Homelink Newsletter May-June 2014 Volume 3, Issue 15
Director’s Desk “The child’s mind is indeed not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited” – Plutarch Every child is special as he/she is born with his/her own set of unique inherent talents, latent potentials, skills and creativity. They have a right to live with dignity. We as the citizens of this great nation should give every opportunity to their intellectual, spiritual and social growth. The steps to be taken are not only by protesting, taking out rallies and making laws, but to create awareness by changing their mind set. Dear Friends & Partners, this issue of Homelink Newsletter highlights on EDUCATION & EDUCATIONAL SERVICES rendered by our Networking Partners. Every child has a right to education. Is it a wishful dream or reality for our children? “We must view young It is said that one day partially deaf four year old child came home with a note in his pocket people not as empty from his teacher. “Your son is too stupid to learn, get him out of the school”. His mother bottles to be filled, read the note and answered, “My son is not too stupid to learn, I will teach him myself”. And but as candles to be that son grew up to be the great Thomas Edison. He had only three months of formal schoollit.“ Robert H. Shaffer ing. Inside this issue: RTE & its Reality in India
Missing Children: Who cares?
News from Partners
Monitoring Visit of HLK Partners Repeal & Reenactment of Juvenile Justice Act Educational Status Report Children's Performance
Every student can learn. Just not on the same day or in the same way. History proves that many slow learners have become qualified writers and scientists in their lives, because the teachers offered them basic skills necessary for learning at the rate of a normal student at their stage. “Every piece of marble has a statue in it waiting to be released by a man of sufficient skill to chip away the unnecessary parts. Just as the sculptor is to the marble, so is education to the soul. It releases it. For only educated men are free men. You cannot create a statue by smashing the marble with a hammer, and you cannot by force of arms release the spirit or the soul of man,” so says Confucious.
The socio-economic, political, pluralistic religious and cultural scenario, prevailing in India today, with its challenges and opportunities, impels us to re-look at the Right to Education and its realities. Let us listen to the voice of a child, “If you touch me soft and gentle, if you 12 look at me and smile at me, if you listen to me and then talk to me, I will grow, really grow”. This voice challenges us to be true educators to prepare our children to learn and to enter a 13 global world, to participate in a democracy, make a living wage and be lifelong learners. Let us acknowledge that every child in India deserves quality education. Let us recognize that the surest path to development is through quality education to our children. Let our 14 motto be “overcome evil with good” and let our goal be “quality education to every child”. 15
Joe Prabu National Director
The Supreme Court ruled that minority institutions were outside the ambit of the Right To Education (RTE) Act and they cannot be hence obligated to reserve 25 per cent seats for students from socially and economically weaker sections of the society ( Indian Express,New Delhi, May 6th 2014)]
RTE & its Reality in India
The importance of education cannot be denied in oneâ€&#x;s life. It is essential for eradicating poverty and it allows people to be more productive and playing greater roles in economic life and earning a better living. The education is the key which allows people to move up in the world, seek better jobs, and ultimately succeed in their lives. The importance of primary education has been neglected by India since independence knowingly or unknowingly. However, Government of India tried to improve the primary education by bringing legislation i.e. Right to Education Act (RTE) 2009. The law that is in force in the country from April 1, 2010 is derived from the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act. The Act entitles each child aged 6 to 14 years to free and compulsory elementary education as the fundamental right. With this, India has moved forward to a rights based framework that casts a legal obligation on the Central and State Governments to implement this fundamental child right as enshrined in the Article 21A of the Constitution, in accordance with the provisions of the RTE Act. The important features highlighted in RTE are: Every child in the age group of 6 to 14 years shall have a right to free and compulsory education in a nearby school. Private and unaided educational institutes shall have to keep 25% of the seats for students belonging to the weaker sections.[The Supreme Court ruled that minority institutions were outside the ambit of the Right To Education (RTE) Act and they cannot be hence obligated to reserve 25 per cent seats for students from socially and economically weaker sections of the society (Utkarsh Anand, Indian Express, New Delhi, May 6th 2014)]
No child should be failed or expelled and will not be required to pass any board examination till the age of 14. It lays down the norms and standards relating inter alia to Pupil Teacher Ratios (PTRs), buildings and infrastructure, school-working days, teacher-working hours. All students who complete their elementary education shall be awarded certificate. Financial burdens shall be shared between the center and states. RTE lays down a timeframe of three years to meet all the norms except for the target of teacher training to be achieved by 2015. On 1st April, 2013, India completed three years of enactment of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. This legislation, laid down a time bound agenda to address some of the long pending gaps in the educational system, yet to be realized. Only eight per cent schools have complied with the Right to Education (RTE) norms despite the deadline for their implementation coming to an end about a year ago (http:// www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-only-8-schools-have-complied-with-rte-norms-1969172).
