Not Letting Waris’s Grin, Brighter than Sunshine Fade Away
Md. Waris is a 12-year-old cheerful boy residing in the slums of Broad Street, Kolkata. His family comprises his father, mother,
and three sisters. His family has been trying to battle poverty and make ends meet for a long time. His father is a rickshaw driver
and mother is working as a domestic help in a house. To supplement the meagre family income, Waris had to drop out of school and
start working. He is works in a cap manufacturing factory. After spending seven years working in this factory he is as efficient
in his work like any other seasoned adult worker. Save the Children formed a Community Child Health and Hygiene Club in Waris’s street
area as a part of the Stop Diarrhoea Initiative. Waris became a member of the club and since then Save the Children has been engaging
with him and his community to drive awareness and bring behavioural change.
Under the Stop Diarrhoea Initiative, Save the Children has been working relentlessly to make the surroundings open defecation free through the distribution of ODF toolkit. Theatre workshops on issues of safe drinking water and awareness generation sessions on girl safety have been organised. Waris has been an active member in all these engagements. These engagements helped Waris to develop an interest in theatre. Theatre has helped him in comprehending water-related problems in his area. Lack of public hygiene, the problem of sewage, and lack of clean drinking water cause diseases such as diarrhoea and dengue. Save the Children’s intervention has made Waris more aware about the issues people face in his community. “When I am older, I will leave this job and get a better paying job. Later I will start my own business and save more and take care of my parents and the community around me,” says a resolute Waris. Waris is hopeful that his life will change for better in the future and his economic situation will improve. He is confident that he will be able to do something on his own for himself and his family. Street Child Cricket World Cup will give him the right start and the platform he needs.
Defying All the Odds to Become a Sportsman: Story of Ayushman
14-year-old Ayushman lives in a slum tugged in the outskirts of Kolkata. His family comprises his father, mother, and three siblings.
He is the youngest among all the siblings. Ayushman’s father moved to Kolkata in 1979 and worked at a tea producing company for around
25 years until the company shut down in 1995. Currently, he is working as the President of the EJC Durgapur Basti Committee. Ayushman’s
life have been replete with struggles and obstacles. Save the Children identified him as a child in need and provided the required
intervention that changed things for good. Earlier Ayushman was a shy boy but because of our intervention, he is now a more confident
and vocal boy. He attends school regularly and has displayed a great zeal for sports. His cricket frenzy won him many accolades and he
wishes to pursue a career in it. He has shown exceptional potential in every opportunity he got.
Ayushman has become more eloquent in expressing his views about the things that are happening around him. Despite the odds, he aspires to be a sportsman. His outstanding performance in sports is the reason why Save the Children chose Ayushman for being a part of Team India (North) for participating in the Street Child Cricket World Cup that will be held in England in May 2019.
Save the Children Provides a Helping Hand to Lusi in Becoming an Advocate for the Rights of Children
13-year-old Lusi belongs to an extremely poverty-stricken family of Kolkata. She lives with her father, mother and five siblings.
Her father is a carpenter and mother is a housewife. Currently, Lusi and all her siblings go to school. But because of the financial
constraints their family is facing, Lusi might have to drop out of school. Lusi and her sisters do all the household chores and also
go for fetching for water from the Municpal Corporation tank as their slum has no tap water supply. They reside in a heavily populated
slum which has unhygienic environment and surroundings. Adolescent girls in Lusi’s locality are often at a high risk of catching
infection because there is just one common toilet which everyone uses. There is a lack of privacy and safety as both men and women
use the same toilet.
Lusi understands the importance of maintaining hygiene and cleanliness. She actively spreads awareness about the importance of hygiene and sanitation in her community. When Save the Children identified Lusi, she was a docile and unassertive girl who did not have a voice of her own. We encouraged her to attend various workshops and participate in trainings on Disaster Risk Reduction, Resilience Building, and Child Protection. These engagements have helped her gain confidence and raise her voice so that she and other children in her community have access to their rights.
Lusi wants to take the lead in empowering more Child Rights Champions and be the voice for equal rights and opportunities for all children. Today, Lusi is all set to live her dreams and touch the sky as she is a part of Team India North participating in Street Child Cricket World Cup 2019.
Street Child Cricket Working Cup: Platform to Voice the Challenges Faced by Street Children like Soni
15-year-old Soni lives with her family in the EJC Durgapur Dock Junction area of Kolkata. This area is primarily like a garage
for trucks. Her family comprises of her father, mother, and her elder brother. Her parents admitted their elder son in an English
medium school but they denied Soni access to quality education. She was sent to a Hindi medium school against her wish. The family
was facing an economic crisis and therefore, they could only afford to send their son to a good school. Later, Soni dropped out of
school due to various reasons poverty being one of them. Growing up in an urban slum of Kolkata, electricity and clean and safe
drinking water was always an issue. This was also one of the reasons why Soni had to drop out of school.
Save the Children identified Soni as a drop out. They motivated her to continue her studies. With constant encouragement, Save the Children was able to enrol Soni back into formal schooling. She is currently studying in 9th class. With Save the children’s Mobile Learning Initiative, Soni has improved tremendously in her studies and has exhibited immense growth in terms of personality. Today Soni is an outspoken and confident girl. She has now taken the responsibility of making other children in her community aware about child rights. Soni dreams of training girls in her vicinity in Karate. Knowing Karate will help them become more confident and they will not have to depend on others for their own safety. In future, she dreams of becoming a politician so that she can make her voice reach the masses and work for their betterment. Street Child Cricket World Cup is a platform that will give Soni a chance to raise her voice for the cause she believes in.
