KOLKATA NATIONAL CHILD LABOUR PROJECT (KNCLP)
Supported by Ministry of Labour, Govt, of India
The primary aim of this project is to withdraw children who are involved in child labour. Tiljala Shed has been entrusted by KNCLP to take care of fifty children involved in hazardous jobs for the past five years. Children are provided as per their needs to prepare them for mainstreaming in formal schools. The components are bridge courses, mid-day meals, skills and vocational trainings and other needs to help them attain primary schools like other children. A stipend of Rs.150 per month is given to all the children who attend the school regularly and give up the jobs. A saving bank account is opened in the name of the child and the stipend is deposited in that account. The children are regularly checked by our appointed doctors and medicines are provided free of cost. Vocational training in viable trades such assalwar suits, churidar, frock and tunics are being imparted to them. Most of the children have learnt the trade with interest. Recreation facilities are also provided.
Rural Intervention: AASRA SADAN-Multipurpose Home for Rag Pickers children
Supported by Misereor (Germany) and Indien Kinderhilfe (Germany)
We have also extended our work to Mouli Mukundopur Village (South 24 Parganas) where we have set up a Home which is called Aasra Sadan which means shelter home for the most vulnerable rag picker children. This is a pilot project presently supporting 25 children but hope to scale up our support to 100 rag picker children in the coming years.
We are hopeful that as time passes the children will acquire the necessary skills to live a life of dignity and will become responsible citizens in the coming days. Any financial support for this project is welcome and we hope institutions and philanthropic minded individuals will contribute to change the lives of the rag picker children for the better away from the wretched life they are now leading. The village is densely populated and with almost no basic facilities. There is an erratic power supply in the area. This factor has also affected us in smooth running of the home as it becomes very difficult for the children to stay in the stifling heat. The only readymade solution is to install solar panels to solve the power problems permanently. Hopefully, the home will achieve its long term objectives of turning the children into responsible, educated citizens of India.
The program from its inception in 1995 has been a milestone in the history of Tiljala SHED. The program has played a significant role in the upliftment of destitute girls and women through education and has empowered them to meet the challenges from the male dominated society. Education is the weapon that AIDOS has provided to all the girls through Tiljala Shed. The association supports Tiljala Shed’s initiative of providing comprehensive educational support to destitute girls. The other aspect of the project include medical support, supplementary nutrition for the malnourished girls, self defence training, protection from exploitation and abuse, yearly excursion, awareness on gender issues, family counselling, vocational training for older girls, family maintenance allowance to meet extraordinary and emergency expenses, access to library facilities which have been setup for the girls of the project inside the slums.
AIDOS literally stands for Italian Association for Women in Development clearly states its objective of educating the destitute girl child and empowering them. AIDOS has been supporting this project for quite long time as a result it has made a significant impact on the lives of the beneficiaries. Because of this program hundreds of girls were able to complete their education and many have found work and are supporting their families. The stereotype male dominated society now feels that even a woman can contribute to the family. Now more and more families are coming forward to educate their girl child which shows that they are now getting the point that without education the child will be nowhere in the society. We feel that still we have a long way to go and slowly and steadily the families especially the traditional ones will change their mindset that the girl child too needs to be educated. The project has enhanced the capacity of the girls to find employment.
A whole generation would have remained illiterate but for the selfless support of AIDOS. Now they can look forward to a brighter future and a better quality of life.