Project #9993

Transform the Lives of Children in Gujarat, India

by Shaishav Child Rights

Since its inception Shaishav endeavours to transform the lives of the children of disadvantaged groups in Bhavnagar city. Balsena – the children’s collective is a forefront brigade of the organisation through which community children actively participate and transform their lives.

In September the Annual function of Balsena was the most important and awaited day for all Balsena members. This time children celebrated the day with lots of fun supplemented with some good learnings too. Some of the children prepared some recipes in small groups and sold those items to other children. While having fun doing this, they also learned the lessons of cooking and marketing their own food items to other children and thus could develop their salesmanship inherently. Around 300 children enjoyed the day with fun and delicious foods prepared by their friends only.

October was a month of festivals in Gujrat. It was started with Navaratri, which is the largest dance festival in the world when all the children, youth and women perform Garba – a folk dance in a traditional and ethnic costumes as well as pray to the Goddess of power and prosperity. Shaishav also organised Garba for Balsena children in different areas.

Similarly there was a celebration of Last Moon of the year (According to Indian Leaner Calendar) near sea beach along with a dinner. Besides we also had celebrated Diwali festival with community children at Balsena points in the areas.

In October a team of Balsena accompanied by some of the Balsena organisers visited a Tamilnadu based ‘Shakthi Vidiyal’ organisation. Total 12 participants went for a four days visit to the organisation and learned about different programmes and activities of the organisation. It was truly a good learning experience to all of them to learn about the ways that Shakthi Vidiyal adopts to overcome the challenges and effectively.

Shaishav hosted two Balmelas for the children of Balsena. 417 children participated and enjoyed using their creativity to make Diwali cards, decorate diyas, and making beautiful rangolis.

Balsena children celebrated the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi – the Father of the Nation on 2nd October. They read the stories of Gandhiji in groups and learned about his life by organisers.

In November, Shaishav observed Child Rights week from 14th to 20th November, which is a celebration of signing of UN Child Rights Convention. The team visited the children, their parents and other community people in different areas for awareness generation about child rights. Total 4255 adults and 2647 children were visited during the week.

In November Tarunsena - the youth wing of Shaishav was honoured a programme by India Youth Foundation in collaboration with UN Habitat. Most importantly the programme is selected from hundreds of application across the nation. The programme would focus on child development activities in different parts of the city where the youth of the city especially from the community areas would take lead. They would also run Area Resource Centre to provide different vocational trainings and other trainings to children of the community areas.

Another landmark of Shaishav in November was launch of Lokshala programme. Shaishav started a community based learning centre in Kumbharwada area where children would get complementary education through trained resources in a unique and child friendly manner. Moreover, they would also have an opportunity to undergo life skills trainings and other trainings at this centre. Prior to the launch, the team conducted extensive exercise of IEC through parents meetings and street play to sensitise the parents about the importance of education and make them aware of the new Lokshala.

Apart from this, America India Foundation (AIF), Gujart organised a three days intensive training of trainers for its partner organisations in Gujrat about Child Rights and Child Protection. AIF invited the executive director and founder trustee of Shaishav – Parul Sheth and Falgun Sheth as resource persons for the trainings. Thus this training enhanced the knowledge on child rights and child protection among the participant which would finally benefit the children across the state. 

Thus it was the most significant and interesting quarter with number of new and innovative activities and programmes. And Shaishav as a child rights promoter would continue to add many more such programmes and activities. 

Since its inception Shaishav has been committed to realising the basic rights of the children, particularly the underprivileged. Having intensive experience of empowering the children for their rigths we started Child  Rights Training and Resource Centre in order to provide hand holding support to the organisations working in the same area but are in seek of support for training and capacity building for their teams. Nevertheless, the organisaiton consistently endevours for skill development and capacity building of Balsena (Community based Children’s collectives), community leaders and other team members as well. For this we organise various programmes, training workshops and exposure visits for them.

