In Odisha, Children create a Healthy Life for Themselves

Since 2012, Odisha has been a prominent intervention area for CRY. One day when CRY representatives, along with members of its partner Sadhana-Society for Action in Disability and Health Awareness, visited a local school of Laxmiposi village of Baripada block, Mayurbhanj district, they were pleasantly surprised by how well the kids were describing the nutrients present in different fruits and vegetables. Another astounding fact was that every child had at least 1 banana during their tiffin break coming kitchen gardens which they were growing in their homes.

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Football makes dreams come true again!

When Jeyasutha dropped out of school in the 7th grade, it wasn’t because she didn’t want to go to school anymore. She missed her friends and teachers and desperately wanted to study. But there was one thing she didn’t miss. It was the lack of toilet facilities in her school.

With no proper facilities for girls, she and her classmates had to wait till they got home to relieve themselves every day. Unable to carry on like this, she saw no other option but to drop out.

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Painting a Future

It is quite common to hear adults wanting to relive their childhood- to enjoy those days filled with leisure, lost in the dreamland and free from any tension about future. People universally tend to associate this phase to be driven by unprompted and unplanned events. Until very recently, I too held the same view. The story of Rancy from one of CRY’s Gurugram PAG, however, changed my perception. Hearing her story from her teacher and a fellow volunteer, Rahul, I realized that dreaming is an art, the inspiration of which one draws from their surroundings.

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Change, Through My Eyes…

“Oh the joys of a functioning Anganwadi that serves fluffy rice with piping hot sambar and eggs, a government school with actual classrooms for all the children to fit in, a health centre that is up and running, children who know about their rights and claim them too, a community of incredibly dedicated people that come together to oppose discrimination and injustice through folk songs – my recent visit to Salem and Raichur to document two CRY supported projects has left me deeply moved and inspired. My heart is full and aching at the same time. Jayam who runs Salem People Trust and Ambanna who founded Shruti Samskruti Samsthe are down right heroes, and so are their teams!,” Silja John, Independent Filmmaker.

 

Sona’s Schoolcoming

“I miss my father. I was about seven when he passed away. And everything kept on getting tougher. My mother would cry a lot. Some days we would eat just once in the whole day. I have four brothers and three sisters. All of us started farming in the small piece of land we had. My mother too goes away for days. She goes to the big nearby cities where she works as a farm labourer. I used to stay at home with my sisters and helped them in the household chores. I was good in studies but had to drop out when I was in second standard.”

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Tiny Shoulders, Big Burdens

The day of the community cultural programme was a busy day for all the kids in the Sonari slum area of Jamshedpur. But, the busiest of them all was the lanky teenage boy- Ganesh, who’d masterminded the whole event.

Ever since Adarsh Seva Sansthan (ASES), a grassroots level non-profit supported by CRY had started work in this slum adjoining the city’s airport; things have been taking a turn for the better. ASES aims to provide a fair, healthy world to the underprivileged children and to bring them to the mainstream where they could have a happy childhood. And, the project’s impact on this colony is actually visible, with there being a real difference in the way the community comes together and takes on responsibilities.

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Of Fathers, Daughters and Faith…

“You know what, I am pretty sure I should have scored more in History and Education. I missed the cut off required to move from Humanities to Nursing by a very thin margin. Of course, I’ve given my answer scripts for a recheck. But for now, I am concentrating on taking up English for my graduation and then doing my Masters in Social Work. My end objective remains the same. I want to help people. May be now, I will be able to help a larger number of people if I take up MSW.” History does repeat itself. Ananya Ghosh, a lanky teenager from Dhenua – a small, unassuming little village in the Bardhaman district of West Bengal – recreated history twice when the Higher Secondary Examination results were announced last week.

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Back on the right track!

At 14 years, when most school kids are obsessed with movies and friends and gossip, Anitha had her head on a completely different set of things – grazing the landlord’s cattle and doing his household chores. And this would have been her life – a story of untapped potential and lost childhood – if the CRY supported project, Association for Social Economical Educational Cultural Health and Environment Development (PEOPLE) hadn’t rescued her from the venomous fangs of child labour.

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