New Delhi - July - September 1996
SHOBHA, STREAM OF CONFIDENCE AND DETERMINATION
Looking back into the past few years of Shobha's life. This girl was struggling against the social norms of society. Breaking the shackless of the conventional society was no easy job for this promising girl. The most memorable day was the day when she cam in contact with "Deepam" - a Nukkad group of Deepalaya PLAN Project. This connection gave a new meaning and direction to her life.
The girl who stood mute to see her father turning a drunkard in early eyars is now able to express her anger against 'alcoholism' in various plays presented by "Deepam". She fondly remebers her father whom she lost five years back.
She came in contact with Deepalaya when she was studying in 8th standard in a local M.C.D school. She joined Deepalaya's guidance centre where instructors help the underprivileged children from slums in their studies. Simultaneously she cam ein contact with "Deepam" group which till then had no female member in their gorup, but despite hostile attitude of her family and neighbours she took courage to be the first girl member of this group. Infact she opened the doors for the other girls who were equally inclined in acting. She has then moved one step ahead, by writing skit on social issues like dowry, child rights and gender equality.
At present she while managing her studies extend a helping hand to her mother in household chores and she teachers children at Deepalaya's Remedial Education Centre. In the evenings she helps the children from neighbour also. Neighbours who one day use to retort for her progressive thoughts today have only words of appreciation for htis nineteen year old girl. Infact she was the first girl in the P-Block of Raghubir Nagar cluster to join a college. Though in her initial days, she did have a feeling of inferiority but slowly her friendly and helping attitude won her many friends.
Today she has a dream, she wants to be known as a theatre personality and quite rightly so she has already some successful productions behind her. She has given performances at Shimla, Nainital and Delhi. Recently she was given a chance to work with one of the C.P.C's production 'Savera' which is shortly to be telecast on Doordarshan. Her response to a query about Deepalaya intervention in her life was "Deepalaya Intervention has transformed my life of tears and suffering into smiles and happiness".
Unlike ohter public schools of the city, Deepalaya school presents an atmosphere bustling with activities during summer vacations. Around 200 children from all the classes spend 3 to 4 hours daily at the school learning book binding, dramatics, embroidery, handicrafts, mask & pupper making and many other creative faculties.
"I am atleast learning something for my own, I can now bind my own books", was young Vishwajit's reply, a student of VII-B. He has no regrets attending these classes when most of his friends are spending their vacations playing and wandering. Rinku another child from Deepalaya, who aspires to be an engineer, transcribed his imagination of the fascinating world of animals into the canvas. He was proud to show it to every one.
Teachers engaged in the hoppy classes, pointed out that these classes not only help them to nurture their vocational faculties but also promote closer personal bond with these children.
ENVIRONMENT DAY CELEBRATION
Lush green forests and ridges are transformed into concrete jungles, vehicles emiting poisonous smoke and the polluted air hovers over the metros, threaten the very survival of living beings. We celebrate fifth of June every year as "World Environment Day" to voice our concern for the deteriorating ecology Deepalaya's Phase-In Project chose a unique method to express their concern by organising a cycle rally by the youth groups through areas of Shalimar Bagh, Hyderpur, Ashok Vihar, Pitampura, culminating at Rana Pratap Bagh.
Deepalaya's Golekuan Project held a ten day long creative workshop on environmental issues to convey messages on environment protection in an effective manner to the community. This workshop was organised with the financial support of Indian Environment Society. Through the plays the use of grbage bins, Sulabh Sauchalaya, need to keep the surroundings neat and clean etc. were communicated.
At Sanjay Colony and Raghubir Nagar Projects Painting competitions on environment and Rallies were organised. The day was celebrated also by planting trees and saplings at various locations where Deepalaya is working.
UMANG '96-AN INTER NGO CULTURAL FESTIVAL
Love and Care, an NGO working for underprivileged children and women organised Umang '96. It is an avenue for the children and women to display their creative talents. This annual exercise attracted some of the leading NGOs from the capital, where participants compete with each other in debate, drawing & painting, rangoli, folk dance, quiz and such other activities.
Children from Deepalaya di extremely well in drawing, rangoli and folk dance by securing top honours in the competitions. They also won prizes in general knowledge and Mehndi competition.
AMAR JYOTI HEALTH CENTRE, AN OVER VIEW
One could hardly have imagined that what began initially with free distribution of medicine, would take the shape of "Amar Jyoti Health Centre" which has completed its first year of existence.
It was the effort of members of 10 C.B.O's from Raghubir Nagar slum cluster fostered by Deepalaya which saw the birth of Amar Jyoti. These mobilizing community contribution from the users so that in days to come when Deepalaya phases out Amar Jyoti continues to function and provide much needed health services to the community. Infact each individual registered as the member of this health centre is paying a token amount to the health centre regularly. Such registrants are issued an identity card.
During the past one year the activities of Amar Jyoti has made families in the community much more sensitive towards health issues such as family planning, immunisation, pre and post-natal care and most importantly tuberculosis.