In the quarter June – August 2016 also we conducted number of programmes like earlier –

  • In June 2016, a day long training workshop was conducted for capacity building of 13 team members of Balsena.
  • Indian Academy of Self Employed Womens Association had invited Shaishav to provide training on self defence to its adolescent girl members in June. The training was given to 40 girls by 2 qualified personnel of Shaishav.
  • Shaishav observed Anti Child Labour Day by performing street plays across the city. The team performed about 23 road shows in a single day. Moreover, handbills and other IEC material was also distributed to the audience who watched the shows on roads. The shows were performed by 20 team members of Shaishav and the same were watched by around 2200 adults and children in different areas.
  • Members of our Child Help Line and Community Mobilising team participated in various capacity building and orientation workshops organised by the state government and other NGOs. One of such programme was organised in Gandhinagar, Gujarat also.
  • The Child Help Line team organised a meeting with Traffic Police personnels in order to seek their support for handling the issues of child protection and child labour.
  • The team also coordinated with DEO (District Edcation Officer) to get information about the process of the education schemes implemented for poor disadvantaged children.
  • The Community Mobilisation team conducted a meeting with the parents of Balsena children in Dhananagar, Mafat nagar and Apnanagar and discussed the issues pertaining in their areas. It included the issues of water and drainage connections, government subsidy schemes for education of children and school admission process for drop out children.
  • Shaishav is also invited as a member of a district level Child Help Line Advisory Committee chaired by the District Collector. This gives a good platform to share our experience and raise the issues of child protection and child safety in the committee.
  • We organised a two days residential Leadership Camp for Balsena children where in 45 children learned the lessons of leaderships.
  • Shaishav always encourage and motivate its team to participate and voice their opinions at various state and national level forums. In its efforts to this, one of the Balsena active members Bhoomi Chavda and Balsena Coordinator Nilam Jadav participated in a four days National Consultation on Child Protection organised in Assam state of India. Interestingly it was the first experience of Bhoomi, a teenage girl of a casual labourer to travel out of the state in train.
  • A team of Balsena children and staff also participated in a four days State Consultation of Children. It was a third phase of Child Rights Audit (CRA). CRA is an intensive exercise performed by children of all the participating NGOs across the state to identify the issues pertaining to Child Safety and Education. In the third phase the children prepared recommandations for National Child Policy based on the findings of CRA and submitted the same to a committee member of National Commission on Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). Representatives from State Committee on Protection of Child Rights and UNICEF also had been part of this event.
  • In July Balsena children elected their new President and Vice President for this year. Bhoomika -a 17 year old girl and Jayesh –a 15 year boy took the leadership as President and Vice President of Balsena respectively.
  • Balsena also conducted annual meeting for its savings programme. This programme is run to cultivate savings habit among children. Every week children save 1- 10 bugs in their respective accounts which they can withdraw in times of need. Over six hundred children save money every week and sometimes also withdraw the same to help their parents, pay school fees or buy books for study.
  • We also organised two days residential camp for child labour children in July. The objective was to create awareness among them about the issues of child labour, child rights and child safety and also to motivate them to go to school and complete their education. The programme was participated by 60 children from the city.
  • In July we had conducted fairs for Adolescent boys and girls with different interactive and innovative activities which was attended by 94 boys and 47 girls respectively.
  • Many schools and colleges across the state invite Shaishav to orient their children about the issues of child protection and child rights. Responding to one such invitation a team of Shaishav visited Vivekanand college of Bhavnagar and provided information about the organisation and contemperory issues on child protection to 90 students of the college.
  • Our community development team conducted training on child rights for Child Protection Committee members of two wards which was participated by 78 adults and children.
  • In August we conducted two leadership camps for newly elected council members of Balsena which was attended by 87 children.
  • In August we celebrate Rakshabandhan festival. This festival is to strengthen love between sitsters and brothers. All girls tie a Rakhi – a decorated string/belt on their brothers’ writst and brothers give gifts to the sisters. The notion of the festival is to make brothers responsible to protect sisters and respect the sister – brother relationship. This year our Balsena children celebrated the festival in a very unique way. They tied string to the trees of Victoria Park garden and took oath to protect the trees and thus environment of the city.
  • Balsena Vice President Jayesh Jadav participated in a National level programme of Children Parliament organised by Nine is Mine organisation in Delhi in August.
  • Shaishav also particiapted in a day long National workshop organised by Stop Child Labour Platform.

