VIDIYAL NEWS
03.12.2022 – Nature Day for Children
11.12.2022 – Staff and Volunteers Training
10.12.2022/24.12.2022 – VCRM Executive Committee Meet
24.12.2022 – Christmas Celebration
26-30.12.2022 – Junior – Training on Natuputa Kalaigal
26-30.12.2022 – Intermediate – Training on Street Theatre
26-30.12.2022 – Seniors – Training on Problem Solving and Decision Making

Four Dimensional Interventions

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INTERVENTION ON THE STREETS

The street based intervention is anchored though taking Vidiyal to the streets. The thrust area in the street based intervention is PROTECTION of vulnerable children.

Our programme staff and Childline team goes on street visits to identify street and working children. Visit to populated joints including the railway station, bus station helps in identifying the uncared street urchins and runaway children. When a child is spotted on the street our staff befriend them and offer psychological attention to their needs. Runaway children, abandoned children and child labourers are rescued immediately. Immediate needs like food, clothing, shelterand medical aid are provided to them as part of the street intervention. Children also identify our staff as caring adults and share their issues and concerns. Counselling needs in children are identified and attended immediately.

INTERVENTION IN THE CENTRE

Once the child is rescued by our team members, he or she is brought to the Shelter Home which holds a legal status as the Reception Home under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

Children brought to the shelter home are attended by specialized staff members and their needs are analyzed in detail. After understanding the varied needs of each child a rehabilitation plan is worked out with informed choices. The following choices are given to the child for making informed decisions.
• Home placement and Reunification with the family with the orders of the Child Welfare
Committee
• Residential care in Government recognizedChildren’s Home
• Readmission in school and continuation of education
• Pre Vocational training and referral services

RECEPTION HOME FOR CHILDREN IN NEED OF CARE AND PROTECTION
The Department of Social Defence of the Tamilnadu Government since March 2004 has recognised Vidiyal as a ‘place of safety’ and entrusted to Vidiyal the Government Reception Home for Madurai district under the auspices of the Child Welfare Committee. The Home has been established under the Juvenile Justice (care and protection) Act 2000 to provide rehabilitation and restoration to children in need of care and protection.

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INTERVENTION IN THE COMMUNITY

There has been lot of research studies conducted on Street children which proved that the phenomenon of street children is very much associated with urbanization. The researched data further reveals that predominantly those children from poor socio economic backgrounds only drop out from school and become street children. In our experience we have seen this very much in reality. The community based intervention centres around PREVENTION strategies which takes the major chunk of our work.

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CHILD EDUCATION CENTRES:

Vidiyal had a very simple beginning on the streets of Madurai and began its community intervention with the people living in Melavasal slum which is known as the biggest slum in Madurai. We started Vidiyal in September 1996 just with 20 children who were working or living on the streets. After a month we found refuge in D.M & R Middle school and effectively used the school premises after school hours. This was our first drop in centre which functioned between 5 pm and 8.30 pm on all week days and from 9 am to 8 pm during weekends. This became a place of safety for children and they developed a kind of belongingness to the centre. It also served to fulfill their ‘security needs’ to some extent. When we started our work with girl children in June 1997 this centre became an exclusive centre for girls and the boys have moved to the new centre at Rathinapuram in August 1997. Now the work has been expanded and we reach out to many children through Child Resource Centres located in the closest proximity of eight slums.

