Sugandha Deva is a Bachelor’s in Planning student at NIT-Bhopal. To explore more modules of her study, she chose to join SAATH for a summer internship. The last few she worked with the Child Friendly Spaces for Child Labourers.
On the occasion of International Child Against Labour Day i.e. 13 June 2011, I planned to celebrate the forthcoming week as CHILD AGAINST LABOUR WEEK 2011 (13-17 June 2011) by creating fun filled workshops for children at all the 7 Child Friendly Spaces. This week was themed as family security, called “GIVE A HUG” in which I tried to create activities focused on importance of family and parental love. Along with a fellow intern Trishla Jhaveri (Symbiosis, Pune), we taught poems and songs; origami, told stories and showed movies related to the importance of parental support and their society around them. The children have faced lot of parental pressure in the past, with household work, child labour, often borne to shouting and beatings. We tried to make them understand that inspite of their parents being harsh and even rude at times they dearly love them and care for their welfare. They need to value that their parents try to create a secure life for them. The children were also told that children like us, from better neighbourhoods, face the same problems and we need not hate our parents for their scolding because they love us nevertheless and only shout at us for our betterment.
In “Give a Hug” initiative the children were asked to go home and hug their parents and tell how much they loved them. We even took feedback from the children, and they felt a change in their parents’ behaviour that day, they felt closer to them than ever before. We taught a self composed Hindi poem to illustrate the parents love, affection and empathy to which the children could relate to.
The week spent with the children, visiting all the CFS at the construction site as well as slums was very touching. This campaign of Child Against Labour Week allowed me to take a glimpse in the lives of these young child labours that are craving for love and recognition in society. They wish to study further and live better improved lives. I was mesmerized when fellow teachers from CFS Mangalam Residency and Umanglambha called me the following day and told me that the kids miss me and wished I would come back and spend more time with them. There is nothing more beautiful than spreading more smiles in the world. I am really proud of the work SAATH is doing towards these child labours.
I wish you all the best,