Name: Millie Singh
Millie was only 2 when her parents left her at the Sabera Foundation, they never came back or enquired about her whereabouts.
After a few years the foundation got shut, the social workers at the foundation produced Millie before the Child Welfare
Committee. Then the CWC placed her in another G2B home, after the G2B project ended Millie was shifted to Ashar Alo Girls
Home. Despite her vulnerable childhood history, she coped up well with the help and guidance of the Home. Here she got protection,
required education support, nutrition and counseling support. All this helped Millie become vocal and she actively participated in
all the activities at the Home.
Hope Kolkata Foundation’s intervention helped her became regular in school, also she now takes part in sports activities especially cricket in school and within the community as well. She became more eloquent in expressing her views about happening in and around her. Her outstanding enthusiasm in cricket made the selecting members of Street Child World Cup select her in the trials. She now dreams of having a career in sports.
Name: Jabir Ali
At Ashirbad Boys Home Jabir got love, care, affection and the protection of a home along with all other support required for his holistic development. He now feels safe and secure in the protection of the Boys Home along with all the other children. At the Ashirbad Boys Home he started formal schooling and actively participating in extracurricular activities. He started to take cricket coaching classes, and thus developed a fondness for the sport. Jabir wants to become an all-rounder in bowling and fielding. Cricket is his dream and he wants to pursue cricket as his career.
At Ashirbad Boys Home Jabir got love, care, affection and the protection of a home along with all other support required for his holistic development. He now feels safe and secure in the protection of the Boys Home along with all the other children. At the Ashirbad Boys Home he started formal schooling and actively participating in extracurricular activities.
He started to take cricket coaching classes, and thus developed a fondness for the sport. Jabir wants to become an all-rounder in bowling and fielding. Cricket is his dream and he wants to pursue cricket as his career.
Name: Anjali Paswan
As a toddler, Anjali lived with her father, mother, grandmother and two elder brothers in her native village. She was only five when her father passed away in an accident which led to the family migrating to Kolkata.
With the little money that they had, there was no option but to live on the streets. Her mother the sole bread earner of the family started working as a domestic helper with only Rs 3000/- per month as her income. A regular at school, Anjali is a bright child but because of her family’s physical and financial condition, her creativity took a toll.
Hope Foundation understood the vulnerable conditions that Anjali lived in, being a girl child, her protection was also questionable. The foundation shifted her to a protection home where they took her responsibility and provided her with shelter, proper nutrition, and formal education. Now Anjali is a healthy child, she is regular at her school La- Maternelle High School, and participates in all extracurricular activities.
Anjali has a remarkable quality of leadership and her participation ability is strong. She excels in every field; she is very creative and has a passion for playing cricket. Staying in the protection home, provided her with an opportunity to express her zeal for sports and eventually she was selected for the Street Children World Cup to be held in England early in May 2019. Anjali wants to become a nurse and if given an opportunity she aspires to become a Cricketer.
Name: Tarak Sardar
In the absence of his father, Tarak’s mother became the sole bread earner for his family.
She took a job at the Gariahat market in Kolkata to make ends meet. With a limited income at hand,it
got impossible for her to provide for the nutritional and educational support that her children needed
during their early years.
While their mother worked during the day, Tarak and his siblings loitered on the streets the whole day with no one to take care of, it was then that the local police placed Tarak with the Children Welfare Committee.
Further, as per the CWC orders he was enrolled in Ashirbad Boys Home under Hope Foundation Kolkata. At the shelter, Tarak not only got a roof to live under, but also protection as well as nutrition. Being at the Ashirbad Boys Home led to his holistic development owing to regular counselling, support, care and more. He also found the confidence to be friends with other boys at the Home.
A regular at school, Tarak got passionate about sports and regularly participated in his school’s sports activities - his favourite being cricket!
Under the able guidance of a coach, he is a regular at the training and he absolutely loves batting. His favourite cricketer is none other than Virat Kohli, he loves Kohli’s aggressive style in the field and tries to emulate his moves during the practice sessions.
Name: Saraswati Dhanuk
Saraswati is 15 years old. Her father’s name is Dhunak Dhanuk and he is a daily labourer. His monthly income is Rs 5000. Her mother’s name is Madhuri Dhanuk who is a housewife. Sarawswati has an elder sister named Santoshi Dhanuk. Both the sisters study in Class X of Modern Arya Parishad Vidyalaya. She and her family live in a slum in the EJC Durgapur Dock Junction area of Kolkata, Ward No 79. This area is primarily like a garage for trucks and the workers have made settlements alongside the same. The area is very congested with huge vehicles occupying most of the space making it very unsafe for the movement of the children. The area remains very unclean and unhygienic as the local facilities are very limited.
Saraswati was a school drop out when the Mobile Learning Centre team identified her in 2014. After counseling and lot of pursuance she was readmitted in the school in Class VII. The team spoke to the parents as well as the neighbours to create a supportive environment for Saraswati. She was encouraged to be part of a children’s group and with time she has emerged as an active Child Leader. She has been part of several advocacy and campaign initiatives voicing for the rights of the children. She has received several trainings and orientation and has gradually emerged as a patient, confident and assertive Child Champion.
Saraswati is a very active Child Champion. She keeps watch on every child in her area and whenever she finds any child discontinuing his or her education, she prompt informs the team of MLC. Saraswati has been part of campaigns for street children and have participated in observation of International Day of the Street Children in 2016 and 2017. She also addressed Press Meet organised to launch the CRC week observation in 2016 sharing the space with other prominent Child Champions speaking for the rights of the children.