The Act has brought out some changes in the education system. It is an undeniable fact that additional government resources have been allotted, more teacher posts created and infrastructure sanctioned and administrative changes brought about. This enactment opened new possibilities for improving the quality of school education in the country. Consequently, several initiatives were taken at the national and state levels by individuals, groups, networks and alliances. Though the Act brought some sporadic changes in education, much had not reaped as per the Act outlined. For example, the Act does not take care of the children who fall between the age below six and over 14 years. There is no auditing or review to check whether RTE is implemented in the states. Although the Act was notified in 2010, and all states were asked by the Centre to implement the Act, its efficacy has not completely been proven in many states. Again there is no reliable statistics available on out-of-school children in our country. There are no criteria mentioned to check the quality of learning except for Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE). 2
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The Twelfth Five Year Plan document points out that (2) only 4.8 % of the school in the country achieved RTE compliance in all the nine indicators (Twelfth Five Year Plan, Vol.III, and Social Sectors). According to RTE Stock Taking Forum (2013), "Irrespective of the party in power, no state has fully implemented RTE. This is the case from Gujarat, with a 14.4% compliance rate even in Ahmedabad, to Mizoram with the lowest compliance rate of zero per cent in Serchhip district (Status of Implementation of the
Only 4.8 % of the school in the country achieved RTE compliance in all the nine indicators (Twelfth Five Year Plan, Vol.III, and Social Sectors)
Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009: Year Three (2012-13)
The Act has faced some challenges for a proper implementation in all the states. The major challenges to achieve the objectives and promises are financial challenges, quality of education and qualified teachers, adequate infrastructure, to bring child laborers to schools, etc. Financial challenge The fiscal burden of the RTE has to be shared between the center and the states in the ratio of 55:45 and 90:10 for the North-Eastern States. Many states of India like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab have expressed their incapability to mobilize funds and they would not be able to implement the Act in the absence of funds from the center. The state of Orissa wants the same status as of the North Eastern states with respect to the Act. With this situation, how can the implementation of RTE expect improvement in infrastructure, trained teachers, more facilities in schools? Quality of education and qualified teachers The number of hours of teaching has a significant India has 6.6 Lakh untrained teachers and 5 Lakh vacant impact on learning. It is a fact that, about one positions. fourth of the teachers of government school remains on leave in India at any given point of time and most of them are not able to do full justice to their professions due to numerous reasons. No consistent provision for substitute teachers is made available in the schools. The Act emphasis that school drop outs and other kids who are unable to get education, would be brought back into the education stream again. This provision demands recruitment of more teachers in school. According to a report (www.dnaindia.com), only 59.67% of students are in schools that have met the teacher student ratios outlined in RTE. Further, while RTE mandates that all teachers in the country be trained by 2015, (3) India has 6.6 lakh untrained teachers and 5 lakh vacant positions. The actual situation in few northern states is that there are hundreds of students in one class. Another report says that, the average Student Classroom Ratio (SCR) across schools in Bihar was found to be 82 indicating a significant load of students per classroom, which is 30 at national level (The Economic Times (Aug 27, 2013), Bihar schools lag in implementing right to education). The average Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) was found higher than the RTE norm and all India count of 30 in states like Bihar (51), Jharkhand(39) and Uttar Pradesh(38) as per official statistics of National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), 2013-14. RTE Act prohibits holding back and expulsion of a child from school till the accomplishment of elementary education. The „no detention‟ provision in the RTE Act does not mean that children's learning will not be assessed. The RTE Act makes provision of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) procedure to assess the child‟s learning and performance in a more constructive way. The CCE became very mechanical in nature and making the children busy without learning anything substantial. Children come to these schools, get a free meal and it bothers no one whether Homelink Newsletter (May-June 2014)
Enrollment level has gone up and reading and writing skills has declined .opened the door to prefer private schools by the parents and more demand and need for private tuition to their wards.
