- Vocational Training: Elder children in the community have been linked to vocational training. This is the first time that the CHI-SBT Mobile School team has enrolled children in vocational training with the intent that it will bring about a change in the overall status of the family and would motivate others families to send their girls for vocational courses and enable them to secure jobs. A long term vision is to bring about a change in the whole community through empowerment of youth.
- Aadhar Camps:Identity proofs become an important requirement for admission of children in formal schools. To this end, Aadhar card camps were organised which doubled the enrolment of children in formal schools. A total of 20 children from Shastri Park and 45 children from Seelampur got their Aadhar cards through these camps.
- Linking Children to Social Security Schemes: The CHI-SBT Mobile School team is also putting in efforts to link children to various government schemes so that they can avail their benefits.To this end, bank accounts of 62 children were opened. A total of 500 pan cards were made in the community for both adults and children.About 41 girls were linked with Sukanya Scheme.The Scheme is aimed at girls below 10 years of age wherein every year parents have to deposit a minimum of INR 1000 in the account of her daughter and government will give 8.4% interest on deposited money. Once the girl turns 18, 50% of the deposited amount can be withdrawn for higher studies or for her marriage. The Scheme allows deposits to be made in the girl’s name till the ageof 23 years. The Scheme thus, promote empowerment of girls.
- Stakeholder Meeting: The team is also conducting stakeholder meetings to sensitise the key community influencers such as leaders, shop keepers and experienced people on issues of children particularly their education. The meetings are also a platform to seek their and parents; feedback around the Mobile School activities and its curriculum. The stakeholder meetings will be instrumental for sustaining community support to the CHI-SBT Mobile School.
- Plantation and Cleanliness Activity: The CHI-SBT team organised a tree plantation drive by planting 100 saplings at Seelampur and Shastri Park spots. Through this activity childrenlearnt the importance of conserving the environment as the need of the hour to reverse environmental degradation. The children understood that tree plantation is especially important to protect the environment against air pollution and global warming.
Stories of Change
Strong Resolve Reaps Strong Results
Fahreen an 18 year old young girl hailing from Shastri Park community dreamt of becoming independent and support her family financially. Being the eldest of the five siblings, Fahreen shouldered household responsibility at a young age. Fahreen’s father is a small fruit vendor and due to their poor financial condition Farheen had drop out in Class 5. However her desire to learn did not stop. She picked up many other skills diligently such as stitching. Developing her expertise in the field, she began to stitch clothes for community people. With the help of her sisters she pasted studs on jeans to supplement the family income.
Fahreen was spotted by the CHI-SBT Mobile School during an outreach visit. During the visit it was found that many young adults in the communitywere feeling left out as they did not have any information and support or guidance for training and livelihood programmes. Given this felt need of the community the CHI-SBT Mobile School team took the initiative to motivate and link youth to livelihood training programmes. Farheen was one of the very first beneficiaries to benefit from the initiative.
Farheen’s mother had come to the CHI-SBT Mobile School for the admission of her younger son who is studying in a school and there she shared her concerns about engaging her daughters productively. She mentioned that one of her daughtershad passed Class 12 and the younger one completed Class 10 andthe youngest daughter was studying in Class 5. Believing in the potential of her daughters, Farheen’s mother wanted them to learn vocational skills and secure gainful employment. She shared that the training not only wanted to financially support their family but also become self-reliant. She had tried to find these course options, however, she could not find any such opportunities in Shastri Park.
The CHI-SBT Mobile School extended their assistance to Farheen’s mother in finding vocational training courses. Soon the team found out that an NGO called Jamghat provided free training to underprivileged girls in stitching bags and dresses and making file folders. Upon completion of the training, they help them to provide work so that girls can earn and improve their financial condition. Farheen’s mother was elated to hear this and she immediately agreed to enrol Farheen at Jamghat. Farheen is presently doing the stitching course at Jamghat and doing well. She also aims to utilise her refined stitching skills in generating enhanced additional income for her family. She has also expressed a strong desire to complete her education. The CHI-SBT Mobile School team will be supporting her in continuing her education from National Institute of Open Schooling.
A New Lease of Life
Ali (name changed), a 7 year old boy lives at Shastri Park community with his siblings including, two sisters and two brothers. His father works as a driver and their financial condition was very weak. His parents therefore, could not prioritise their children’s education in the struggle of eking out a living for themselves. Resultantly, Ali had never been to school. As part of the outreach activity of the CHI-SBT team interacted with Ali and his family and explained to them about theCHI-SBT Mobile School activities. The team informed them that at Shastri Park the CHI-SBT Mobile School bus reached at 10 am and classes were organised till 1 pm. Ali’s mother visited the Mobile School spot and was very happy to see the community children studying there and enjoying the classes.
From the next day, Ali and his siblings started coming to the CHI-SBT Mobile School spot. Initially Ali and his siblings were hesitant but after constant encouragement by the team they began to regularly attend the Mobile School. They have been attending the Mobile School for past four years. The CHI-SBT Mobile School team enrolled Ali into Class 3 this year. For his admission, the team also issued Aadhar Card for him. Presently, Ali is has begun to go to school and he is showing remarkable progress in his studies. His sister who is in class 6 is also regularly attendingthe CHI-SBT Mobile School.
Journey from Garbage Dumps to School
Mausam (name changed) a 6 year old lives with her parents in the slums of Shastri Park. She has a sister and a younger brother. Her mother is working as a domestic helper and father is a rickshaw puller.There was often no one to take care of them when their parents went for work. Mausam and her brother longed to go to school and have someone around to talk to and play with. They felt neglected and lonely.
One day when Mausam was playing outside her house with her brother, the CHI-SBT Mobile school outreach worker spotted them. The outreach worker interacted with them and explained to them that a Mobile School van comes for three hours near their house and they must visit the spot. The children initially were scared to step out of the house on their own, however, the CHI-Mobile School team met their parents and convinced them to come to the spot. Their initial experience at the spot was very positive, they were very excited to see other children of their community studying there. Mausam and her brother was extremely thrilled when they were given stationery items and toys to play. They seemed really interested towards these sessions. As a result, the children began to visit the Mobile School daily. Mausam and her brother began attending NFE classes.
Mausam’s parents faced difficulties in looking after their children and sought the CHI-SBT Mobile school team’s help for admission to their children in a nearby government school. Initially, the parents were worried about the school fee and other expenses but the CHI-SBT Mobile School team assured them that they would be provided free education along with scholarship. The parents immediately agreed. Presently, theCHI-SBT team has enrolled Mausam and her brother in a school. Mausam is studying in Class 2 while her brother is in Class 1. Both children are showing keen interest in their studies. Their parents are very thankful to CHI-SBT team for their support.
Future PlanIn the coming year, the CHI-SBT Mobile School team will make efforts to increase parents’ involvement in children’s education for ensuring their regular attendance at the Mobile School spots. The team also plans to organise health camps in the community to create awareness on importance of health and hygiene. Increased focus will be laid on improving teaching pedagogy at the Mobile School to improve quality of teaching and learning. Pedagogic improvements will ensure that children are able to perform well in their studies and achieve better learning outcomes