Amar Jyoti also organises dental camp and baby shows at a regular intervals. Amar Jyoti has been able to create linkages with local government hospitals and Family Planning Association of India. It has helped Amar Jyoti to educate the community on means of family planning which includes sterilisation, copper T, use of contraceptives as also means to contain tuberculosis.
On an average 40 patients are treated daily by visiting doctors. The visiting medical practitioner has traine dladies from the community as trained health workers. Amar Jyoti became an important land mark of Development for people of Raghubir Nagar.
The event which had in yester years some of the renowned painters dedicating their canvases, accomplished dancing duo Raja and Radha Reddy dedicating their performance, this year was endowed by the presence of Padma Bhushan Sonal Man Singh, an accomplished danseuse.
Air Force Auditorium was the venue for this years Kala-arpan, which was held on 18th May '96. The event was, once again, able to draw the children from slums, distinguished audience, scribes and reputed artist together under the same roof, thus creating a conducive setting of harmony and understanding among the various classes.
The evening commenced with an invocation by the children from Deepalaya with 'Ganga Stuti' followed by brief welcome speech by Mr.T.K.Mathew, Secretary & Chief Executive. He introduced Deepalaya and its role in alleviation ofharsh conditions faced by children in the slums.
Sonal Man Singhji's performance begun with the 'DASHAVTARA" depicting the various incarnation Vishnu had assumed to protect the Good over the Evil. Finally "KALURI BENTA" drawn from a popular Oriya folk tale about the crow and its greed, was what attracted wide applause from children and adults alike. Her informal eloquence created a close rapport with the audience specially the younger ones.
DEEPALAYA CHILDREN ON T.V.TALK SHOW
A well known channel, namely Home T.V invited Deepalaya to participate in a T.V.Talk Show on a very sensitive issue of 'Child Labour'. This is an issue based 30 minutes programme on 'Air with Mallika' being anchored by Mallika Sara Bhai.
Over the years Deepalaya has successfully prevented thousands of childrne from economically weaker section from falling into the4 vicious circle of 'Child Labour' by spreading light of education among the children and empowering their family.
Some of the participating children who were taken out of 'Child Labour' narrated their compulsions and hazardous work atmosphere they are subjected to. They also felt employers are mainly responsible for growth of child labour since they prefer children since they can be less paid for similar output.
More and more of such programme should be telecast to create awareness about growing 'Child Labour' problem in the country.
NATIONAL OPEN SCHOOL
Learning without frontiers is the unique feature of National Open School. Set up in 1989 by Government of India Ministry of Human Resource Development, this rpocess of education opens window for learning even to a person living in the remotest corner of our country.
mission of NOS is universalization of education and special
attention is given to educate of girls, women, rural youth,
working men and women, SC/ST, Handicapped and other disadvantaged
group. The main objective of this programme is to:
- Advance and disseminate learning and knowledge by a diversity of means (Books, Peers, Media etc.)
- Provide opportunities for higher education to a large segment of population.
- Promote educational well being of people.
- Vocationalisation of education.
After years Research and development study materials have been developed by NOS which are self learning modules. These modules are provided to students as they seek admissions for different course, without the stereotype compulsions of Science, Humanities, Commerce etc.
A nation wide network of Accredited Institution and Regional Centres Co-ordinate the process of enrollment, coaching and examination for these students.
It leads to middle or elementary education and serves as a foundation course for joining the secondary level courses in NOS.
SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAMME
This programme is offered to those who are desirous of completing 10th level education leading to Secondary School Certificate.
SENIOR SECONDARY PROGRAMME
This programme is designed for those who have passed 10th standard or equivalent and would like to continue their education for 12th standard. This programme leads to Senior Secondary School Certificate.
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMME
NOS offers several Vocational programmes independently or in combination with the academic subjects in Secondary and Senior Secondary Courses.
LIFE ENRICHMENT PROGRAMME
NOS proposes to offer a number of 'Life enrichment Programmes' addressed to teachers, principals of schools as well as general public including executives in public and private sector enterprises.
DUAL ENROLMENT AND PART CREDIT PROGRAMMES
Under this programme a candidate who is studying in a regular shcool or who has already passed Secondary/Senior Secondary or any other higher course from any Board/University can opt for one or more subjects onlyu, as per his/her choice to update knowledge and his/her educational qualification. On passing, such a candidate will be issued only the mark sheet. No other certificate will be issued to such a candidate.
Deepalaya is one such Accredited Institution which provides access to a large number of candidates living in the slums of Delhi.
NOS projects in Deepalaya started in 1992 with 500 students but today strength has increased to nearly 1000 students in Secondary and Senior Secondary level. Now total number of girls has risen significantly with Deepalaya encouraging more and more girl students to join the project. Deepalaya also conducts contact programmes for the candidates appearing for the examinations and gives financial assitance to the students from weaker sections to meet their cost of study materials.