AAA believes that children constitute an important segment of society and are equally significant in the making of a better nation. AAA has a small group of children staying at one of the shelters. The following explanation is in the context of these children.
BAL Panchayats (Children Assembly) is a forum for the child rights where children raise their voice and address children’s problems as a group. They also share their problems and situations for the betterment of their daily life. This is also a forum that helps children to empowering and strengthening them towards leadership where children can take decisions in their matters. Through this forum then, AAA also accommodates there demands and recommendations for the improvement of children activities in the light of the overall campaign. Bal Panchayat is a tool for their capacity building and platform of joint decision making.
Bal Panchayat is organized on Second Saturday of every month. Since last September till date this forum has successfully organized 10 such assemblies. The discussions have been very rich and valuable in arriving at some conclusions towards achieving higher goals.
Initially, we had admitted 43 street children in formal school of MCD at Feroz Shah Kotla ground. After the closure of the yamuna pushta shelter, about 15 children were left behind. Currently, 15 children have been attending school on regular basis and follow their routine. Indirect cost of education like conveyance to school, stationery, uniform etc. is taken care by AAA. One full time care taker along with a cook is provided for them. Once a week they visit to AAA’s office when they prefer to watch a movie and have good food & sweets. The number of such children got reduced due to closure of shelter at yamuna pushta in June, 2007.
During Bal Panchayat many members expressed their desires to visit few historical places in India which may be a good learning and also can fulfilling their desire. AAA organized a day long trip of Mughal Capital Agra and Fatehpuri on 28th of February, 2008. There were 40 AAA members including 15 children who participated in this exposure visit and saw for the first time the historical Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri. They had lots of fun, enjoyed meals at highway motels.
Children have been exposed to AAA office place regularly where they examine the working style, the situation and learn to operate computers and run DVDs etc. During their exposure visit to AAA office they have different meal and enjoy movie.
Internship at Gandhi Darshan and Smriti:
AAA managed to provide an opportunity to the children group where they participated in a month long programme at Gandhi Darshan and Smriti. They understood the philosophy of Gandhi and his work that changed the whole world. This programme held at Gandhi Darshan from 18th May to 28th June, 2008. This year we specially organized several visits to different organizations where children understood the difference between the conditions of street children and other children. They visited Casp Plan Children Project, Anhad etc.
Impact of the intervention:
» Children completed successfully one year of regular schooling.
» Children learned and started following discipline and basic culture , developed positive mind set and hoping for the better future.
» Children developed their individual goals in life.
» Children got exposed to various activities at run by other NGOs.
» Children got to know about children rights.
» While staying together as a group, they have also developed a source of security, and a sense of belonging.
Head count of accessible women was conducted by AAA in the winters of 2007 and 2008. A study on mental health status was carried out jointly by AAA and IHBAS. The study got support by national Commission of women and got highlighted well in media. The study got used by the High court in assessing mentally ill homeless women’s status on streets against a PIL filed in 2007.