they are making any progress at all. (4)Enrollment level has gone up and declined in reading and writing skills among children. It led to the preference for private schooling by the parents and created the demand and need for private tuition. According to a research study conducted in Haryana, found that most of the investigated schools are able to fulfill basic infrastructure except a few but with regard to curriculum assessment, teachers training and other related issues they are lagging far behind. The findings showed that there has been some progress only in terms of enrollment/basic infrastructure but towards guaranteeing quality education in terms of student learning the state has to go a long way (Ojha Seema S. Implementing Right to Education: Issues and challenges, Research Journal of Educational Sciences, Vol. 1(2), 1-7, May (2013),
Infrastructure Infrastructure spell out the requirement of number of class rooms, library facility, play ground and playing materials, toilet facility for boys and girls separately, drinking water facility, all weather building, etc. The survey on 'Elementary Education in India', conducted by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), highlighted the fact that almost half of the recognized elementary schools in the country do not have separate toilets for girls. In the same survey (5)found that the government schools in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand do not have sufficient class rooms (Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development Government of India, DISE 2013-14, National University of Educational Plan-
As per the findings of a study commissioned by State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Bihar lagged on different counts of infrastructure and basic facilities like kitchen shed, library, playground, sanitation, free text books and potable water facilities (http://cp.bangladeshinfo.com/education/indian-schools-lag-in-implementing-education-act). It is very clear that the financial burden shouldered by Centre and State have not produced any expected impact. And also there is no clear demarcation between the responsibilities of the center and state and it seems to be a challenge to work out the details. ning and Administration, 2014, New Delhi).
RTE and Child labour RTE has become a fundamental right of each and every child, therefore, the children who are out of schools and child labours should be brought back to schools. Childhood poverty and slavery (includes slavery-like practices such as debt bondage, forced marriage, and sale or exploitation of children, human trafficking and forced labour) has forced many children into the workplace rather than the classroom. The dropout and never enrolled children tend to be the most marginalized and most disadvantaged such as child labourers, street children, migrant children, children in conflict affected areas and the disabled need more focused efforts. Meeting this target would require huge efforts from the state to accelerate implementation of the existing provisions under the Right to Education Act and eventually provide equitable and quality education. Despite the governmentâ€&#x;s 2012 ban of all types of child labor under the age of 14, little has changed in the past two years. According to the recent Global Slavery Index, (6)India ranked 4th among countries with highest prevalence of modern slavery (www.globalslaveryindex.org, www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/india/).
The government schools in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand do not have sufficient class rooms (National University of Educational Planning and Administration, 2014, New Delhi).
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India ranked 4th among countries with highest prevalence of modern slavery (www.globalslaveryindex .org).
Conclusion I would like to state that passing an act is not sufficient. The need of hour is to implement and monitor the Act properly. The level of basic education has got changed and the urgent necessity is that to focus on more in higher level of education than the primary education. Teachers should be free from all types of extra duties assigned to them by the government. The consistent monitoring and intention of the political will is a must to implement the Act successful to bring the intended results in our country. Along with the political will, the success and failure of RTE would largely depend on participation of all the stakeholders. Budgetary allocation of funds should be sufficient in achieving universal elementary education. Infrastructure and quality of teachers .should be enhanced as per the Act. To curb the drop outs from the school, school environment need to be converted into child friendly through the inclusion of more practical learning. The youth and civil society should come forward and spread the usefulness of education to illiterate parents who are unable to appreciate the relevance of education in curbing the social evils Sr. Mary Program Coordinator