Thus this quarter was full of multiple activities – election, trainings, participation in various programmes and our own internal seminars and fairs.

Thus our journey is going on with all sorts of events and adventures. And we continue to get support and cooperation from the people and well wishers of Shaishav. We thank all of them who are with us in our journey.


Thank you

Create A Safe Space for Children

Shaishav as it means ‘childhood’  in local Gujarati and some other Indian languages , works to protect childhood of disadvantaged children of Bhavnagar city and other children of the state as well. Our programmes are focused on prevention of child rights and child protection so that the children can develop to their utmost potential and become a sensible and responsible citizens of the nation. We have adopted an approach of making children themselves leaders and address the issues pertaining to their lives. Balsena  - children’s community based collectives and Tarunsena – community based collectives of youth are at the fore front teams conducting various activities for deprived children in community areas of the city.

In the quarter of March – May 2016 Shaishav organised multiple activities for its Balsena and Tarunsena members.

  • UNICEF has awarded Shaishav for providing technical assistance to some of the UNICEF partner organizations. Thus Shaishav conducted number of trainings for those organizations of Gujarat where in 417 adult village volunteer team member and 2154 children of total five grass root organizations acquired trainings on child rights, right to protection and right to education. Children also enjoyed various activities in child fairs organised in collaboration with the host organizations.
  • Similarly an exclusive training on project method learnings was organised for the teams of Dahod, Gujarat based organisation ‘Adhar’.
  • Tarunsena along with other Shaishav team members organised Balmela (fun fair for children) for Gram Seva Trust, Navasari Gujarat. The theme of the fair was focused on child rights and science where in 955 children of Navasari district learned some basic concepts and theories of science through simple yet interesting games.
  • Shaishav conducted training on child rights for High School children at Bhavnagar which was attended by 58 children.
  • A training cum awareness program arranged at Ahmedabad on 'Child Sex Abuse' with the help of Prerna Trust, Mumbai was organised on 4th February and 43 adult facilitators participated from different organizations of Gujarat.
  • Apart from trainings of other organizations and community people and children Shaishav also puts its consistent efforts for capacity building of its team members. In order to provide exposure to national level forums the organisation provided opportunity to eight team members and tarunsena volunteer to participate in National Symposium on Gender on 8-9th March at Vadodara.
  • Similarly other two team members of Shaishav participated in National Consultation on Adolescent Health on 10-12 March at Karmasad.
  • Nevertheless an intensive training on self defense ‘Wenlido was organised exclusively for women team members of the organisation during 3rd and 4th April.
  • 10 member of Tata Institute of Social Science visited Shaishav during last week of March.
  • Shaishav organised self-defense 'Wenlido' training for 128 Adolescent girls in March.
  • ‘Balsena’ the children’s collective organised various activities in different cities every week during this period including trainings on child rights, Right to Protection, Science fair, Adolescent Training, Exposure Visit to the city, Celebration of Holi festival, orientation for examination preparation for school going children, meetings, Safety Walks etc. in which over 2000 members of Balsena had participated.
  • Our community programme team organised 2 days camp for working children (labour) to motivate them for education.
  • Celebrating Worlds Womens Day, Shaishav organised an interactive session with one of the famous Gynecologists of the city Dr. Lata Shah exclusively for adolescent girls and women of the city. Dr. Shah gave some basic information about womens health and hygiene. She also cleared queries of participants.
  • The Child Helpline team of Shaishav solved 52 cases of varied issues of children in last three months. All these cases were having different issues including shelter, medical treatment, school admission, Abuse, counseling, ---- etc.
  • Balsena team organised co-operative life skill game fair for two schools of Bhavnagar and 375 children of 1st to 8th std. had participated in this training in April.
  • Shaishav organised public awareness programme on 30th April National anti-child labour day at important place main market --- of Bhavnagar and address the public about the issue, distributed pamphlets and conducted Sign. Campaign. The Programme was successful and highlighted in local Television channels as well.
  • In April and May the organisation conducted summer camps to utilize summer vacation of school children for creative learnings. Total 228 children of the city participated in two camps.
  • In addition exclusive sessions for adolescents were organised in which the participants were given orientation about ‘online safety’, personal safety and counseling for examinations.

