Education  India Project #15970

Create a Safe Space for Children and Youth

by Shaishav Child Rights
Create a Safe Space for Children and Youth
Create a Safe Space for Children and Youth
Create a Safe Space for Children and Youth
Create a Safe Space for Children and Youth
Create a Safe Space for Children and Youth
Create a Safe Space for Children and Youth
Create a Safe Space for Children and Youth
Create a Safe Space for Children and Youth
Create a Safe Space for Children and Youth
Create a Safe Space for Children and Youth
Create a Safe Space for Children and Youth
Create a Safe Space for Children and Youth

Project Report | Mar 11, 2014
A busy winter in Gujarat!

By Angela Kohama | AIF William J. Clinton Fellow for Service in India

Girls eager to learn during Kishori Samelan!
Girls eager to learn during Kishori Samelan!

The team at Shaishav has been keeping busy throughout the winter season in Gujarat! Here are some of the major activities that Shaishav completed in the past few months.

Kishori Samelan

This past December, Shaishav held its annual “Kishori Samelan,” or empowerment workshop for adolescent girls. 298 female students and 28 teachers from Bhavnagar attended this day-long workshop. The day began with opening speeches from Shaishav’s honored guests, followed by a busy day of sessions about gender topics that ranged from “appropriate touch” to self-defense. We observed children’s paradigms about gender shifting, and discussed more about what it means to be “a girl.” We learned about powerful women in Gujarat. The day ended with a variety of songs and skits about gender-specific topics ranging from female feticide to dowry.

It is always exciting to see the empowerment of girls!

Balsena Annual Program

On Sunday, January 5th, 2014 Shaishav held Balsena’s 11th Annual Program. Balsena children (Shaishav’s children’s collective) and the Shaishav team woke up bright and early for a child right’s rally. Marching down Wagawadi Road in Bhavnagar, 728 children and 173 youth and adults, making 901 participants total, chanted child rights and Balsena slogans up and into Samaldas Arts College, where they broke into song and dance until the program began.

The activities included a chance to meet with a “Bal Dost,” or role model and friend of children in the community, to ask them questions about their career and lives. Subsequently children were split into two groups by age. The smaller children went and watched a movie, Delhi Safari, while the older children cooked for all people present at the event. Using massive pots and burners while overseen by Shaishav team members, children created delicious lunch for all of the participants and speakers. Simultaneously, Bal Dosts and other prominent community leaders met with our honored guest, Ranchodbhai Shah, the Founder and managing trustee of Amity International about the present state of education in India. After lunch, several boy and girl scouts from around Bhavnagar came and did a variety of activities with the Balsena teams. They broke out into small groups and learned first aid, learned simple instruments and learned the similarities and differences between Balsena members and scouts. Then the entire group came together and listened to our guests.

At 5 p.m. the Balsena children piled on the buses to go home, donated with the kind support of several private schools in the area. The Balsena Annual Program was a huge success, and Shaishav is excited to hold one again next year!

Tarunsena Annual Program

January marked another year of Tarunsena, Shaishav’s youth group! To celebrate, Tarunsena members invited youth from universities across Gujarat for a day of activities. 80 students discussed what it means to be in a youth group, the difference between a youth group and a gang, and played a series of games. The second day, Shaishav’s leadership team, Parul and Falgun Sheth, spoke to the group about human rights and the rights of youth. Shaishav is happy to see Tarunsena’s program not only growing, but participation thriving, with our members running Balsena points and Area Resource Centers across Bhavnagar.

New Partnership

Shaishav is proud to announce the beginning of a new partnership with the Ambey Foundation and Stitching Charity Fund Rijholt! This project grew out of Shaishav’s recent Baseline survey, in which we found that adolescent girls in Bhavnagar have a significantly higher rate of school dropout, compared to all other groups of children. Using the data on female school dropouts, the community team is doing case by case advocacy work, encouraging adolescent girls to return to school and finish their education. They are also monitoring and working to end the cycle of dropouts by creating awareness around female girls and their families about the importance of staying in school through 10th standard or higher, particularly targeting girls in 6th and 7th standard. We are excited about this new partnership and the chance to work with adolescent girls in Bhavnagar!

Parul is Recognized as one of the “Top Growth Engines” in Gujarat

Parul Sheth, Shaishav’s managing trustee and executive director, was honored to be named one of the 100 “Top Growth Engines” in the state of Gujarat by Gujarat’s top newspaper, Divya Bhaskar, in their book 100 Growth Engines: Whos who of Gujarat. The book highlights Parul’s career and commitment to child rights, showcasing her drive to “develop a model where children become the instigators and the owners of change.”

Gujarat Children’s Pre-Poll Manifesto

Last weekend, 21st-23rd of February, Rights Collective Gujarat (CRCG), led by Shaishav, organized a three-day workshop in Ahmedabad. Sixty-four children from different parts of Gujarat gathered to learn and understand child rights, to share their experiences and unite to make their voices heard prior this year’s Lok Sabha Election in Gujarat. Children presented a pre-poll manifesto to the media and political parties, where they demanded a more inclusive, fair and equal childhood.

For more information see:

You can see full version of the demands here:




Child Rights march begins the Annual Program.
Child Rights march begins the Annual Program.
Daksha, a Tarunsena member and Shaishav volunteer.
Daksha, a Tarunsena member and Shaishav volunteer.
Parul's feature in "100 Growth Enginges"
Parul's feature in "100 Growth Enginges"
A child taking notes during the manifesto workshop
A child taking notes during the manifesto workshop
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Organization Information

Shaishav Child Rights

Location: Bhavnagar, Gujarat - India
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Parul Sheth
Bhavnagar , Gujarat India
$6,054 raised of $50,000 goal
124 donations
$43,946 to go
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