Toybank reaches out to address the developmental needs of under-privileged children living in rural Maharashtra by establishing and maintaining local play centres where they interact with peers their age and experience the joy of learning through educational toys, games and activities. As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds, new #PlayatHome programmes are being deployed to support the educational development and mental health of these children in social isolation
Children born into poverty are often deprived of their right to a childhood, instead working long hours in hazardous, poorly paid jobs to contribute to family income, or caring for siblings. A 2007 study conducted by India's ministry of women and child development found that 53% are subjected to some form of abuse or violence. 1 in 10 children in India are affected by delays in developmental milestones and 1 in 5 are likely to grow up and suffer from anxiety, depression and drug abuse.
Toybank have a clear stated purpose of addressing the developmental needs of under-privileged children through games, toys and play. Downloadable play sheets bridge learning gaps and keep children distracted from the mental burden of economic hardships and lack of attention from parents working long hours. The opportunities provided at Toybank playcentres are designed to ensure that children develop good habits and essential life skills such as critical thinking, team work and leadership.
Learning through play focuses on the early stages of child development. It fosters mental well being, incubates hope and allows kids to laugh and dream. It helps them to gain confidence, think strategically, play collaboratively and consider others. These are key building blocks for a child's development and future success.