On the 24th of April after a long wait we finally got the license to continue to run our home. This is a major achievement for Karm Marg as it means that we can now help more children.
This quarter has been one of new beginnings at Karm Marg. A new beginning for the children we were able to take in, a new beginning for the staff that have joined us and a new beginning for all of us together. We look to grow further from here, over the days and weeks to come with the help of all our supporters.
Total no. of children at home – 31 ( 17 boys and 14 girls)
Youth (above 18) For skill training and studies – 4 (1 boy and 3 girls)
In May Rihana, Sanjana and Shabana were sent to us for short term stays by the CWC.
All three of them are from Jharkhand and had been rescued by the police from homes where they were being forced to do domestic labor. They have a number of behavior problems because of the trauma they have suffered and will need lots of counseling and attention in the days to come. Sanjana has been rehabilitated with her parents in the beginning of June.
We got permission from the CWC to take care of Geeta. She will now stay at Karm Marg till she is 18.
The Boys adjusted well to their new dormitory and are very happy there.
New batteries and an inverter were installed for the boy’s room, so they can have electricity when power is cut off.
June is the month of summer holidays. We have organized regular activities so children can learn new skills and have fun at the same time. Some children went to their homes to meet their parents and relatives. For the children who do not have anywhere else to go, this is a very emotional time and we took extra care of them with lots of workshops, outings and daily chats with them so they don’t miss their families.
As usual we are facing a few problems with adolescent children, especially the boys. They are not taking an interest in their studies or other daily activities. We are counseling then and talking with them regularly.
As per the child welfare guidelines we have formed a child protection committee at the Karm Marg. This committee consists of one child one staff member and one member from the board. The committee’s main duty and responsibility is to ensure the smooth running of the home and to protect children form any kind of abuse. We have always been practicing this at KM since we started, we used to come together every week to discuss all the problems among the children and with the staff openly. Now, as per the government regulations, this committee has been formed, every month a meeting is organized by all the NGOs in our area to discuss the problems and find solutions.
A health camp was organized by a Govt. hospital called “B K Hospital” on the 17th of April. A team of doctors visited the campus, this included an eye doctor, a general physician a gynecologist and a pediatrician. The children received a general health checkup and were given medicines and tonics where needed. The results of the check up were duly recorded in each child’s medical file.
In mid May two doctors form the same hospital visited to control the cleanliness and hygiene in the campus.
An MSc (nutrition and health) student from Manav Rachna University conducted a workshop attended by all the children . The Purpose of this workshop was to help the children understand the importance of health and hygiene and to learn how good health is connected with good hygiene. The also learnt new ways to maintain health and hygiene.
Mahua and Anmol were admitted to Hospital on the 16th of May with high fever. They were diagnosed with Malaria and received the required treatment.
Manu went to Naz foundation for a complete checkup because he was not feeling well.
Pooja, Kusum and Jitender got admitted in the Govt. school after completing their primary level education from a private school. It has been a little difficult for them to adjust to the new atmosphere, but they are now settling in.
Geeta our new girl joined Paramhansa private school in lower KG.
Activities and Celebrations
There were a number of learning activities for the children.
In May Rukshar, Pooja and Babli Participated in a story reading session organized by the Hindustan Times.
Our special children, Anamika, Mahua, Poonam and Raju and Manu built of their cooking skills and learnt new recipes.
Indu and Pooja with the help of Veena organized a series of workshops for the summer holidays.
Abdul, Bharat, Geeta, Pooja, Raju, Rihana and Manu went through vocabulary building exercises. We made our own games out of waste computer keyboards.
More cooking sessions where the children learn how to make Namak pare, sambhar vada, pakodas and salads. Most of the recipes were used ingredients from our vegetable garden.
We had workshops to learn toy making from scrap and embroidery. We also conducted a workshop about handling emotions.
Pooja and Indu helped the children complete their holiday homework.
The ‘Let’s Walk Gurgaon’ group organized a nature walk in the Aravalis that included a trek down to Bhardwaj Lake. The children were treated to a sumptuous lunch, camel rides, singing and dancing. Everyone had lots of fun.
Volunteers and Visitors
Karm Marg had a number of interesting visitors who came with a number of creative ideas and activities for the children.
Ankit Chadha conducted a story telling workshop where the children learned about how to make and tell stories. The children were divided into different age groups and they made up stories, which they shared with their group. They enjoyed the workshop very much and continue to make up stories.
Beate Arnold from Germany stayed with us for two months starting the second half of April. She led a number of fun activities like juggling, sports, trampoline jumping and meditation with the children. She also conducted outdoor sports activities with the children. Beate has a lot of experience with children and she adjusted very well at Karm Marg.
Vidushi, a mass communication student, came to Karm Marg to do her internship. She thought the children how to make finger puppets and how to tell stories with the help of puppets. The children were divided into four groups, each group developing and presenting one story. The children had a lot of fun learnt a lot as well.
Our long time friend Ramavtar came visiting in the second half of June. The children accompanied him into the village and the neighboring areas to learn about the medicinal value of herbs and trees. They learnt how to make Antiseptic creams, eye drops, hair oil, mosquito repellent and digestives (Churans) out of ingredients found on our campus itself.
Ramavtar also helped the children identify the birds in our area. He also told them about their habits, what they eat, what their nests look like, breeding times and how to handle injured birds.
Ramavtar also held a workshop with the older children and our gardener about the benefits of organic and natural farming. He also taught them how to make compost form different kinds of biodegradable waste.
Neha and Jaspreet came to celebrate their son’s birthday at KM.
Khedi villagers organized a lunch for the KM children and on the same day Mr. Mittal from Palwal treated them all to dinner.
Skill training and Jugaad
Laxmi joined Aurobindo Ashram for a vocational course in food processing and baking. She was earlier working at a café in Hauz Khas.
Deepak has completed his first year at art college.
Ruby and Basant got another 6-month extension for their respective training programs in advance course.
Meena from the SOS village, a well know NGO working with children all over India visited us with two of her wards, to learn about adapting the Jugaad model to the SOS village.
A lot of renovation and maintenance work has been done since the beginning of April. We are planning to make more space available for new skill training programs.
We started doing trial runs with our new oven.
Admin and staff
Thomas joined as a music and English teacher. Basic English skills are very important for our children to find jobs in the future. As Thomas is also a music teacher we thought that it would be a good idea for him to teach music to the kids who are interested. He now comes thrice a week two days for English and one day for music.
Pooja and Amrendra (our staff) attended the training session about National tracking system for missing and vulnerable children. The child welfare committee conducts this workshop. KM is registered and has its own home page for this system. The expert team explained the various features and operation of the system. This is a very good initiative by the govt. together with the NGOs they can use the system to trace missing and vulnerable children, to maintain full data about the number of children in each home and prevent any misuse .
Veena visited Europe for fund raising and raising awareness about Karm Marg. She conducted paper bag making workshops at the Capsicum Shop in Amsterdam. She visited Marnix College and interacted with the children who are collecting funds for the higher education and skill training of youth at KM. She interacted with the members of the Soroptimist Club.
In England she visited the Mukti foundation one of our long time supporters. She promoted Jugaad everywhere she went and found new avenues to sell Jugaad products.