challenges. After the interview, we became aware of all the provisions and activities that YUVA had been undertaking and they had actually made a huge impact.

Before that day, all I knew about Mumbai was the tall buildings and luxury. I did have some idea about the slums and the problems that the lower section of the society faced, but I never thought that I would get to see the harsh reality so closely and I’m thankful to YUVA for giving me this opportunity and letting me explore the inside of the city that I’ve been living in, since 12 years of my life. So yes, I had originally joined here because I needed work experience, but I have got to learn a lot more than I expected and this is the most insightful experience of my life.

Oorja Sharma

Jun 5, 2017

Summer Camp at Child Resource Centre, Mumbai

Children from CRC during rally
Children from CRC during rally

The Safe Communities for Children in Rehabilitation and Resettlement Sites, Lallu Bhai Compound, YUVA organised a ‘Child Friendly’ summer camp from 13th May 2017 to 19th May 2017 with an objective of creating a ‘With the Children for a Safe and Violence Free Community’.

The summer camp was inaugurated on 13th May by Mr.  Dattatray Shinde, Senior Inspector of Police at Deonar Police Station. Later the children organized a rally throughout Lallubhai Compound, giving slogans of bal Shakti ai hai nai roshni ai hai. The rally concluded in a street play on Child Labour performed by the Childline team of YUVA.

Focusing on the taboo in talking about gender issues in the community, day two of the camp organised two activities; ‘Maa-Beti Milan’ and screening of the Documentary Zor se bol that was followed by discussion on eve-teasing. Through dance movement therapy facilitated by Ms. Ayushi Chaturvedi, Maa-Beti Milan aimed at initiating dialogue between mothers and daughters. Simultaneously, with the boys, discussion was initiated on eve teasing through the movie ‘Jor se bol’.

Introducing puppet show as a medium of communicating with the mass, ‘Puppet-making ’ was the theme of the day. Mr. Ravindra Pedanekar, taught the students to make puppets. At the end of the session, children decided to perform a puppet show using the puppets they made that day at the end of the camp.  

Through documentaries and short films based on violation of rights such as right to education, right to protection, right to play, right to development and right to participation, day three focused on violation of child rights.   

Apart from words written or spoken, art can also be a great way to express oneself and at the same time a recreational activity. ‘Drawing Festival’ was organized with the same objective on  17th May 2017. The same method was used to bring out the feelings of the kids and make them express whatever they feel about the society they live in and the ways in which they would contribute to the creation of such a community.

With an objective of team building and coordination within the existing BASS groups, outdoor games like cricket, kho-kho were organised for the children. Post lunch session  was a on gender sex and manhood that was facilitated by Ms. Deepa Pawar. Both girls and boys spoke their minds about the myths around gender roles and patriarchy in the society that not only restricts the female but also imposes certain mandatory behavioural attributes for males.

The same day, a craft making session was facilitated by Childline associate Mrs. Anita. She taught the kids to make a piggy bank with balloon and paper. Last activity for the day was a session on Judo techniques for self defence which was facilitated by Ms. Nidhi and Mrs. Neha.

The summer camp concluded with cultural program hosted by BASS coordinators Saurabh and Jyoti. Mrs. Samruddhi Kante, honourable Nagarsevak of ward  146 and ex- chairman of M. Purva Vibhag along with the Police Inspector Mr. Chandekar attended the event as Chief Guest. The children coloured the evening with dance, music, puppet show, play and poetries, each one to spread a message.

Children from CRC during rally
Children from CRC during rally
Workshop on gender and patriarchy
Workshop on gender and patriarchy
Children busy during a craft making workshop
Children busy during a craft making workshop
The cultural program
The cultural program
May 8, 2017

Celebration of International Women's Day at CRC, Mumbai

Child Representatives of CRC leading the program
Child Representatives of CRC leading the program

On 8th March, YUVA, in collaboration with Bal Adhikar Sangarsh Sanghathan (BASS-Association for the Child Rights Struggle), celebrated International Women’s Day in a memorable way. A special programme, aimed at making the surroundings safer for women and children, was organised at Indradhanush Child Center, which saw participation of around 55 children and 15 women from the surrounding slum areas. Along with Sub Inspector Shri. Kedare, it was graced by the presence of women police officers from the local Mankhurd Police Station, Ms. Prajacta and Ms. Sunita, who, as examples of women who have achieved challenging feats, sowed seeds of inspiration in the minds of children.

Mr. Vijay set the event in motion by enlightening the importance of the day and the motive of the event. He talked of how the place was modelled for the safety of women and children and how necessary it is to have the slums converted to a similar safe haven for women and children. He also described to the audience the process of conducting surveys, discussions and mapping of safe and unsafe areas for children in settlements. Ms. Husna and Ms. Sulabha further discussed the history of Women’s struggles, the present day conflicts faced by women in the slums and how essential it is for women and children to take initiative themselves to make their surroundings safe.

It was heart-warming to see the child representatives from Child Resource Center and BASS play an active and vivacious role in the event, with Sagar Reddy, giving a warm welcoming speech and Shravani, expressing her opinions about the Women’s Day. The other children too, actively participated in the discussion highlighting their issues and pointing out places in their slums which they find unsafe. Their zeal and enthusiasm in taking leadership makes the future light up in the glow of hope.

While the focus of the morning event lay in expression of ideas, views and spreading awareness, the evening was abuzz with light-hearted games at Lallubhai Compound. Participating in a wide range of games like musical chair, lemon and spoon, 50-60 women, from nearby slums, along with their children, took a brief respite from their busy lives and enjoyed the day in laughter and fun.

With your continued support and contribution, YUVA, will keep striving to spread more such smiles and achieve a child-friendly, violence-free, cognizant society.

Local women and children playing musical chair
Local women and children playing musical chair
 
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