Creative Non – Formal Education for Slum Children
Non- Formal Education Centres for slum children has been one of the thrust areas for the organization which have been running in Gautam Nagar, NaglaMachi, DayaBasti, Rajghat, New Seemapuri, Shakarpur, Dilshad Garden and Ghazipur. Our biggest achievement in the Non Formal Education was that people began realizing the importance of education and began sending their children to our centres and to formal Schools. Thousands of children have been educated at the NFE centres.
The NFE Centers strive to teach the children in a creative way with activities which would ensure the all round development of the children, who as adults can think for themselves, adapt to new situations and solve the problems of everyday living Emphasis on the development of the five senses is part of the methodology. In all the centres three subjects are taught to the children English, Hindi and Maths. Apart from imparting education, care is taken to involve the children in prayer, national anthem, value education, general knowledge, health education, stories, outings, monthly tests, creative games and activities.
School Admission for slum children in the Government Schools
Our aim behind running NFE Centers is to enable the slum children to get admitted to formal schools. After going through our curriculum, we try to get these children admitted to primary and secondary government schools. The total numbers of children who have been admitted to the government schools is 1000.
Health check-ups for slum children
Communities in slums lack basic information to look into their health and that of their families. Due to insanitary conditions and poor quality water, children suffer from worms, respiratory infections, anemia and skin infections.
Our programme includes regular health check – ups for children through MCD clinics and health camps, where the main focus is on immunization, total vitamin therapy, de-worming etc. In the health check-up programme we have covered more than 5000 children since 2000.
Health Education Programme for Adult Men, Women and the Adolescent Boys and Girls on Family Planning, AIDS, Nutrition and Family Life Education
Women suffer from multiple pregnancies, anemia and also reproductive tract infections (RTIs). They are also hesitant to visit the government clinics to avail of family planning facilities due to all kinds of inhibitions. They will not introduce solid food to their babies at the right age with the result that babies remain undernourished. Men are prone to alcoholism and perhaps if they visit sex workers, will also suffer from Sexually Transmitted Diseases and pass these onto their wives. Often families prefer to visit the unqualified RMPs / Quacks operating within the slums. Therefore what they need is information and motivation to act on and this is what we provide.
We also work towards implementing the family planning programme in the slums. Women in the slums have too many children and as a result all the children within a family suffer, because mothers do not have sufficient time for all of them. Although the dispensaries are nearby the women are not ready to go there and adopt family planning methods. We make the women aware of the need to adopt family planning measures and take them to nearby dispensaries and hospitals to undergo surgery and avail of other family planning methods. The health programme targets the family as a unit, which includes men, women and adolescent girls and boys. Meetings on Sex and Sexuality, STDs and AIDS are also held with the young men and women in the communities.
Community Outreach and Slum Development
Many slums where we ran our projects have been moved to the outskirts of Delhi. Therefore those areas became inaccessible for us. We only work in slums where there is a need for intervention. The reasons are poverty, a lack of basic facilities and less children going to school. Today our centres are running in Kalyanpuri Block18 in East Delhi and in a jhuggi-basti in Mansrovar Park under the Metro Line and in Sewa Nagar in South Delhi. In these centres the youth and children are helped with their home work and schoolwork. Creative games and sports, job opportunities and training ,value education, awareness on ills of drug abuse and alcoholism, child sexual abuse, caring for the family, love for animals, importance of the girl child, respect for women are all integral to the project. There are 240 children attending the centre in Kalyanpuri and MS Park and 30 attending the Sewa Nagar centre. General Knowledge on a variety of to pics, newspaper reading, a rich treasure trove of stories, discussions on sex and sexuality are part of the syllabus for both children and the youth. An active, Sports Club and regular parent-teacher meetings are part of the effort for children and the youth. Our slum project aims to improve the quality of the lives of the residents. These slums are characterized by inadequate provision of public services necessary to sustain health such as water, sanitation and drainage. Meetings with the local political representative like the MLA and councilor are regularly held to expedite the matter. The organization together with the Insaniyat Group, a community watch group takes care of problems such as drinking water, toilet facilities, blockage of drains etc. For furthering women empowerment in the slums, we have begun a Mahila-Panchayat project which focuses on improving the knowledge, skills, self-esteem and leadership of women from marginalized communities. The panchayats also offer help at the community level and help tackle local disputes over dowry harassment, domestic violence, ill-treatment of the wife and children, eve-teasing, molestation and stalking The women are explained how a problem can be solved within the community instead of going to the police station or the courts. Health education is imparted in the slums with the aim of improving people’s health which empowers them to make healthy choices. At Angaja Foundation, we have a health awareness programme running at our centres with a hope that is would lead the slum dwellers towards better health conditions and a healthy living environment. The women are motivated towards keeping their environment clean, use clean drinking water and eat healthy food. Earlier, we had group meetings with the women but now the slum coordinator visits the houses individually to talk about health issues. This also gives us an opportunity to identify people who are ill, we help to get their treatment done in hospitals. The various topics covered under the health education programme include Malaria, Dengue, Diarrhoea, UTI, Anemia, Family Nutrition etc. Through our intervention, we have observed some changes at the community level: people know about diabetes, they now boil water before consuming it, maintain proper hygiene, the number of children per family has decreased as compared to earlier and they now visit the doctor and not quacks as was the practice earlier .