• The Main Centre :
This centre was started in August 1997 at Rathinapuram. Till 2001it also served as the shelter home for children who stayed in the nights. Children from Melavasal, Heera Nagar, AladinThoppu and Subramaniapuram attend this centre. Though this centre is open from 7.00 am many school going children attend the centre between 5.00 and 8.30 pm. Most of the common programmes and weekend activities are planned and executed here.
• Melavasal Centres I, II & III :
We started a centre inside Thideer Nagar slumin the year 1999 which has been shifted to Melavasal slum in January 2014. Later two more centres – Melavasal II (2016), Melavasal III (2020) were added as the need and number of children was huge. The community owns these centres and sends their children regularly to benefit from the service provided. Our volunteers look after each centre and helps children with their study and other developmental needs.
• Muthupatti centre :
This centre was started in August 2002 and functions at our premises in Muthupatti. Our shelter home is situated inside a hamlet called Muthupatti. There is a Dalit settlement near the shelter home. These children attend the Muthupatti centre regularly.
• Ambedkar Nagar Centre:
Though we have been interacting with the community at Ambedkar nagar for long time we could establish the child resource centre only in 2006. This slum is located in a remote area close to the main centre. The habitats are originally from Melavasal slum for various reasons they have moved in to this area.
• Subramaniyapruam Centre:
This centre was started in the year 2003. Children from the colony attend this centre. This is the only slum in Madurai where all residents belong to the scavenging community.
• Avaniyapuram Centre
Earlier in 2011we established a centre in Avaniyapuram to reach out to the displaced people from Melavasal due to the reconstruction plan initiated by Madurai City Corporation. The displaced people were just given a piece of land to build huts for each family. We supported a few families with additional resources to build makeshift houses. We also built a centre and developed a play area for children. When people moved back to Melavasal we had to close this centre. Later we started the present centre in 2018 with another small community who live there permanently.
• Mapalayam Centre:
The centre at Mapalayam was established in the year 2011. We had to establish this centre because the Melavasal community got displaced due to the reconstruction plan initiated by the government who settled in Mapalayam. Children from Mapalayam, Othapattiand Vaithyanathapuram areas attended this centre. We have eventually closed this centre when Melavasal slum was rebuilt and people moved back.

A MEANINGFUL ROUTINE IN THE CHILD EDUCATION CENTRES

Children are given a meaningful routine which helps in learning boundaries which does not exist in the slum or street life. Children are received with warmth when they arrive at the centre between 5.00 and 5.30 pm. Children are helped to complete their homework and study between 5.30 pm and 7.00 pm. Between 7.00 pm and 7.45 pm they have a variety of programmes scheduled for each day which is called the 7 O’ clock programme. This varies according to the age group of children. The variety programme includes singing, general knowledge, story time, dancing; book reading, games and child rights education. Children enjoy this variety programme very much. At 7.45pm they are served with a supplementary food which they enjoy the most. After that children belonging to a particular forum which is responsible for the cleanliness during a particular month engage in cleaning and make the place tidy. This also inculcates the value of civic sense and responsibility over keeping their surroundings clean.

SUPPLEMENTARY FOOD:

Every day a supplementary food is provided to children attending our child education centres. When we started Vidiyal in 1996 we found that most of the children are malnourished due to lack of nutrients available in their diet. Many street children do not get proper food and for the slum dwellers balanced diet is a dream. Thus at Vidiyal we decided to bridge this gap by providing supplementary food to the children. This takes a considerable major share in our budget. Supplementary food is nothing but a food item that is locally available, seasonal of nature and has a specific nutrient value. Each day the food item varies to give a variety of taste to the children to avoid boredom. It includes pulses, vegetables and fruits of the season, egg, dates, sweet puff, peanuts etc., On Sundays the children who attend the main centre eat a healthy meal with rice, curry made of lentils called ‘sambar’ and proteins like chicken or beef. We do consider this as the right of the child and give careful attention to ensuring their right to nutritious food and fine health.

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HEALTH CARE:

Quarterly periodical health checkups are conducted in every Child Education Centre with qualified medical practitioners. The height and weight of each child is periodically recorded and monitored. Children who are weak or malnourished are given special care and attention. Children belonging to the intermediate age group are trained in first aid and other aspects of medical assistance. This group attends to the needs of the children on a regular basis. We do have a panel of doctors for emergency health care. We admit our children in their hospitals for any major illness. We have special provision for vaccinating our children if they are bitten by dogs. This helps in protecting our children from Rabbis attack.

