Udaan – Life is much more than scrap picking

Crazy Green Society (Reg.)

Crazy green Society is organised to help society, to help Nature and to help Nation. Its members want to work for education, for medical facilities and for environment. From the last five years we proved ourselves in every field. In the field of education we started project UDAAN to educate rag pickers. We searched a society of rag pickers in saharanpur and studied about the reasons why they didn’t go to school. After one month study of their life style and about their free time we designed a program for their study. We talked with few other groups which are working on slum education and learned initial steps.

Problem which we are trying to solve

Scrap picking and selling – this is the only thing their life revolves around. The time in the morning when all other children go to schools, these children go to pick scrap lying on the streets. By selling this scrap a 6-7 years aged child earns about 70-100 rupees per day. This amount of money is more than enough for them to spend their life in eating, fighting and roaming on roads making noise only. According to them they are earning money without being educated so what is the need of education for them. Going to school is wastage of their important time which they utilize in earning living for them. Their parents also don’t want to send them to school at the time when they go to earn money for their families. The need is to educate them as per their suitability and requirements.

Solution:

Our solution is not only to teach them but also to create the need of education in their lives. First thing we did was to convince the elders of the society for the school to their children. Then we decided to run the classes in the evening when they don’t need to go to work at all. Another decision we took was to teach them somewhere near to their home so that going far for education could not become an excuse for them to not to go to school. Now it was challenge for us to keep them motivated to come to school regularly.  These children didn’t know anything. Their IQ level was nil. They used to quarrel and abuse each other even in front of us. They did not take bath daily. They did not brush their teeth daily. In the beginning it was difficult for us to make them silent and listen to us. But, gradually implementing daily something new and interesting in the classes we could be able to tackle all these initial challenges for us. They started coming daily and listening to us carefully.

The Model ( Started on 27th Feb 2011 )

Our model is first to create the classes interesting to them. If they find it interesting they would be regular in coming. Next step is to sync their learning with their life so that eventually they will know the importance of education in their lives and will do efforts by themselves to go to school.

By using the traditional methods of teaching it is not possible to create the interest in the classes. So we use methods like stories, games, drawing, dance, music etc. In all the methods we emphasize mainly to make their involvement. For example, while telling a story we make different roles and involve children to play those roles; then ask questions from the stories, make them curious for many things. We arrange small competitions and award the best performances. To give them exposure we invite other people to celebrate their children’s b’day with them. We go to small trips like visiting malls. We tell them about personal hygiene in order to avoid diseases such as fever and cholera.

After completing the teaching course, we have a plan to give them some technical training that can help them to start their own profession in future. For example, for big girls of the society we have started providing sewing training.

Innovative ideas at every step

Not only to teach them but to create the need of education in their lives by teaching them as per their suitability and requirements is the biggest challenge. To create interest in school we used  many innovative ideas like

    1. Prize for those students whose attendance  is almost 100 percent in every month.
    2. Two days reserve for drawing and coloring and one day as fun day.
    3. We teach them indoor games like LUDO/CARROM/CHESS
    4. Making noise is also one of their part of fun and we give them many chances to make noise.
    5. Paper craft and small interesting creations like clay toys is another favorite pastime.
    6. Story telling , making faces, small gifts and efforts of members helped a lot.

Impact

About 160 children of the society have been impacted by this project. Initially due to their unhygienic life style they used to face ignorance of other people but now this does not happen to them. Their parents and head of the society have also appreciated us by saying that we have changed the face of the society completely.

Till now the results of our activities are as follows:

  • Now students come to the classes regularly.
  • They have started cleaning teeth and taking bath daily.
  • They now ask questions in class.
  • They don’t quarrel with each other.
  • Their parents told us that at home also they live well. They help their brother and sisters.
  • Many children have started teaching their parents and elder brothers and sisters.
  • Head of the society told us that Udaan changed the environment of whole society.
  • Other groups have starting calling Udaan children in activities like dance competition, drawing competition etc.

Projected impact over the next 1-3 years

The society in which Udaan is currently being run is having about four hundred children. Due to our limitation of space and funds, to start off the project we had taken only about 160 children based on age criteria. So, our next milestone is first to take all the students from the current society. And, after that we want to target other similar slum areas of Saharanpur. There are four such societies in Saharanpur itself. Four societies mean about 1000 children. So, our target is – in next 1-3 years we will be having setups which can accommodate all thousand children of the city.

Our next step would be to give them some technical training that can help them to start their own profession in future. For example, for teenage girls of the society we have started providing sewing training.

Team

Our team is mainly composed of volunteers. Computer engineers, teachers, house wives. These persons save some hours from their schedule to work with us. Also, we have hired some staff to run the classes.

Offers: As we have been successfully running the classes for last one year, we can offer our innovative methods, ideas, experiences to other novice groups.

How will this help them to Rise?

A society of about one thousand people where nobody is literate; they even don’t think that education is necessary in their lives and therefore don’t send their children to school. Is it not so strange that people don’t think that school going is necessary for their children? We, through Udaan, are making the society aware about the need of education. Also, we have started running our classes at their premises and their suitable time. As teaching them using traditional method cannot force the children to attend the classes, we use various other methods to make studies interested to them. This project is helping the whole society in improving their way of life.

Marksheets of three kids of Udaan school whom got admission in regular school as they were very sharp in studies.

Udaan Kid Marksheet Udaan Kid Marksheet Udaan Kid Marksheet