Missing Children: Who cares? Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanagam the Regional Councillor for South Asia, and the President of SPCSA, released the book by presenting the first copy to Fr. Fr. Balaraju Raminedi, the Provincial in-charge of the SPCSA for the YaR regional commission, on the first day of the SPCSA General Assembly Meet. Fr. Maria Arokiam handed over the second and third copies to Fr. Koshy George, the newly appointed Secretary of YaR, and to Fr. Mathew Thomas, the outgoing YaR Secretary, in the presence of other 40 Salesians from all the Salesian Provinces of the South Asia region, including all the Provincial Superiors. ``The whole issue of child protection, particularly of missing children, is a matter of growing concern among child rights activists and policy makers``, said Fr. Prabhu prior to the book release. He bewailed the lack of coordination among the different stakeholders of child care, and lack of knowledge of procedures and the insensitive handling of cases of missing children in general. He expressed the motive behind the publication of the book saying that ``The vision of a safe and secure environment for all children as envisaged in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, is still a distant reality. But we can, and we must, push for more concerted action to control and eliminate the growing menace, and we cannot allow this to be swept under the carpet.` ``Missing Children: Who cares?`` brings together recent statistics, relevant laws, guidelines, court-rulings, initiatives and interventions of many stakeholders in their task of working to find untraceable missing children. The book has informative chapters dealing with the concept of the Missing Children; International and national protocols on Missing children; Interventions on Missing Children from the Government of India, the State Governments and NGO`s; and ways and means of tackling the problem of missing children, including efforts by YaR through Child Safety Net and Home Link systems. The book is dedicated to the victim children of the country in the hope that it will provide a breakthrough for child safety net in the lives of Indian children. Homelink Newsletter (May-June 2014)
World Day against Child Labour On 12th June, 2014, during the morning assembly at Shelter Don Bosco, Mumbai, Fr. Jesu Robinson, Mr. Eustace & Mr. Datta Gade gave a session on Child Labour. The important information about child rights and child labour was presented by speakers in detail. Current issues about child labour in Mumbai city were also explained. It was an interactive session as boys participated in discussion. A video presentation on Child Labour was also filmed. By the end of the program all the children became aware about Child Labour and also understood that Child Labour is a mishap to our society. The boys at Shelter Don Bosco were grateful for the knowledge provided to them by the coordinators and speakers at the center. Mr. Datta K. Gade Mumbai Hub Coordinator
Only the Educated are Free…
Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself John Dewey
Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. Nelson Mandela
Don Bosco, Anbu Illam, Coimbatore, hosted a summer camp from 21st April to 17th May, 2014 for students who have completed 10th, 11th, & 12th classes. Children were taught Spoken English and basic grammar. „Speak English‟ became a slogan among students, as they conversed only in English and accordingly individual points were marked. During computer classes, the basic functionalities of Microsoft Office were taught and shortcut keys were introduced to enhance their speed. The weekly revision and month long program was tested through Quiz Programmes and Games and points were awarded. The peak of the summer camp was on the final day, when the students organized the „Goodbye‟ function with all the cultural programmes presented in English with great surprises of their ability to express themselves in English. It ended with the distribution of certificates and prizes according their performances. Ms. Jacqueline Coimbatore Hub-Coordinator
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“Stop Child Labour, Protect Child Rights” On the eve of the International day against Child Labour, 11th June 2014, BOSCO CHILDLINE in association with the schools surrounding Charmarajpet and city market along with the Bangalore Police took out a massive rally to create awareness to the public as well as to identify pockets where children are employed for various forms of labour and checked the possibilities of rescuing them. The inauguration of the rally was held at Old Fort High School Ground, more than 500 hundred children from various schools participated. The rally was flagged off by Shri R.V. Devaraj MLA Chickpet, who insisted the need for stopping child labour from all commercial and noncommercial sectors. He also mentioned that today‟s need is education and it is important to give best education to all the children and by employing them as child labourers we are harming the society as well as the child‟s future. On this occasion he released the posters and volunteers distributed pamphlets to the passengers, shop keepers, bus travelers, auto owners, drivers, garage people and hotel owners, where child labour is still prevalent. BOSCO prepared a CD on the rights of the children. Shri Devraraj appreciated the efforts of BOSCO in reducing the child labourers