We (children) too have rights.
Where there are only 07 ICDS centres to cater 5000 huts from 5 pocket of slum in Sub Urban Mumbai and also the distance from the slum pockets to the nearest BMC School, it becomes really difficult to get a space and quality education as well as adequate facility for children like Chenya. Also where the situation of parents is such that there is no surety of even earning for the day due to which the children are bound to work and forget their dreams of becoming a Doctor/an Engineer.
Chenya is eleven from Banjartanda, Bharat Nagar Slum pocket of Vasi Naka in the city of Mumbai. A student of class 3rd of BMC School in the campus of National Chemical Fertilizer Colony travels 3 kms everyday on foot to reach the school. He lives with his mother, father and his elder brother. His parents earn money through working everyday as a labourer, which is not fixed even. His parents migrated 10 years back to Mumbai from a small village of Gulbarga in Karnataka in search of work. Chenya’s elder brother also works in a restaurant to support the family.
He has been drawing and participating in Inter School Competition for last two years and also been awarded with lot of prizes and medals. This year he has won 3 prizes in Inter School Competition. His teacher says that he is equally an intelligent boy and good at studies.
Looking at the socio-economic condition of his family, Chenya is able to draw, paint, study and dreaming of becoming an Engineer/doctor. Here the support extended by not only his parents but Chenya’s friends, Samta Mitra Mandal(SMM), a Child Rights and You(CRY), Mumbai supported urban initiative working in 3 pocket of slums in M ward of Mumbai. Chenya was identified and supported through the support centre run by SMM, which enabled him to realize his interests/potential in the area of drawing, painting as well as his studies. The centre also discussed his likings/disliking along with the problems and was able to discuss Chenya with his parents and extended every support to enrol in the BMC School.
Chenya likes playing cricket – Chenya says that when he is older, he would like to be a Doctor or an Engineer and support his family and other friends who are in need. He feels like there should be a ‘change’- of the ‘situation’, ‘the people’ and the “neglected Children and Childhood” because “we (children) too have rights”.