New Delhi - October - December 1997
TIPPAN SINGH, SAGA OF AN ENTREPRENEUR
Tippan, ha dto leave studies half way to look after the needs of his family which inlcuded four younger brothers and a sister. He too like other young poeple migrated to Delhi pursuing a dream of a better paid job to transform the fate of his family plagued by acute poverty. In the early stages Tippan worked as a helper in a Hosiery Mills where he acquired basic skills of working on the looms and lived in Golekuan just an other slum cluster dotting the Capital. Tippan, was always apprehensive of job security, as he stood mute at the intimidation and harassment meted out to the workers in the mills. So he made up his mind to start a small hosiery unit in his juggi, but that required investment! He was left perturbed until one day he came to know about 'Deepalaya Rojgar Dhanda Vikas Sangh' a group which was promoted by Deepalaya which encourages entrepreneurs like Tippan.
Tippan says, this was perhaps the gateway to his success, having obtained a loan of Rs.20,000/- from Deepalaya's Entrepreneurship Promotion Group he acquired tow knitting machines. In the beginning it was just he and his younger brother. Today he is not only supporting his home, but he has 8 youths employed from Golekuan slum who are benefited from this small unit. Beside repaying Rs.13,000/- from the borrowed amount, from his earnings he has also invested in buying additional 3 machines.
Tippan is father of three children Rajesh, Prem Lata and Kusum Lata, who are enrolled in education centres run by Deepalaya at Golekuan. His wife, Ranju Devi felt Tippan's success was possible because of his perseverance and above all timely support from Deepalaya.
Today Tippan's family is one among 753 beneficiries who are covered under skill training and income enhancement programme of Deepalaya. In Tippan's words "Yough Tippan Singh from Chapra couldn't have been successful had it not been for the support of Deepalaya and encouragement of Ranju Devi".
Encouraged by this success, Tippan has drawn up plans of setting up a larger unit and give opportunities to more young people, thus making a unit which could be a source of sustenance for more and more families in Golekuan area.
INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY CELEBRATION
Education in a developing country is more than teaching people to read and write. It is the key to personal development and to foster economic, social and cultural well being of societies. After 50 years of Independence with 52% of its population literate, the number of adult illiterates are more than 328 million.
Deepalaya organised a week long Literacy campaigns at project locations which included Poster Competitions, Drawing Competitions and Slogan writing Competitions.
On 8th September '97 the International Literacy Day was observed. Deepalaya's South Delhi Project organised a function to honour the women from the community who have played pivotal role in literacy campaign. Mr.Phillippe Falisse, Attache-Development and Cultural Affairs, (Embassy of Belgium) was the Chief Guest. Addressing the gathering he emphasised the need for freedom from illiteracy and appreciaged the role of Deepalaya in spreading literacy specially among the women. Speaking on the occasion Mr.T.K.Mathew, Chief Executiv & Secretary, Deepalaya underlined the need for considering education as the 'be all and end all". He also mentioned that illiteracy can drive one into the web of exploitation since one is unaware of his rights and would not have the courage and conviction to fight for the rights. A colourful cultural programme was presented on the occasion which included Rajasthani Folk Dance Group songs and a play on literacy.
Literacy day celebration ended with a pledge by all participants to transform Literacy Campaign into a crusade.
FRENCH SCOUTS, VISIT DEEPALAYA
In the moth of July, Deepalaya's South Delhi Project played host to French Scouts, who were on a three week long visit. The group of4 girls who were in the age group 15-18 brought with them the French culture and tradition. During the stay the scouts taught Deepalaya children, French national anthem, Doll Making, Art of Paper Decoration, Facial Make Ups and Scout Knots. Deepalaya counterparts prepared Indian food for the visitors, and taught the visitors steps of Bharatanatyam. For Hellen & Loren putting 'Mehndi' was the best experience which would keep reminiscene of their visit to India.
AWARENESS CAMP FOR PREGNANT WOMEN.
Women in deprived conditions face high rates of infant mortality.
Maintaining good reproductive health among women is therefore not only a crucial goal in itself, but cna lead to increased survival rates of children.
