Supported by: Wipro
Vardhishnu – Social Research and Development Society is a Jalgaon-based not-for-profit organization, trying to provide a safe, secure, and happy childhood to street children – especially child rag pickers and child laborers.
Rag picking ranks lowest in the hierarchy of urban informal occupations. A large number of those employed in this occupation are women and children. Illiterate, unskilled persons, migrants, those lowest in the caste hierarchy and the poorest of the poor predominantly work as waste pickers, as they are unable to find any other kind of employment. According to the report of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO 2014), 32 million Indian children of age up to 13 years have NEVER attended any school. A majority of them belong to low-income communities.
Anandghar (A Home of Happiness): The idea is to create an ecosystem of learning and support for street children. It is achieved through Community Learning Centers as well as Learning centers within schools, which act as a bridge between the children, parents, and the schools.
- Current Status: 2 Community Learning Centers with 130+ children, 1 Bridge Course center within school with 30+ children.
- COVID Impact: We had conducted a recruitment drive to initiate 2 new Community Learning Centers in March 2020. However, we had to put it on hold due to outbreak of COVID-19. After getting engaged in relief work between April and July 2020, we started different activities such as Sunday Library, WhatsApp groups, Zoom batches, offline batches for 9th and 10th Standard children, and provision of activity kits between August and December 2020. We had started physical batches for the children in January 2021 but we had to shut down the centers once again in March 2021.
Anandghar Community Collective: One-year unique support program for individuals/ initiatives working to enroll and sustain children from economically disadvantaged background in formal education system to kick-start their program and achieve desired outcomes much faster.
- Current Status: 4 initiatives across Maharashtra, working with 8 educators and 150+ children.
- COVID Impact: The initial plan was to start the initiative in June 2020 but due to COVID restrictions, we start the program in the month of October 2021. Currently, selection process for the second cohort of the program, which is starting from June 2021, is in process. We are looking to bring in 10 initiatives for the second cohort.
Plan for Next 3 Years:
- By 2022, reach every corner of Jalgaon city with 12 active ‘Anandghar’ and 36 educators (3 educators per center) catering to the need of 1200 children. (considering each center will cater to at least 80-100 children)
- Ensure that 90% of these children are enrolled and sustained in the school.
- By 2022, collaborate with at least 25 organizations/initiatives across Maharashtra to replicate the model of Anandghar.