Thus this period was more on capacity building of Shaishav’s team as well as teams of partner organizations of UNICEF, some other organizations and also for children themselves.


Thank you all for your encouraging and persistent support


"He who teaches children, learns more than they do"

-- German Proverb

Rightly said. Shaishav as an organization has continuously learned from the children we got engaged with. Children has taught us the things which no books, academics and intellectuals have. Children ask questions that even a wise man cannot answer. We at Shaishav has always find way and means to fulfil their curiosity and unrelenting desire to learn new things.

Shaishav means a “Childhood”. It is an age of dreams, desires, energy and thoughts. It is our vision to create a society where each child achieves the potential they born with, and becomes an independent and socially responsible citizen. Shaishav started its work with children, particularly an underprivileged in the slums and outskirts of Bhavnagar. It was aimed to bring the best out of these children and fulfil their educational and vocational needs through activities and continuous engagement with them. Eventually, this engagement resulted in a “Balsena” collective of the children, for the children and by the children. Balsena was formally formed in 2004, inaugurated by renowned activist Ms.Elaben Bhatt. Since, then Balsena has evolved and more than 10000 children have been members of collective. The objective behind forming this collective was to ensure all the rights to children.

In January 2016, Shaishav organized a National Consultation for Children Collectives, a 4 days residential workshop in Ahmedabad, where 67 children and 38 child rights activists participated from 19 voluntary organizations from 10 states. Entire 4 days schedule was filled with various activities. Various leading child rights activists and academics gave an inaugural speeches and share their thoughts and experiences. This was followed by main events and sessions comprising motivational stories, fun filled activities and games. It was organized to bring all the collectives under one roof and develop the friendship and solidarity, to discuss and understand the prevailing situation in respect of the rights to children and identify the challenges.

National Consultation Objectives :

i)         To learn and share about best practices of Children’s Collectives.

ii)         To understand the process of strengthening the Children’s Collectives, its Leadership & Team Building process, structure and decision making processes.

iii)         To learn how the process of Children’s Collectives impact lives of children, their families, Communities and society at large.

iv)         To teach children to write about their history/ document the Process.

v)         To understand how to sustain the process of Children’s Collectives when children grow older/move out.


It was proposed to create a network of these collectives to share the learnings and work towards policy advocacy for child participation and other issues related to child rights and child protection.



On 3rd and 10th January, 2016, Shaishav Balsena organized seminars for adolescent boys and girls in the campus of Vidyavihar School respectively. The former was presided by a veteran columnist and literate Prof. Gaurang Jani. The seminars saw the presence of 255 adolescent boys from 8 schools and 13 areas of Bhavnagar district along with 412 adolescent girls from 11 schools and 13 areas of Bhavnagar district respectively. The seminars provided training on safety and self-defense, online security and privacy, importance of role model, friendship and body mapping. The topics were emphasized using films and documentaries, group discussion and poster presentation. Our chief guest then provided scientific and biological perspective to the problems faced by our adolescents in daily life.

