The Village

The Singhadevi project, Nada, Punjab

 

Area description: No sewage, no roads, illegal settlement of approx. 80 families. Hard to reach. Behind Naya Gaon.

 

Demography of settlement: Mostly migrant labor from neighboring states, mostly from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and UP.
The menfolk go out to earn a living through temporary construction work, or polish shoes for which they have a licence. The women stay at home and take care of the children and cook. There is a sizeable number of out of work people. 50% of children are school going, 50% don’t go to school. These families are poor and are malnourished. Their diet consists of rice and lentil and sometimes some vegetables. Hygiene is very very poor. There is no sewage system so they have makeshift toilets. Most children are extremely dirty and unkempt. They do not bathe even though there is enough water supply.

Our goal:

  1. Children’s education

Since we at TCB are all about children the emphasis is primarily on the children.  We have interacted with the children of this area and figured out a few things: 50% children who are not going to school have varying levels of knowledge ranging from nothing to basic alphabet. Some children have learnt the Punjabi alphabet. Few kids know some English alphabets. Most do not know any math at all.  The other 50% school going children have a rudimentary knowledge of math and Punjabi. We also realized that most parents sent their kids to school just for the mid day meal.

 

We have decided to divide the children by, first, school- going and non- school -going, second, by age and third, by competency. The children will be taught English, Hindi and Punjabi alphabets and basic math by our volunteers on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We are employing 3 teachers who will sit with the school going kids who need help on Wednesday and Friday. Our goal is to make them literate enough to be able to write their names and be able to do basic reading and writing and hopefully go back to school.  Each workshop will be followed by 15-20 minutes of drawing to ease them up. Each child will receive a lined copy for alphabets as well a square box copy for Math.

Keeping in mind the lack of proper nutrition in their diet, we will be handing over seasonal fruit to each child after the workshop is over.

 

  1. Skill development

This is for children who do not go to school.  We plan to give these kids, besides the education help, skills in pottery,  art, gardening, tailoring, cooking, etc. We hope to bring in employment opportunity as well. We will have people from various professions come and speak to the above 14 years category of children.

 

  1. Womens Hygiene program

This program is geared to engage with mothers. We plan to impart information on Hygiene…from the importance of basic nail cutting to washing hands and clothes. Cooking hygiene, lifestyle hygiene, personal hygiene, home hygiene, caring for children are some of the topics we will cover. We noticed, in our initial interaction with the mothers, that they were all mal nourished, did not have any sense of hygiene and had very little knowledge about nutrition. As we met them a couple of times, we began to win their trust and many more issues came to the front. Abusive husbands, drunk or drugged out husbands, forced pregnancies, etc etc.  We meet twice a week with these mothers and they also receive a seasonal fruit or a juice after each interaction.

Some of the mothers have talents like embroidery, beading or making tassels. We could help hone these talents and perhaps, help them earn an extra income for their families. We have distributed brushes, toothpaste, combs, soaps . We will continue to give them things that will equip them to make the changes that we are advocating.

Planned events to compound our goals for the women and children:

-Clothes Drive
-Shoes Drive

-Medical Camps:
-Skin

-Teeth

-OB GYN

-Eye

-A herbal garden in the Mandir area that will create employment opportunity for the out of school older children. They will learn the skill of pottery making and learn how to grow plants for sale. For some kids this could be a choice for a career.
The mothers may be drawn to an embroidery/ tassel making program we have in mind. We could create employment opportunity through their talent.
-A women’s sewing school in the area is offering free classes to women so hopefully some of them will grab this opportunity. And we can find buyers for their handiwork.

Flip flop donation at the Village