Home, Education and Careers
The first quarter of 2012 left us having to fulfill all the demands of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) under the Juvenile Justice Act. The CWC required us to make a number of design adjustments to our home. They also asked us to apply for a license to run the home. So the work quarter ended with us doing a lot of paperwork to submit to the CWC.
We heard back from the CWC in July. As expected they refused us a license because the boys and the girls are living in the same building. They have however given us time to redesign our home and separate the building for the boys from the girls. We are now raising funds to build new infrastructure.
The effort invested in career counseling has shown results. This year has seen many of our youngsters settle in to jobs and training programs.
Three of our young adults (Priyanka, Suman and Saurabh) settled into new jobs. Priyanka is looking after children in an NGO. Suman is working in a beauty parlor and Saurabh is working as a computer operator for a private company. Laxmi who had found a job as a cook with a restaurant, moved out of our campus and started living independently. Priyanka and Suman also started living independently since July.
Ruby and Basant got admission at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Delhi for vocational training. Ruby chose screen-printing and book binding while Basant went for food processing and baking. They will start their training in October.
One of our boys (Deepak) who wanted to study art, managed to get admission in an art school in Modinagar. This is a four-year residential course and the school will sponsor some part of his expenses, we are now trying to raise further funds to meet the rest of the costs.
Our five special need children have joined a school called Shurya in August. Each of them will get individual attention in the school and where they will be trained to become self-sufficient and to start earning a livelihood by doing handicraft related jobs. We are still looking for more financial support for them as the monthly fee per child is Rs.6000 and the weekly transport costs are Rs.5000
Eight children in the 11th and 12th classes have started extra tuitions in the science subjects.
Monsoons have always been a tough season in terms of health issues. A large number of mosquitoes in the area and associated illnesses always take a tough toll on us.
A number of children came down with viral fever and malaria in the moths of August and September after the monsoons. Four of them (Mahua, Vipin, Vikranta, Ruby) had to be hospitalized. Two of them needed platelets transfusion and ICU care too. The others (Anmol, Rajkumar, Jitender, Abdul, Bharat) had to go to Sarvodaya hospital in Faridabad for treatment. All the required extra care and precautions were taken to help them regain their health. Now they have all recovered well.
All our children were screened for general health issues at the Medical camp organized by the Govt primary health centre Khedi kalan village and from the Government hospital in Faridabad.
Six of our children who had participated in a theatre workshop in June had a big performance at the IHC. The theme was ‘Space for children in our society’.
We held a workshop for newspaper bag making, paper mache and kite paper work at Shurya where our special children go for training. The disabled children there were quick to pick up new handicraft skills and were soon executing some of our designs. This is part of the exchange/outreach program in skill training that we are trying out at Shurya.
Our aging bus, which had been giving us trouble for quite some time now was finally repaired. The children are all going to school in it now.
Child welfare department conducted an awareness workshop on how to run children’s home and follow the JJ act (Juvenile Justice Act). Amrinder and Pooja represented Karm Marg in August.
A Sensitization program for child care institutions and women shelter homes was conducted by the Women and Child Development department of Haryana under the JJ act. The theme of the workshop was ‘How to implement rules and regulation and effective work in all NGO’s under the Juvenile Justice Act’. Amrinder attended the meeting for all NGOs at the Araya Kanya Sadan in September too.
Our board members and close friends are also visiting the campus more regularly to interact with the children.
Our Organic vegetables garden is growing well. We had grown nine types of vegetables in summer this year.
Our new manager Amrinder joined us in the last week of July.
Our alumna Shabila has taken on the job of the night warden and Shakuntla joined us as the daytime care-taker for the children. Vijay also joined us as a bus driver in August.
Islamuddin our driver and Sudha our warden, decided to move on in July for personal reasons.
Vijay a volunteer from Faridabad, is helping us with costing and stock entry at our production unit. He works for a local corporate house and will be helping out with the marketing of our products.
Ranjit our alumni conducted a workshop on making artistic things out of waste for our children.
We participated in Dastkar Nature Bazar, Bangalore in August for 10 days and exhibited our new range of products for the first time. We had a great response and were pleased with the popularity and patronage Jugaad continues to get.
Since August we have been focusing on production of the best selling products for the upcoming exhibitions in October.
We started working with Mountain Travel, travel agency. We are making bags for each of their European clients and they are also collecting donations for us.
We collected over $5000 online through Global Giving website and now have a permanent listing on their website as a bonafide NGO. This is a great start and we plan to use this platform more in the future. The money will be used towards building the new infrastructure.
In the upcoming festival season we have decided to send a token gift from our new product range to all our generous donors as a mark of our appreciation of their support.
We plan to start a bakery unit in December which will be run by our children with special needs.
We met a couple in August from Auroville, in Pondicherry, who run a bakery in the traditional way with a wood fired oven. They will be helping us to design and construct our oven which will run on both gas and wood. They are trying out a new prototype which they will bring to KM if it is successful.
Needs and Challenges
Going ahead, we are in urgent need of funds to build new infrastructure for our home. This will allow us to house more staff and separate the living quarters of the boys from the girls as per the CWC requirements.
We are also looking for support for our disabled children. The individual training they have started undergoing is expensive, but necessary for their future wellbeing.
Inflation is still giving us a hard time. The Govt. has increased the price of electricity, water, diesel, petrol and cooking gas which in turn impacts the cost of everything else like food, rations etc. We are trying to reduce our running costs as much as possible and to increase self sustainability through growing our own vegetables and other efforts.
Given the inflation, it is challenging for us to retain our staff with the current salary structure. Our remote location, and associated transport costs make it difficult to retain good staff and volunteers.
Times are tough but our enthusiasm is as high as ever and with the support of all our well-wishers, we continue to believe in ourselves and hope for the best………………….
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