Helping Victims of Rape both Children and Women
There are more than 800 plus rape cases in our files, Earlier the modus operandi was that whenever a case of child rape was reported in the newspaper we would cut out the clipping which was then followed up by inquiry in the concerned police station. Since 2005 we have been designated as the Rape Crisis Intervention Centre (RCIC) by the Delhi Commission for Women and Delhi Police for North East and New Delhi Districts.
Now the Police Station and D.C.W calls us up and informs us about the cases. The social workers make home visits to provide the Victim with counseling and if required they take the Victim for further counseling to skilled counselors.
Help like medical aid and help in cash or kind if needed by the child and her family is also given. Through our continuous interaction with the victim and his or her family, we try to make them come out of their trauma. Our role does not end here. We also follow up each and every case in the Lower courts i.e. Patiala House, Karkardooma and the Juvenile courts. The objective behind this is to make sure that the accused is convicted. In court we interact with the Public Prosecutors and press them to get conviction for the accused and justice for the victim.
Advocacy on laws of Rape, Education, Water, Environment in terms of Public Interest Litigation
We have filed a comprehensive Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court covering all the problems connected to child Rape and Sexual Abuse. We hope that the courts will pass the right orders, which leads to a new law and other vital changes in the working of the judiciary, police and hospitals. We are also doing advocacy on the issue of education. We think that education should be creative and interesting rather than rote-learning, the pattern which is being followed in the government schools. Water conservation and waste management is also part of the PIL and advocacy agenda.
A series of Training and Sensitization Workshops for Judges, Public Prosecutors, Police, Doctors, Lawyers and NGOs
As part of our Rape project we have conducted sensitisation and training workshops on Rape, Sexual Abuse, street children and crimes against women. These programmes were held for the judges and public prosecutors of Tees Hazari and Patiala House Courts, Workshops for the police in the North, North – East, West and East Police Districts have also been held. Further workshops are also planned for the police, doctors who do medico – legal examination N.G.Os and the media in all the districts of Delhi.
Angaja Foundation helps distressed animals and prevention of cruelty to animals. We have set up an animal shelter which is located in Jaunapur Village ahead of Mehrauli. We pick up stray dogs from the streets and also dogs which are abandoned or facing cruelty and they are taken to our shelter, an area of 2.5 acres. There are 40 dogs at the shelter who are taken care of in a good environment and proper food, water and medical care is provided to them. On everyday basis, we feed another 50 dogs in the same area who are located from Andheria Mode to Mandi Village. We are also feeding about 100 cows in Jaunapur, Vasant Kunj, Kotla Mubarakpur and Gwal Pahari at Delhi-Haryana Border near Gurgaon. We have a van which distributes the food first to the dogs and later it feeds the grass to the cattle. Even during the national lock-down in 2020, we were regularly feeding the cattle, dogs and cats in these areas. We have set up water troughs for cows and other animals in Kalyanpuri - Block 18 in East Delhi, Jaunapur, Chattarpur, Sultanpur Estate which are all farm house areas in South Delhi. We have also set up water troughs in Kotla Mubarakpur, which is a part of South Delhi District, Gwal Pahari and the industrial area, Udyog Vihar Phase I in Gurgaon District of Haryana.
Horses used for weddings, cows and bulls on the streets eating polythene and dairies- on a daily basis Gaushalas, stables and dairies in the NCR region are visited by the project coordinator to check whether the animals are faring well. Angaja Foundation is also visiting resident welfare associations to motivate them to put water for dogs and cattle and also feed the stray dogs. Many kind souls in different areas are doing the good work and may God bless them always for their kindness and generosity .
The Green Project
The organization has been working for the betterment of the environment especially in the water sector. It plans to work as a flash point wherever environmental degradation is taking place in Delhi or the other states. Delhi has many municipal landfills, where garbage has not been segregated. Rotting carcasses, decaying kitchen waste, which should be composted is lying alongside plastic, metal and other non-biodegradable waste. The organization will be putting pressure on the municipal authorities to segregate garbage so that it can be composted and recycled. This would prevent pollution of surrounding areas and also of the underground water. Doing advocacy on rain-water harvesting, water conservation and sustainable waste management is part of the project.
Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development
Farmers produce food for the consumption of human societies but Governments all over the world are favoring urbanization and industrialization. Therefore the farm sector remains neglected. Angaja Foundation will network with farmer organizations all over the country and N.G.O's working in rural areas to introduce farmers to better agriculture practices which will improve their yield. This would apply to farmland both in water logged and rain deficient areas. Promotion of organic farming, diversification of crops and linking their produce to the markets and using water conservation in agriculture is part of the agenda.