Towards achieving this goal an awareness programme for expectant mothers was organised in Gandhi Basti Proejct which was attended by participants from Tagore Basti, Indira Camp, Karpoori Thakur Camp. These women were identified through a month long survey conducted by the ehalth workers. Nearly 85 women from the slum clusters attended.
The camp was facilitated by Doctors from Majidia Hospital and Indian Population Plan-VIII. Issues like Nutrition, Breast feeding, need for Immunization etc. were discussed. The issues related to Family Planning and various methods of contraception were also discussed. The notable achievement of the camp was the linkage established with Majidia Hospital. The Hospital would extend free medical support to the community.
Such camps are useful towards improving the health of women and children from the community and providing base for their awareness.
FOSTER CHILDREN WORKSHOP
In the month of May and June, a programme for sponsored children from West Delhi Project of Deepalaya was organised to sensitize them on topics related to adolescence and Social issues related to adulthood.
The discussions focussed on issues related to Family Life and Education in which subjects for girls and boys were seperately chosen. Sessions included topics on Adolescence, Puberty, Right Age for Marriage, STD and AIDS. This was followed by a session on personality development, self exploitation and counselling.
The final phase was a Residential Workshop for Youth groups held at Bharat Scouts and Guide at Nizammuddin Complex. Subjects discussed were Future of foster child, goal setting, Planning for future, gender discrimination etc. An evaluation of services provided by Deepalaya to individuals, families and communities under sponsorship programme was also done.
The last day of the workshop was dedicated to understand the impact of the workshop. The workshop was considered a major step towards involving youth, and to enhance their active participation.
AIDS AWARENESS PROGRAMME FOR YOUTHS
In most countries the highest rates of HIV infection and AIDS are known to occur among young people between 20 and 29 years of age.
In August, an awareness programme was organised for the young boys from Gandhi Basti, Indira Camp, Karpoori Thakur Camp to help them acqjire the necessary knowledge, belief attitude and skills that can help them to behave in ways conducive to health and well being, and to avoid situations likely to lead to their infection with HIV. The programme was conducted by resource persons from National AIDS control Organisation (AIIMS) who using participatory approach discussed the risk factors, and effective means to avoid HIV infection and transmission of HIV among young people.
A Quiz contest was also held after the programme to understand the level of comprehension. The programme concluded with a note of optimism that with sufficient information and will AIDS can be prevented and avoided.
"No one can do so much that you have done for us" "Showed us the right path, thanks a lot for everything". "Teachers play a key role in shaping nations future". These were statementsfrom children of Deepalaya School.
Teachers day was celebrated in Deepalaya School, Sanjay Colony, Narang Deepalaya School and Gandhi Basti Project. The day began with recitation of poem on teahers, speech on significance behind celebration of teachers day. Many students presented flowers, greeting cards and chocolates to their dearest teachers.
In the Formal school the senior most students of the school took charge of the teaching and related administrative activities of the school for the day allowing teachers a get together to celebrate the day.
SHALIMAR BAGH PHASE IN PROJECT-AN UPDATE
Preparation of Comprehensive Development plan is under way in the nine slum clusters of Shalimar Bagh for the next 5-10 years.
A Data Collection exercise was carried out in each cluster with an aim to identify problems with its quantitative and qualitative indicators, which in turn would lead to formulating programmes.
The above exercise focussed on issues liek; Demography-in which family statistics like number of members, age group, sex, year of migration. Education-level of education of children and adults, Drop out rates. Occupation-Kind of job people are involved in, Economic status. Expenditure pattern-Percentage of amount spent on food, fuel, education, transport, drnking, smoking, entertainment etc. Disease Profile-causes of Disease, sanitation facilities and lastly death rates. This exercise is to objectivise these problems in a systematic manner and thus formulate programme for addressing these problems.
MAITREE SHREE '97
Celebration by fun, frolic and friendship, Maitree Shree '97 was held at the Deepalaya School in Sanjay Colony. This annual feature was dedicated to the 50th year of India's Independence. On the occasion, vibrant cultural programmes were presented to an audience which included the sponsor parents, distinguished guests and parents of children.
The children from Deepalaya School (Sanjay Colony) and Narang Deepalaya School (Khirkee) presented Invocation, Classical dance, patriotic songs and lively Bhangra from Punjab. Noticeable feature of this years Maitree Shree was that the entire stage management, be it welcome address, compering, vote of thanks, were all handled by the children themselves.
