Samvedna is our health and education program for the Street Children of Jaipur. This is a mobile van, equipped with staff and other resources, that holds camps regularly in the slums of Jaipur. Almost 90% of the Street Children that are seen selling newspapers, incense sticks, etc., on the streets of Jaipur, come from these slums. Most often the basic health and education facilities are inaccessible to the children living in slums in India. The problem lies with the scarcity of resources as well as with the attitude of the parents and guardians of these children. Their parents are often either ignorant or indifferent towards the value of a good education and good health for their children. Having spent their own life in drudgery and poverty, they cannot imagine a different and better life for their children. Vatsalya attempts to reach out to these communities and change their mindset. It holds regular Health and Education Camps in different slum localities in Jaipur wherein hundreds of children are contacted and encouraged to pursue a disciplined life that includes going to school, maintaining a healthy daily routine and looking forward to a future full of opportunities. Vatsalya does it by organizing health camps, networking with institutions that provide education, vocational trainings, health and medical services, etc. Vatsalya’s effort is not to duplicate the resources and services that already exist but to bridge the gap between the services and beneficiaries. Thus while our efforts are to direct and encourage them to use the existing resources, we need to invest in the process. Generally a Health and Education Camp for children includes the following activities:
- Checking the health and hygiene levels of children
- Giving them a bath, cutting nails, treating hair for lice
- Medical and Health Check up including providing basic medicines and referrals
- Non-formal education session including a quiz, recitation, math, etc
- Art and Craft activities including drawing, painting, paper craft, etc
- Sports and recreation such as a Tug of War, Rope Skipping, Singing and Dance
- Inspirational activities such as sharing life stories of high achievers, great leaders of the world, showing films about them, talking about personal dreams and aspirations, and the ways and means to achieve high goals in life
- Theme-based talks by experts on topics such as Gender Issues, Women’s Rights, Children Rights, Health Rights and Right to Education and so on.
At the end of the camp, the Winner and good performers are given prizes. Besides the children, parents and youth are also contacted with the objective of generating awareness and encouraging them to get involved with building of their own future and that of their children.
We cover approximately 250 children every month through these camps. Thus in 12 years, we have covered about 21600 street children living in slums of Jaipur.