Balsena Divas (Annual function of Balsena) was organized on 27th December, 2015 at B.M. Commerce High School. The program included volunteers from 'Tera Mera Run' for the half marathon (21km), who have also raised funds through half marathon in 13 different cities. The volunteers showed their support in the rally for Child rights. The children were supposed to create various utility and creative items using inexpensive and easily available items. The afternoon session was held for parents of the children that included seminar on children education, rights of children, panchayati raj etc. in the presence of our esteemed guest Shri Rajeshbhai Bhatt, a senior activist and founder of SUPATH organisation in Ahmedabad. Moreover, all the 137 parents undertook a small exercise of rating their children's schools in terms of maintaining child friendly environment in the schools. The event would not have been successful without the able support of Shri Paresh Trivedi (Faculty, B.M. Commerce), helpline volunteers from Bhuj, Vadodara, Mandvi etc. and MSW volunteers from J.K. Ram College.

Apart from such exiting events, number of trainings and other activities were conducted for skill development and awareness generation of children. These activities included –

  • Balsena team conducted child rights audit through children of community themselves to identify the areas and issues affecting child safety and child protection in their community areas and schools. About 1000 children participated for this.
  • Trainings for self development, team work, child rights audit to be done in schools and community areas by children, craft, self defense (for girls specially). This had covered
  • Moreover, children were carried out to visit local places of the city and learn about the same through this exposure visit.  
  • We conducted several trainings in tribal areas of Gujarat to generate awareness on the issues related to child rights and child protection. This includes Training of Trainers for partner organizations of UNICEF in Jambughoda, Ambaji and few other tribal areas of the state which benefited 68 participants of these organizations.
  • Besides, the CRTRC (Child Rights Training Resource Center) team also organized workshops and seminars for students in rural area for awareness generation and leadership training which covered 1456 children.
  • The CRTRC team also conducted trainings for children and adolescents about making creative things and energy efficient things at home like solar cooker which were participated by 125 girls and boys of different age group.
  • Our community team conducted door to door visits in 20 community areas in order to collect data of non school going children, child labour (both school going as well as non school going), children engaged at minor age. Nevertheless the team also submitted a petition to the district collector about the issues of local areas.
  • Our team working on the child help line conducted awareness generation meetings about child protection and child helpline service and covered 267 teachers, 395 parents and 10346 children of nearly 50 schools through this activity.


We thank you all for the persistent support and encouragement. 


As usual the activities in Shaishav never gets dried up as the monsoon in this part of the country. In fact there has been a multifold of activities took placed during the month of October and November.

In last week of October, Shaishav’s community team organized a residential camp in Bhavnagar for 38 child laborers, aged from as young as 8 years to 18 years. The main objective for organizing the event was to make them aware about the importance of education and to convince them to connect with preferably formal education or at least some kind of informal education. They were also given proper understating about all the basic rights through films, games and activities. The children were asked to prepare a drama wherein they themselves displayed how difficult circumstances they were passing through at their work places. They also discovered about some hazardous work which can cause severe damage to their health and risk their future. Children also expressed how badly elders use to behave with them. Towards the end of the two day program, children were asked to draw a dream tree, wherein they articulated their desires of life.

During first week of November, 15 senior team members from Shaishav, along with 7 Tarunsena members and 6 Balsena children embarked on their week-long study tour of few organization in Rajasthan. They visited Tilonia, MKSS, Loktantra Shala, Sewamandir, Shikshantar and Swaraj University. The team members closely observed and overviewed various activities and programs and understood the operations of these institutions. The tour provided a new vision and perspective to effectively improve on their performance. 

Shaishav is currently a convener of Child Right Collective – Gujarat (CRCG). CRCG is a group of citizens and organizations committed to realizing the basic rights of children. In India, including in Gujarat, the child rights movement has evolved considerably since 1992. Organizations and sensitive citizens who shared the same views against child labour created a network to work in unison and to campaign against child labour and for the protection of other basic rights of children. The focus was on increasing awareness on the issue of child labour and its specific nature in Gujarat. The objectives of these efforts were to directly ensure the protection of children’s rights and to advocate at both the state and national levels to strengthen and stimulate relevant policies. Secondary objectives of the CRC-G included improving the level of participation amongst members, bringing the voice of children into policy debates and improving co-ordination between child rights organizations operating in Gujarat. Essentially, this would provide the child rights movement with a clear direction and a comprehensive identity (at the state level).