in the city of Bangalore. Children were brimming with energy and they wanted to tell everyone that the need of the hour is to educate all children. So, they held high placards with beautiful themes like „Stop child labour, send children to school‟ and shouted slogans to end the exploitation of children. A street play highlighting the theme was put up in Kalasipalyam and Shanti Nagar bus station by the children in a specially designed vehicle. The rally went through areas like Kalasipalya, JC Minerva circle, Vinobha Nagar where child labour is usually at a high rate and ended at the Lalbagh Main Gate where the concluding ceremony was held. The gathering was addressed by Shri Hungund, a Human Rights member. He emphasized on the need of awareness among the people on the issue of child rights. He referred about the government sectors, especially the Child Rights Commission and the Human Rights Commission for the role they have to play regarding the issue of child rights. BOSCO undertook a week long door to door campaign in child labour prone places like Kalasipalyam, Agrahara, Gopalpura, Shivajinagar, KR Market, Vinobhanagar and Gandhinagar and issued notice to the employers under JJ Act, Section 26. A signature campaign was also organized to make these places child labour free. More than 5000 signatures were collected from the public to stop child labour in their work places and its vicinities. On th the Anti-child Labour day, 12 June, BOSCO submitted the memorandum to the Labour Minister, Labour ComAn investment in funcmissioner and District Collector during the public knowledge pays the best tion at Kanteerva stadium. Mr. Binu Varghese State MCB Coordinator
Homelink Newsletter (May-June 2014)
Addiction to De-addiction Snehalaya in collaboration with SOS conducted a deaddiction camp, a first of its kind in Assam, at the SOS village at Bhakatpara, Darrang District. 22 boys from Snehalaya Drop-in Centre as well as Railway Station, streets, markets and slums of Guwahati participated in the month-long camp from 2nd to 29th May 2014. The children participated in the camp voluntarily as they want to quit the habit of substance abuse. One of the most challenging issues of the vulnerable children is their addiction to substances like dendrite, erasex and tobacco products which are easily available in the stationery shops and general stores at cheap rates. Since there are no de-addiction treatments available specifically for children in Assam, it was thought that a child-specific intervention may wean the children from these substances. The camp was an effort to provide these children an environment where not only these substances are not available but several positive inputs like green surroundings, recreation like sports and music, craft activities along with professional counselling were provided. The outcome of the camp has been very encouraging as most of the children are determined to quit the habit and study further. Most of the children from the camp are now at different homes of Snehalaya and are preparing to enrol in regular schools. The others are in touch with the workers of Snehalaya and are being supported in keeping away from substance abuse. Ms. Meenal Gandhe Guwahati Hub-Coordinator
State Level Consultation on Children in Kerala A State Level Consultation on Missing Children and Track Child System was organized by Kerala State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights in the State Capital of Kerala, Trivandrum, on 22 May 2014. Fr. Philip Parakatt SDB, Member of Kerala State Child Rights Commission, was the key Organizer of the Consultation. Fr. Philip belongs to the Salesian Province of Bangalore. He was involved in the ministry towards young at risk for the past two decades. The forum consisted of ministers, bureaucrats, Police Officers and activists in the field.
Vocation Camps at Don Bosco Lonavla The cradle of vocations to the Mumbai province, Don Bosco Lonavla, hosted two vocation camps beginning from May 2-12, 2014. Seventy enthusiastic young boys participated in these camps. The house of Lonavla, with its beauty and inspiring history, gave way to a wonderful experience to the campers.
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Young at Risk have Great fun at Summer Camp Don Bosco Navajeevan Rehabilitation centre, Ramanthapur (Hyderabad), Home for Street involved and young at Risk Children, organized a month long summer camp which began on 1st May 2014 and ended it with sweet memories on 31st of May 2014. The children from Don Bosco Navajeevan, Nampally too came over to Ramanthapur for the concluding programme. Fr Thathireddy Vijay Bhaskar, the Vice Provincial of the Salesian Province of Hyderabad, was the Chief Guest for the event.
Evening Degree Course for Disadvantaged Youth In keeping with the Spirit and Mission of Don Bosco, St. Anthony`s College, Shillong will open its doors to the underprivileged youths of the state who desire to continue their education and to graduate from a reputed institution. Its Bachelors of Arts Pass Course (Evening Shift), due to begin from 2014 onwards is geared specifically towards meeting the needs of students who were unable to find admission into good colleges of the town due to their low percentage.
