Children  India Project #27847

Transform childhoods of 500 slum children in India

by Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA) Vetted since 2015 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Site Visit Verified
Children
Children's discussion on International Women's Day

International Women’s Day

8th March, 2018

Ambujwadi

 “Extremists have shown what frighten them the most: a girl with a book.” – Malala Yousafzai, youngest Noble Peace Prize winner

 To commemorate the International Women’s Day on 8th March celebrating the cultural, political and social achievements of women the world over, a program was organized by the children and youth groups for the women in Ambujwadi. The International Women’s day theme for 2018 was Press for Progress. The International community gave a call to press for gender parity and push forward for equality.

Bal Adhikar Sangarsh Sangatan (BASS) and Nakshatra girls group of Malwani Yuva Parishad jointly organized a half day program for the women of the community. Women’s day cards were made and distributed to all the anganwadi teachers, parents and others. The hall was decorated with pictures of women Chawla, Medha Patkar, Indira Gandhi, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, Rani Lakskmi Bai, Savitri Bai Phule and others. A description of each of them was written for all to read. The program commenced with a welcome address by Sumati from YUVA, who wished everyone a very happy Women’s day.

Followed by this was a short health session by the doctors from KEM health post, who spoke about women’s health and the importance for them to care for themselves first, in order to have a healthy family. They encouraged the women to think and aspire big, and told them that nothing can stop them from doing great things. A children’s group performed a welcome dance in the form of a short enactment with a message of gender equality.

Girls and women were asked to share experiences from their lives when they had obstacles, yet managed to overcome them and achieve big things. A session of song and dance concluded the event and the message of women empowerment went home.

Girls and women
Girls and women's program
Children
Children's draw there need & wants

72.5% of the population living in M-east ward lives in slums. The ward has the lowest Human Development Index in the city. The ward not only houses various slums but is also home to resettlement colonies, comprising of people living in slums from different parts of the city who have been rehabilitated here.

Lallubhai Compound with a human density of 653 persons/acre is one such resettlement colony located in the M-east ward of the city. This colony is located near a garbage incinerator, slaughter house and an open drain surrounding the community.

The lack of basic amenities and unsanitary living conditions back the claim that such communities are invisible for the administration. Invisibility of such communities are an impediment in accessing rights by people living here.

Keeping this in mind it was felt necessary by YUVA to educate children about their rights mandated by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and guaranteed by the Constitution of India.

A workshop with 68 children (age group 12-16) from Lallubhai Compound was organised in this regards. During this workshop the children were informed of their rights as mandated by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The rights mandated through 52 articles were divided into 4 rights i.e. Right to Survival; Right to Development; Right to Participation and Right to Protection.

Along with education the children about their rights the workshop also focused on government systems that are created for ensuring the deliverance of these rights to each and every child. Systems such as Childline, Child Welfare Committee, Juvenile Justice Board and laws drafted for protection of rights such as Right to Education.             

       Workshop on Gender Justice

Making playgrounds accessible and safe for girls is one of the major initiative taken up by the children in lallubhai Compound. At the same time their daily interactions are reflective of gendered stereotypes that are ingrained in them since childhood. Thus a workshop aiming at challenging these stereotypes was initiated with the members of the group leaders  

The session began with differentiating between sex and gender; one that is natural and the other that is acquired through socialisation. Making children comfortable about their body parts and to overcome the inhibitions around talking about one's body parts were done through an activity wherein the children were asked to draw male and female bodies.

Once the fact that attributes linked to masculinity and femininity were socially constructed the discussion around day to day interactions between male and female began. The discussion for the children was relatable because it was around relationships that they are in like that of a mother and child (both male and female), among friends, brother and sister and in romantic relationships.

Writing there views
Writing there views
Intern with Children & Office Staff
Intern with Children & Office Staff

Recently, I joined an NGO named YUVA (Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action) as an intern. Being in the second year of my Bachelors in management studies, I originally joined here because I needed work experience for my resume. YUVA has a lot of child resource centres (CRCs) located in various parts of Mumbai and actively works for the child rights. Lately I was given a responsibility to take an interview of the staff working for the CRC located in Lallubhai compound, one of the large slums in Mankhurd. 

The questions that I asked were related to the work that the staff had been doing, the facilities that they were providing the children, the difficulties that they faced and the change that they made. One of the most important topic was about the reason why the kids and especially girls of Lallubhai compound needed help and development.

The information and response that I got was a true eye opener and I could actually see the dark reality behind the glamourous and happening life of Mumbai. Me along with another intern, spent some time with children over there, talked to them and clicked pictures and selfies. It was surprising to know how intelligent these kids were but had lack of resources and a good lifestyle. There was absolutely no safety for the kids, especially girls who didn’t step out of the house after noon. We could see how difficult their lives were, but were still happier than most of the rich families. The kids loved coming to the CRC as they could learn more, spend time with their friends and most of all, because they felt safe and were given a large amount of freedom. We came to know a lot more about the problems of the children’s households and daily life problems. It was a really good initiative from YUVA’s side as helping the kids and the people was not an easy task and had a lot of challenges. After the interview, we became aware of all the provisions and activities that YUVA had been undertaking and they had actually made a huge impact.

Before that day, all I knew about Mumbai was the tall buildings and luxury. I did have some idea about the slums and the problems that the lower section of the society faced, but I never thought that I would get to see the harsh reality so closely and I’m thankful to YUVA for giving me this opportunity and letting me explore the inside of the city that I’ve been living in, since 12 years of my life. So yes, I had originally joined here because I needed work experience, but I have got to learn a lot more than I expected and this is the most insightful experience of my life.

Oorja Sharma

 

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Organization Information

Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA)

Location: Navi Mumbai - India
Website: http:/​/​www.yuvaindia.org
Project Leader:
Roshni Nuggehalli
Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra India

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