Sports day Children enjoying themselves at an activity by NGO Magicbus
Organisations like CRY, Akansha and Magic Bus are household names, today. CRY focuses on the child labour menace and Akansha focuses on providing education to children from underserved communities. Magic Bus is renowned for using sport to build confidence in children from underserved communities. Thus first step has paved the way for Magicbus to conduct vaccination programmes, empower the girl child, and inculcate the importance of health and hygiene in children. Phoenix Sports, yet another non-profit started by handball aficionado Sai Hattangadi in 2006, also focuses on changing the lives of underprivileged children through sports, as does Khel Khel Mein, an initiative by a Teach For India fellows in Delhi.
Prominent organisations in the field
Teach For India
Shiv Nadar Foundation
For the physically challenged
Most of the problems that children face get compounded when it comes to those who face physical and mental challenges. More often than not, deaf children in India end up dropping out of school, as the chances of learning through normal methods used in the classroom is slim to none. The Noida Deaf Society, bridges the gap and gives such students a chance to learn, develop skills and find a job to sustain themselves and their families. For Aditi, one of the four hearing employees at the organisation, the first challenge was to learn Indian Sign Language (ISL). Today, she manages the organisation’s employability programmes at six of their centres, which train 1000 deaf youth every year.
Education is merely one aspect of child welfare and schooling. This domain is vast, as children everywhere need help and support. Other areas include, adoption and fostering; Child welfare and Rights; Education; Sexual and drug abuse; Counselling, including; Addressing dilemmas; Special education needs, and Day care.
This domain has a mix of Indian and international non-profits, international agencies, CSR units, governmental organisations, as well as philanthropy organisations working to improve the lot of children in India and across the world. The Adani Foundation started the Adani Vidya Mandir for children across 1400 villages, while the Shiv Nadar Foundation pioneered VidyaGyan, a school that picks the brightest students from underserved communities and offers them a world-class education. Organisations in this domain require a mixed bag of professionals – counsellors, special educators, programme managers, activists, human rights lawyers, amongst others – from various streams.
Select courses in Children Studies
MA Education (Early Childhood Care and Education)
Ambedkar University, New Delhi
MA Social Work with Children & Families
Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumabi
PG Diploma in Child Health
St. John’s Medical College; Assam Medical College
MA in Child Rights & Development
Assam Don Bosco University
PG Diploma in Paediatrics
Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Pune
Co-Founder & Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation
Besides Social Work students, being an interdisciplinary field, we need qualified personnel from economics, education, sociology, medicine, philosophy, politics, anthropology, and psychology. You need commitment, patience, flexibility, problem-solving skills and analytical skills to cope with traumatic situations in the field, and to make a difference
Programme Manager - Noida Deaf Society
Indian Sign Language is a complete language like any other language. But when I first started learning it, I felt very conscious, as I had to use my hands to communicate. But I didn’t have the liberty of learning it as a classroom programme; I was actually thrown into the pool where deaf students were counting on me to understand and communicate with them. My students don’t have two of their senses – ability to talk and hear. But the excitement in their body language, the dreams in their eyes, and the hope they have for future, just makes you believe that anything is possible.
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