For the Weakest of Society – Hellmann Promotes Children’s Aid Project in India

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Promoting Children’s Right of Education in Trilok Puri.

On September 5, 2018, National Teacher’s Day in India, the Association for Development organization launched an Education Centre program in Trilok Puri, East Delhi according to their Community Outreach Program. Mr Shubhendu Das, Managing Director Hellmann India, had the honor to officially inaugurate the program by symbolically lighting the lamp.

Trilok Puri is a resettlement colony in East Delhi that was set-up in 1976 during the time of emergency. It came up as a part of “cleaning the city” drive, where people from the slums were moved out of the city. With a population of over 170,000, Trilok Puri makes up the majority of the constituency. Residents are mostly working in the unorganized sectors, such as domestic workers, sweepers, rickshaw pullers, auto drivers, daily wage laborers, small vendors, etc. and do not have social security.

The people of this community struggle hard to earn their livelihoods, and as a result, do not have time to spend with their children and look after them. Because of poverty, the parents do not have enough money to ensure their livelihood and fulfill the needs of qualitative education so they are forced to send their children to work. The quality of education available in existing schools in the community is another important issue which needs to be addressed. Overcrowding and lack of appropriate facilities are common phenomena in government schools. Accurate information about higher education and vocational training courses is also missing for adolescents seeking to secure future livelihoods. As a result, unemployment is rising in the community and Trilok Puri has a huge youth unemployment rate.

The aim of Community Outreach Program is to ensure Children’s Right to Education through community participation in 4 blocks of Trilok Puri in East Delhi, India. The program began with the symbolic lighting of the lamp by Mr. Das and was followed by a welcome address by Mr. Yogesh, Coordinator Association for Development, where he shared the project plan and how it will be implemented. He also requested the Hellmann team for their participation in different activities through volunteering. Mr. Das motivated the children saying that our children and youth are very talented and Hellmann would support them in nurturing their talent and promote their level of education.

BUGURI community library – Bettering Lives of Waste Picker’s Children

September 8, 2018 was World Literacy Day. On this day, volunteers of Hellmann India joined mural artist Poornima Sukumar from the Aravani Art Project to beautify the walls of the BUGURI community library in Banashankari, Bengaluru, India.

The community library has been established in 2016 by the Indian NGO Hasiru Dala, which is a non-profit organization of waste pickers that strives to integrate marginalized waste pickers into the solid waste management framework by utilizing their expertise in the domain. Initiated in 2013, Hasiru Dala now has a membership of over 7500 waste pickers and is innovating services and business models that leverage waste pickers’ expertise and entrepreneurship, generating stable livelihoods in the process. The emphasis on children’s’ program grew out of a need in the last three years when Hasiru Dala noticed child marriages and struggles with drug usage among the younger population of waste pickers’ families.

With the BUGURI community library children now feel there is a place of their own. The impact has been phenomenal in terms of increased interest in reading, engaging, understanding and handling a tough situation in their own community. BUGURI community library has now started in Hebbala, Bengaluru and also in Mysore. Hasiru Dala believes in investing in children of waste pickers in order for them to have better opportunities to study or to explore other areas of work as they grow.

The BUGURI library is a place for children to read, learn, play, express and have fun. This place is to create a sense of identity for the children of the Waste Pickers community. Normally, these children go to school and when they are back, they are left on their own.  This is when the children are prone to many unacceptable behaviors like drug addiction, substance abuse, and sometimes may get involved in antisocial activities and eventually drop out from school and start working or, in case of girls, end up in child marriage. Our project wants to keep these children engaged in some constructive activity that would help them improve their creativity, increase their desire for education and thus making their future secured.

The BUGURI children’s library started a year ago and houses over 1000 books in four different languages (English, Hindi, Kannada, and Tamil).  The BUGURI program has seen tremendous growth in children’s ability to read, express and discipline themselves. The community library has weekly read-aloud sessions, arts-based activities, game time, and theatre workshops. It is also a room for children to find a space of quiet to read, think, reflect, learn and just be themselves. The library has catered to around 200 children over the year and they belong to different age groups.

The children and many other volunteers who work with the project on a regular basis took part in this half a day wall painting activity to support World Literacy Day. The program started with Circle time, where all volunteers were introduced to each other and ended with a small vote of thanks to the Hellmann India team. The volunteers enjoyed their time interacting with the children as well as contributing their valuable time to paint the project for the benefit of the children.

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