Education for Life! “315 million Indians are studying,” as reported in Times of India (3rd July 2014). If they were to form a country only of their own, they would form the fourth largest country in the world. The US has a total population of only 318 million. China, despite being the most populous country in the world has only 252 million students – perhaps a result of its decades-old one-child policy. It is interesting to note that over 33 million Indian students are above the age of 30 and it isa great sign. I wonder whether this number consists of those who are only studying or includes those that work and study at the same time. I used to be amused by people who say, “I have completed my studies.” What could that mean – that there is nothing left for them to learn? – that they are not studying anything specifically towards getting a certificate, diploma or degree? The smart people are those who keep learning something new every day, whether formally or informally, whether for a “degree” or for better results at work or for their own personal growth and satisfaction. It is even more interesting that 1.2 million Indians above the age of 60 declare that they are “studying”, and 120,000 people above 80 are also “students”. If this is not the result of a poorly worded or badly misunderstood question in the census, but reflects the reality, it is wonderful news. I once met a person in Belgium who was above 70 and was studying Aramaic so that he could read the Bible in the language of Jesus. How wonderful the attitude of people above 60 and 80 who take up serious studies once again! 10.5 million Indian students are in the age group 0 to 4. They are 10% of all the kids in that age bracket. Is that a “good” sign or a “bad sign”? M.C. George Director - BoscoNet Homelink Newsletter (May-June 2014)
Ask, Search and Knock P. Eshwar, 10 year old, hails from Nellore. He came to Vijayawada in search of his father, who was selling waste paper in a town of Vijayawada. During the search the boy lost his way and ended up at a railway station in Vijayawada. He was picking up rags in order to earn his living that is when the Street Presence team from Navajeevan Bala Bhawan spotted him and brought him to the center. Initially the boy was kept in a temporary shelter through childline in Tana Rescue center. The boy wanted to go home desperately, thus, the Home Integration staff decided to search for boyâ€&#x;s parents. At first Nellore police station was approached but on receiving no response from them, Childline office was approached, yet the parents of Eshwar were not found. Then, staff from Navajeevan along with the boy went to Nellore in search of his parents. After a long search in areas like Yana Dula and D.Dibba the team was successful in restoration of the boy with his parents.
Alias Rajesh Rajesh, a 14 year old boy was found roaming aimlessly in Visakhapatnam Railway Station in school uniform. From his behavior he was identified as a first time run away and was brought to Navajeevan by the field Staff, Mr. D. Raviprasad. He was a student of a welfare hostel and on reaching home for Dasara holidays he found that both his parents died in a road accident and that nobody had informed him about this as he was the only child and they had settled down in that locality from a distant place very recently. Even his only maternal uncle had left the house some time ago after a family dispute. He did not want to return to the hostel as the thought of his dead parents kept haunting him. He adjusted well to the Navajeevan climate and was found to be happy and well behaved. After spending much time with him in counselling by Fr. Thomas, he gave the number of his school Principal and agreed to return to the school. On contacting the Principal we were told that the boy had not returned to the hostel after the holidays and that both his parents were alive. He has an elder brother and a younger sister too. His parents were contacted immediately and they Mr. Prakash, construction worker and Mrs. Mamatha, housewife rushed to Navajeevan without any further waste of time as they were looking for him frantically everywhere and had even filed a missing complaint with the police. Mamatha had made up to end her life if the boy was not found for two more days. They told that his real name was Velanganni Raju and not Rajesh as he had told us. While he gave the information as a 5th class student, in fact he was studying in 9th Std. His parents were loving people and he too was very caring and affectionate to them. They told that his real name was Velanganni Raju and not Rajesh as he had told us. While he gave the information as a 5th class student, in fact he was studying in 9th Std. His parents were loving people and he too was very caring and affectionate to them. Whenever he used to ring up from the hostel he advised them to take the 10
Homelink Newsletter (May-June
medicines regularly and not to neglect their health. So for them too it is a mystery why he ran away from home. In the course of the conversation his mother told that her father was run over by a lorry and killed on the spot. Perhaps this thought lingered in his mind and he imagined that his parents too will be lost in a similar manner. Therefore he dreaded such a tragedy and was running away before it could happen. What drives people to different untoward deeds is a mystery but a helping hand and a loving word at the right time can save a life and even a family too. His parents left the Navajeevan Office with tears; may be that of happiness or that of gratitude, or even a mixture of both. Next day they returned with the entire family beaming with joy and a donation for Navajeevan. May Velanganni Raju grow up to be a blessing to himself and to his family.