As a key contributor to the child rights movement, the CRC-G has organized various initiatives to increase awareness about children’s rights amongst the people of different communities in Gujarat. These activities include drives to enroll child laborers into schools and educational and recreational camps for working children, focused campaigns on girl child laborers, raising public interest litigation cases in the State High Court, sensitizing government and social protection bodies to the issue, and increasing awareness through the media. This continuous and diverse effort has yielded a positive impact on child welfare on both the state and national stages.

A number of organizations working with children in Gujarat have formed children’s collectives. The strength, form, participation and levels at which these collectives raise children’s issues varies. One thing that both UNICEF – Gujarat and the CRC-G feel strongly about is that efforts of the collectives are scattered and disjointed with limited learning and interaction in between individual collectives. This is not unlike the situation that existed for Child Rights Organizations in Gujarat before the formation of the CRC-G. Additionally, there are many national level forums such as the Campaign against Child Labour or the Right to Education Forum, seeking to address various children’s issues. However, like the CRC-G, representatives at these forums are adults which sometimes results in the views of children being diluted, inadequately heard or conveyed and in the worst case entirely lost.

This led to the idea of bringing these collectives under one umbrella and forming a state level forum for children. In essence, a body like the CRC-G but for children. This will ensure an optimum level of participation and enable children to directly and more effectively raise their concerns. Such a forum will afford children the chance of learning about the issues children face and what they are doing in other parts of Gujarat. Subsequently, they will work collectively to identify best practices and adapt these to the needs of their communities and use the experience to strengthen their own advocacy efforts. Given an appropriate platform, the CRC-G firmly believes that children can raise their voices more vibrantly, effectively and truthfully alongside adults.

The idea resulted in a four days long residential workshop, which was organized from 21st to 26th November 2015 at St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad. 44 boys and 46 girls from diverse background but mostly underprivileged, along with 34 team members and volunteers from 16 organizations from 12 districts of Gujarat, took part in the entire process. The age group of the children was between 12 to 16 years. It was ensured that the same children will attend the entire process to maintain consistency and participation. The entire process is planned in three intervals which is expected to be concluded in May 2016.

The first 4-day session began by giving all children a chance to share the nature, work and experiences of their own collectives. This led to the second stage which entailed bringing all children up to the same level in terms of their knowledge about children’s rights (in particular education, participation and protection), their violations and possible measures to ensuring rights. The final part of the session focused on informing the children and adults about the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the SDGs (in particular those that directly relate to children). Discussing the local realities of issues addressed by relevant goals, children identified (in broad terms) the gaps between their current situation and the suggested goal. They were also engaged on how to collect information on the gaps that have been identified during the session.

The children spent the time in between sessions to collect, document and debate data on different issues in the communities; meeting once at the midway point to ensure the process is running smoothly and to maintain interest. They also identified in more detail the mismatch between their current situation and their targets, share their experiences of the process so far and learn about how to effectively analyze their data during the mid-way session.

The final session was focused on analyzing and then sharing the information collected which was then presented by the children. Finally children created an Action Plans for both the local and the state levels. They were involved identifying overlapping themes and recurring issues and work collectively to create an action plan addressing common issues. They then presented their plans for execution which will be done with their individual collectives (at the local level) and as a “state level collective of collectives” at the state level. The entire process was very fulfilling and joyful not only for children but also for adults accompanied them. On the concluding day children went for an exposure visit to Gandhi Ashram and Science Museum.

We thank you all for the persistent support and encouragement. 


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Organization Information

Shaishav Child Rights

Location: Bhavnagar, Gujarat - India
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Parul Sheth
Executive Director
Bhavnagar, Gujarat India
$32,395 raised of $50,000 goal
345 donations
$17,605 to go
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