Children’s Education

We work towards improving access to school education with emphasis on girl child education, conduct learning sessions beyond school, exposure beyond slum environments and beyond their city, learn negotiation skills, foster gender equality among boys and girls, and promote creative expression through activities. 

  1. To improve access to school education: 
  1.  Applications for government scholarships with requisite documentation. During this process children interact with Ward Councillor, Officials at the District Magistrate’s office, School Principal and learn to write request letters such as for income certificate, caste certificate. 
  1. Women’s groups in bastis which also collect, manage and use a social needs fund emphasise the significance of continuing education of girl children and offer modest interest loans to mothers who may need resources at the time of the start of a school session. During UHRC’s sessions with basti women’s groups and children-youth groups, the importance (or non-importance) of education of both girls and boys is discussed as is the subject of gender equality (or its absence) in the society vis a vis girls and boys.. 
  1. Towards developing leadership skills, confidence and competence among basti children and youth,  
  1. One of the key components of UHRC’s efforts among the urban poor is capacity building of children. This includes the develops and works with ment of children/youth groups in the slum communities much like the women groups. The groups meet periodically, elect leaders and collect small amounts (if the children so determine) which can be used as and when the group or any individual when the group is in need.  
  1. To ensure that the idea of gender equality and equal participation is strengthened from an early age, each group has two leaders  – a boy and a girl. They identify the need for opportunities, stimulation/motivation, aspirations, ways to enhance confidence, strengthen as groups, contribute to evolution of the program and facilitate youth/children groups in neighbouring slums. 
  1. The children/youth groups are also encouraged to write and submit requests, petitions, reminders to local authorities. The requests are usually regarding obtaining income certificate, caste certificate, reminders to applications for about accessing government sponsored education scholarships which the children are eligible for.  
  1. Educational activities aimed at enhancing learning Group activities like general knowledge quizzes and reading story books and writing key messages activities, geography sessions through a large display-size map and individual maps for each child are organised to stimulate them and bridge the gaps in the education they receive in their schools for better learning.  
  1. To enhance self-expression and confidence 
  1. Groups are encouraged to practice and perform street plays and group songs in main market locations of Indore and Agra, at events held outside the cities of their residence such as Delhi and Mumbai. Each year 5 to 6 children from Indore and Agra participate in activities such as the Mumbai marathon, the largest mass participation sporting event of Asia.  
  1. As many as 34 children/youth groups are now active which involve around 450 children in the slums of Agra and Indore. We have witnessed that communication and leadership skills have emerged among the children who are part of the program. Social interactions have enabled children to free themselves from difficulties, focus towards their future and acquire the ability to influence it.  
  1. An increasing number of children are now completing their schooling, complementing family income, demonstrating gender sensitivity, undertaking productive community actions like improving the hygiene and living environment. With improved computer literacy and expanded and affordable reach of the internet the underprivileged children can better access government schemes and services thereby reducing the transaction cost of access.  
  1. This initiative named Sankalp-Umang-Udaan We believe that our program with the children in the slums of Indore and Agra shows how sustained efforts with socially underprivileged children can help them in several ways. These can help them not only in ensuring that they avail of government entitlements but also to be able to pursue education and develop their personality. This will go a long way in ensuring that they have better opportunities for gainful employment which can enable them to get out of the poverty trap they were born in.  
A child shares his learning in a book reading cum message writing session​