Think about it for a moment.
Is it the ice cream vendor? Going to your relatives’ place? Or maybe that day in school when your best friend shared lunch with you?
These little moments and this innocence are what make childhood special. Now what if you were told that there are so many children who don’t even get this basic right to live their childhood as children? Their circumstances take away from them what is generally supposed to be the happiest and most carefree period of one’s life.
The children from the slums of Bamanwada live in really adverse conditions- the mud roads outside their tarpaulin houses are covered by gutter water where they see their mothers cough and suffer as she tries to light the woods to make her family a meal. In such conditions, their hopes are destroyed and faith in life is killed. Muskurahat seeks to restore that faith and confidence in life.
The children of Bamanwada slums realise the value of education and are eager to change their lives. Their eyes light up with a shine that’s compared to nothing else when they are spoken to about life enrichment. But their conditions have forced them to believe that there isn’t much improvement that can happen in their lives. The ragpicker’s children learn to scavenge and find the gold in the garbage. But it’s really frustrating when no matter how much effort they put in, it doesn’t help. They are desperate to find the gold in their lives.
So, for the past two months, Muskurahat volunteers have been going to the slums every Sunday morning to take sessions with the children where they teach them morals, discipline, manners and give them the love that their life lacks. The plan is to slowly get them comfortable and do activities for their holistic development. Muskurahat has successfully implemented the AnganShiksha project in two other locations and has been creating positive impact in the lives of over 150 children.
Muskurahat collaborated with experts and devised a special curriculum for these children so as to help them grow as well rounded individuals. This curriculum comprises of teaching them every day social behaviours and manners, morals and basic education. The goal is to equip them with skills that they missed out on because of their upbringing. By teaching them community development oriented skills, the goal is to enrich their overall quality of life. By indulging in value-based learning, Muskurahat wants to equip them with a tool set to make their living conditions brighter and better.
This new project comes with various challenges. A lack of proper place to conduct the sessions being the first. At first Muskurahat collaborated with a temple space, but unfortunately has not been able to take sessions there yet because the space is not ready. The sessions are held at a backup place, which does not really harbor a conducive learning environment. There’s no roof or a shed which makes it susceptible to the harsh Mumbai rains and the intense summer heat, making it difficult for volunteers and the students. Classes have been and can be potentially canceled for weeks. The funding is also required for the enrichment, enhancement and further development of the curriculum so that it can be improved as and when constructive feedback is received. Training and facilitation of the volunteers and acquiring resources to conduct the sessions also require monetary resources. This is why Muskurahat needs your help to accomplish the noble purpose. So this is an appeal to the humanity in you, help bring the light of children’s eyes back?