At last I am back Home! V. Satish, a 16 year old hailing from Vissanna Peta, Krishna District, ran away from his grandfather‟s house at the age of eight. The boy was found by the staff of Navajeevan Bala Bhawan, was placed in Chiguru, and then shifted to government home in Eluru. At Eluru he was diagnosed with HIV positive, due to which he had to be shifted to Nirmal Hriday Bhavan. The boy was missing his parents and wanted to meet them. So, the Home Integration staff decided to home place the boy. The staff took the boy to his village Putrela. Reaching the village they found out that the boy‟s parents had migrated to Hyderabad long back. The staff continued their search and got to know that his parents had later shifted to another place called Kotipallygudem. It is after talking to the Gram Sarpanch they got to know that the boy‟s parents had died because of HIV and the elder sister was married off. The staff continued their search in search of other relatives; at the end they were successful in finding the boy‟s uncle and aunty in the Putrela Village. Both the boy and the relatives were overjoyed on seeing each other. They were grateful to Navajeevan Bala Bhawan and Nirmal Hriday Sisters for their care and concern throughout the home placement process.
Shocking! Appalling! Shameful! On 25 June, 2014, Jayanti Nayak, 14 years, from Ganjam District of Orissa, committed suicide. Jayanti needed a fresh notebook and pencil. Her parents could not afford to buy them as her father was bed ridden and is just back to work after three months. On the same day Jayanti told her mother she could not go to school without the notebook and pencil and would stay back home for the day. After her mother left for work she doused herself in Kerosene and set fire to herself. The neighbours saw fire and smoke coming out of the house. They rushed in and took her to the hospital, but she passed away. Some people wonder why NGOs get into education when we have so many government schools and a wonderful programme like Sarva ShikshaAbhiyan (SSA). A lot remains to be done despite our beautiful policies and schemes. NGOs like Don Bosco still have a LOT to do!
The Purpose of Education is to replace an empty mind with an open one. Homelink Newsletter (May-June 2014)
Montu makes Snehalaya proud Montu Kalita is a 17 years old boy living at Snehalaya, Guwahati, since 2004. In last ten years he has blossomed into an intelligent youth with many talents. His cheerful and confident demeanour impresses one and all. He recently passed his matriculation examination with 73% from Don Bosco High School, Hojai. He also received laurels in subjects, like, English, Computer Science and Social Science. He is a student of the school since 2005 and has excelled in many co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. He also has been a class monitor and a „House Leader‟. Other than studies, Sports are Montu‟s favourite activity. He has won numerous medals in sports, like, football, basketball, cricket, badminton, etc. He loves to travel and make new friends. He is a role model for the children of Snehalaya and his school. Snehalaya family as well his school is extremely happy at Montu‟s achievement and wish him all the very best.
Monitoring visit of Homelink Network Partners The monitoring visit was conducted by the National team, comprising of Joe Prabu, Austin Francis and Mary, during the month of June 2014 in different Hubs in South India. The purpose of visit is to understand the efforts and achievements of each Hub in Homelink Network programme for the children & young at risk, to appraise the functions of the Hub in line with the MoU and to guide the Hub personnel for further monitoring of their Nodes. The team visited Coimbatore, Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad Hubs and some of their Nodes as well from 3rd June to 13th June. Hubs presented the current status of their nodes and their level of documentation with the usage of Child MISS Web application. Field visits were made to interact with organization staff and children to comprehend the ground realities and its application to Child MISS. Meetings were held with hub and node directors discussing on the progress and development so far, the challenges and way forward. The national team introduced simplified formats for the data entry of child basic and further information, proposed the possibility of multi-user license for data entry at department or sub centre level and demonstrated on the various possibilities of data filtering and report generation. We also discussed brief about the presentation of monthly reports of the status of the various services rendered to children and young people in the staff meeting of the organization. During the monitoring visit, each Hub was given a checklist on Hub functionalities and performance for their own internal assessment and later it was submitted to the National office. In short, the outcome of the visit is that all the hubs and nodes had taken a progressive step forward to make the respective hubs and nodes active in function. Sr.Mary Program Coordinator 12