In his brief speech, Mr.Mathew, Chief Executive & Secretary lauded the efforts of children and the teachers for presenting a befitting programme. He thankedthe sponsor parents for their overwhelming presence and support through the years.
INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION
To mark 50th year of India's Independence Deepalaya organised Community Meetings, Entertainment programmes, Fancy Dress Competitions, Rangoli Competitions, Drawing Competitions, in all the Project Locations and Schools.
It was rejoicing for all in the community, the social workers and the staff of Deepalaya rededicated themselves for the upliftment of theunderprivileged paving way for a stronger nation.
STREET AND WORKING CHILDREN-PILOT PROJECT
They are everywhere, in streets, on pavements, railway stations... they are born to work and support their parents.... As per a study conducted for UNICEF and published in 1992 there were about 4.5 lakhs working children in Delhi alone. These children are engaged in dhabas, vegetable markets, tea shops, construction cites, domestic work etc. Even after 50 years of independence the "Child", the future of any nation, continues to be neglected and abused.
In a developing economy, rapid ubranization and the neglect of rual areas is the cause for growing numbers of child labour and street children. Adequate provision in our constitution couldn't prevent Ram Chander, Sadanand, Sanjeev, Sita, Suman etc. from the vicious circle of child labour.
Deepalaya launched the first pilot project for Street and Working children in the year 1996 with just 100 children in a rented accomodation at Shalimar Bagh. These childrena re at Banana Godown in Azadpur alongwith enormous number of other children working as head loaders, helpers with vegetable vendors, working in tea stalls etc.
The proejct is an effort towards integrating these childrn with the main stream so that they are able to enjoy the happiness and joy of childhood which they have lost. The project provides opportunities for education (vocational and non formal), health check ups, recreation, taking part in child rights conventions etc.
As on date the programme caters to nearly 120 children in Banana Godown area and in the second pilot project with 50 children at New Delhi Railway Station.
One of the major problems faced by the social workers are non-cooperation of their parents. They argue that instead of going to the school, their chidlren might as well learn the skills on the job and can start earning early. Another challenge of working with the street children is to obtain their acceptance of an adult helping these children, the obvious reason is constant abuse and exploitation by the adults. For this very reason, the social workers need to be sensitive while making initial contacts.
These challenges give due importance to the initial ice breaking processes. The approach involves survey of areas, identifying working children, listing them, maintaining a data base of their profile, morale boosting, understand their interest in life, break the initial fear and mistrust. Gradually these childrena re encourated to speak, express, share their ideas, problems, feelings and experiences.
The Deepalaya Centre for Working children starts from 2.30 p.m and ends at 5 p.m. The schedule has been set to accomodate maximum number of children who are usually busy working in the vegetable market during the morning.
The educational needs of these children vary from the normale ducational pattern. These chidlrena re being taught the basics in mathematics which includes counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication. In language they are being taught in local language, alphabets, word building, sentence construction and also crafts like Clay Modelling, Drawing, Paper cutting etc.
The centre also organise picnics to the places of interest. Infact little Mukesh has not forgotten his trip to Qutab Minar and Parliament, and Mukesh wants to be a pilot after visiting Airforce Museum. Periodical health check ups are also carried out in association with Jaipur Golden Hospital, NGO Forum, Doctors from Prayas. Besides Teachers and Social Workers share information on personal hygiene, common diseases and basic understanding of body orgns functioning.
Children who attend activities at the centre are being issued Identify Cards. Children feel a sense of belonging and also save them from any kind of harassment and oppression from law inforcing authorities. A counselling at the centre assist the children and motivate them to save from their earnings. Deepalaya may assist them to open personal/collective accounts and even match their savings by an equal ontribution, if they are regular. And the saved amount is used for a good purpose.
These children are no less when it came to talent say it be acting or singing. They participated in theatre workshops and also in child labour convention where they presented songs on 'Child Labour'. The project is an effort towards restoring childhood, provide all-round development, opportunities in life and above all Right to Survival, Pretect and Development. Surely when the nation has thousands of unemployed youth, there is no reason why children should be made to work they should go to school.