Thursday, May 24, 2012

For your information- inspiration

Conserve India is an amazing social enterprise that has been working to help some of Delhi's [and hence the world's] poorest slum dwellers.
They make beautiful products, they open rays of light into people's lives with slow and steady determination....step by step. My admiration for their work is without bounds and the inspriation of meeting Anita and  her husband, the founders was certainly something that opened my eyes up to having a go. Praveen and I follow in their foot steps in our own very small way.
I got this email this morning- letting people know of help needed.
Thought you might be interested to know.
If you have any questions or want more info their website link is Conserve India
If we all do what we can, no matter how big or small- what a wonderful world :)

Dear Conserve Supporter

As you are aware we have shifted our recycling project to Bahdurgarh. This is very close to the Delhi border. It is also becoming the hub of recycling industry. And the hub of the recycling community. We need to build a school there for them. So please help.

Warm regards



Executive Summary

·         Conserve India has worked strenuously for the rehabilitation of slum dwellers and to provide them with opportunities they earlier didn’t have access to. The organization works not only to achieve goals that help the environment, but strives to bring about social change too. Stemming from Conserve’s earlier initiatives to provide education and healthcare access to slum dwellers and their children is the request to procure funds to help those children. Prior to the move to Bahadurgarh, Conserve NGO had funded a school for the rag-picker children, with the focus of educating them to be able to obtain jobs outside of waste management when older. It is with that vision to help the society that this proposal has come about.

·         Bahadurgarh is one of the many slums on the outskirts of Delhi. The dwellers relocated here after the demolition of many slums in Delhi due to the Commonwealth Games in 2010. What was demolished was not just the slums, but schools that catered to the educational needs of the children living in those slums. The school was the children’s one shot at gaining the education they deserve, and it disappeared along with their homes. The only difference between this slum and those within the city is that the condition of the slum dwellers is worse than of those in the city, if such a thing were possible. They live right at the edge of the city. Many of them work to collect the city’s waste, which deteriorates in quality and the value that it’ll recover with an increase in the distance from the main city. The waste that these rag pickers collect is barely sufficient to help them earn their living. Bahadurgarh has become a centre of recycling activities, and is one of the poorest urban slums in the world. Being away from the city and being a new establishment has added to their already existing troubles and made it that much harder to make ends meet. The dwellers are victims of drug and sexual abuse. Lack of access to healthcare has resulted in widespread diseases like anaemia, worms, respiratory problems, etc. Families in order to gain additional income to ensure survival either send their children to work or worse even sell them to exploitative workers. 98% of children can’t go to school while 79% are out because their parents don’t see the benefits of education. 5 % drop out because of lack of proper teaching methods and inability to go to private institutions. Language also poses to be a big barrier. The children have to engage in rag picking instead of attending school, sometimes having to complete 2-3 shifts a day.  The working conditions are hazardous to say the least and the children have to sometimes eat the filthy remnants they find at the garbage dumps. The problem persists in spite of the Child Labour (Prohibition) Act, 1986 which prohibits the engagement of children in employments under the age of 14 years in certain employments and regulates the condition of work of children in certain others. India continues to have the largest number of child workers and out-of-school population in the world, owing to its large population.

·         NGOs like Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Save the Children, etc all work to combat practices that exploit children. Global March Against Child Labour, the single largest civil society of more than 2000 international and national NGOs in more than 140 countries has also been working vociferously on the issue. Conserve India has also already started working with the slum dwellers and commenced with their training to integrate them into the organization. There are a total of 1,200 families in the Bahadurgarh slums and 1,999 children in the group of 4-16 years. However, funds are limited and hence this request to you all to help Conserve raise funds for the school for the children. It is acknowledged that there are a lot of children who are suffering because of lack of education, but small steady steps will help in achieving the greater goal of providing education to all the children. It is with this objective that Conserve seeks to start a primary school for children aged between 3-11 years, with approximately 200 students to kick start the process. Hamara School, as it will be known will be a low cost and replicable model that’ll cater to the immediate needs of the children working on the dumping grounds. The process will begin by making the children comfortable enough to attend the school premises and engage in activities and will be followed by sessions and educational classes. The major objective is to keep the child away from work and through different techniques gradually getting the child into the education net and the school will provide educational, recreational, pre vocational services along with counselling and medical services.

·         The primary school will however still require funds to set up classrooms, clean toilets for the students, a playground, black boards, etc while simultaneously continuing with the training process of the rag pickers.  Conserve will be receiving a small grant from a Fair Trade organization in Netherlands but will need to procure funds to cover the cost of the whole project.

It’s easy to dismiss this as a problem that’ll never end. What’s harder to digest is the fact that while we sit in the cool comforts of our homes, there are millions of people in our own country who are so far away from any sort of comfort and care that we take for granted that they’ve made their peace with the way they are forced to live. Your help will be highly appreciated. Remember, it’s your helping hand that’ll facilitate shaping the dreams of all those children and ensure that they get to live them too, not just dream them!

We will be happy to send you a detailed proposal !

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