Homelink Newsletter (May-June
Repeal & Re-enactment of Juvenile Justice Act "There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children". - Nelson Mandela The Women and Child Development Ministry has decided to repeal and re-enact the JJ Act, 2000. A draft of the proposed Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014 incorporating the suggestions already received during previous consultation process has been uploaded on the website wcd.nic.in for suggestions/comments from the civil society organisations, non government organisations and individuals by 3rd July 2014. Over the last few years, concerns regarding protection of children and implementation issues related to the legislation have arisen, which need to be addressed as a priority through strengthening of existing provisions and introduction of new clauses in the Act. The Women and Child Development Ministry had discussions with States / UTs and Civil Society Organisations and the following issues came up: 1. Increase in reported incidents of abuse of children in institutions, family and communities. 2. Inadequate facilities, quality of care and rehabilitation measures in Homes. 3. Delays in various processes under the Act, such as decision by the Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) And Juvenile Justice Boards leading to high pendency of cases. 4. Delay in adoption process. 5. Inadequate provision to deal with offences against children. 6. Provisions related to juveniles in conflict with law, in the age group of 16 to 18 years, etc. We as a network have presented two-fold suggestions with explanation (issue based & on specific sessions) with the view that this bill will ensure the objectives of child rights preservation, holistic development and protection of children. The following are some of the highlights for amendment: 1. Name of the Act: Children in Need of Care and Protection Bill 2014 or The Children (Justice, Care And Protection) Bill 2014. 2. Children are all those below 18. There should be no exception whatsoever. There should be mandatory age verification by authorized hospitals. 3. CWC and JJB must be with competent people who are committed to the welfare of children, without any magistrate or lawyer or Public servant in it. 4. Child in Conflict with the Law (CCL) has to be a sub-section of Child in Need of Care and Protection (CNCP). The child is presented before CWC and the committee decides those to be referred to JJB. 5. Cases involving detention, prosecution or penalty of imprisonment. Matters or processes relating to apprehension, production before court, disposal order and restoration and hence restorative justice is applicable to CCL and not retributive justice. 6. Definition on Missing Children and the need to create a social network system like that of the Missing Child Bureau to address the issue with Govt. support and NGO Network. 7. Procedures and decisions related to adoption of children and rehabilitation and reintegration of children in conflict with law or as the case may be, in need of care and protection under such other law. 8. Means to ensure the rights of the child from the Government and its functionaries and to provide sufficient human and financial resources. Joe Prabu National Director Homelink Newsletter (May-June 2014)
HLK Partners—Educational Status
Educational Status Total No. of Children :
Male Female Total
S.No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
914 624 1538
No. of Children
Classes 1-5 Classes 6-8 Classes 9-10 ITI Formal & Informal Polytechnic/Degree Course/Certificate/ Diploma Not attending School Any Other Total 400
Male 353 286 94 121
Female 269 172 31 104
Total 622 458 125 225
13 34 13 914
19 24 5 624
32 58 18 1538
Children's Performance S.No
Class X 1
Ravi Chandran M.
St. Paul‟s Hr. Secondary School, Salem
Madakeri High School, Don Bosco Hospet Hosept
Ganapathy Government Hr. Sec. School Kovai
The Salem Don Bosco Anbu Illam Social Service Society
Marialaya – Coimbatore
Homelink Newsletter (May-June
Patil High School, Hospet
Don Bosco Hospet
Don Bosco Hojai
Snehalaya Don Bosco,Guwahati
St. Michaels Boys. Hr. Sec . School
Don Bosco Anbu Illam, Coimbatore
Govt.High School Tarfail
Don Bosco PYaR, Gulbarga
Govt. High School Tarfail
Don Bosco PYaR, Gulbarga
Govt.High School Tarfail
Don Bosco PYaR, Gulbarga
Class XII 1
St. Michaels Boys . Hr.sec School
Don Bosco Anbu Illam, Coimbatore
S. Mari Sarala Mary
Presentation Girls Hr. Sec. School - Kovai
Marialaya – Coimbatore
St. Paul‟s. Hr. Sec. School Salem
The Salem Don Bosco Anbu Illam Social Service Society
“The roots of Education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet” Aristotle Homelink Newsletter (May-June 2014)
â€œEducation is not the lightning of a pail, but the lightning of a fireâ€? W.B.Yeats
Homelink Newsletter (May-June 2014)