ENSURING RIGHT TO EDUCATION:

Children who come to the streets in search of livelihood mostly belong to the socially excluded communities. Social exclusion based on caste is widespread in many parts of the country. The caste system subjugates millions of children in India. Our prevention intervention focuses on preventing children from dropping out from school and preventing them from becoming child labourers. To achieve this we partner with excluded communities living in the slums in Madurai. 92 percent of our children come from socially excluded communities who have been denied of right to education for many centuries. Our children need lot of support and encouragement to sustain their interest in accessing education.

The support education offered in the Child Resource Centres enable children to manage the difficulties in each subject and compensate the accumulated deficiencies. A tracking system is in place to ensure regular attendance in schools.

We work closely with 34 schools and educate the teachers about the situation of our children. Childline intervenes if anything goes wrong in school. Since most of our children are first generation school goers much effort is been taken to protect them from all forms of discrimination. Our presence in schools protects our children from corporal punishments and discrimination. Those children who are absent for school are followed up through home visits.

COMPUTER EDUCATION

A computer centre functions within the main centre which provides the basic knowledge and training in computer education. Children enjoy using the computers in the evenings which give them an advantageous position in their schools. Children just play with word art, paint and power point with creativity. Senior children are given classes in Photoshop during weekends which enable them in designing photos with creative skills. The basic idea of having a computer centre is to make technology available for children from disadvantaged backgrounds and to make them feel at ease with the technological development.

TAILORING CENTRE

Vidiyal reaches the community through a tailoring centre which offers a six months tailoring course for women and girls living in the slums. A qualified teacher imparts skills in tailoring trade with dedication. These women and girls learn to stitch 40 dress items. When they complete the course they are awarded with a certificate and a sewing machine which gives them an occupation at home. Some of them do join garment manufacturing units and earn out a living. This income supplements the family’s income and enables the parents to send children to school.

THE MOTEHRS FORUM
Vidiyal believes in community participation in the development of children and our core belief is that the family is the basic unit of a society which takes care of the security needs of children. Since 1997 it has been a fruitful interaction with the mothers. The mothers are significant care givers in the lives of children. A mother in the slum or street community plays a vital role in the integration of the family and takes care of the basic needs of children. Vidiyal’s efforts in educating them in effective child rearing practices and social issues have been yielding results. Though these women are uneducated and affected by the brutal reality of the caste structure, they have great hope and colourful dreams for their children. Once a year mothers with regular attendance are taken on a picnic which they thoroughly enjoy. The mothers shed off their family responsibility for a day and enjoy just being what they are.

THE FATHERS FORUM
Though efforts have been made in the initial years, the fathers’ forum has become a reality only in recent times. Efforts have been made to nurture ‘fatherhood’ in men and to promote healthy parental practices in them. The fathers’ forum meets every alternate month and fathers are encouraged to participate in discussions on role of fathers in effective child rearing. Social analysis is done and they are motivated to become role models for their children in the ever changing social scenario. Once a year fathers are taken on a picnic along with one child from their family which enables them with role reversal.

4. INTERVENTION IN THE LARGER SOCIETY

The vision of Vidiyal gives a clear mandate to build a culture of child rights in the society. The thrust here is the PROMOTION of Child Rights in every sphere of the society. Vidiyal operates in the larger society with various stakeholders to sensitize them for the protection and promotion of child rights. The following are the significant strategic interventions made by Vidiyal in promoting Child Rights.
• Inviting the general public to share their resources to provide and protect children and their rights
• Building solidarity with people’s forums to include children’s agenda into their functioning
• Media advocacy through popular dailies, weekly magazines, FM radios, Television channels and our Social Media Platforms Vidiyal Madurai in Facebook, Google Business, YouTube and Twitter are done periodically.
• Influencing governance structures for policy reforms that would ensure Child Rights Protection and Leave No One Behind.

INTERVENTION IN THE SOCIETY

The vision of Vidiyal gives a clear mandate to build a culture of child rights in the larger society. The thrust here is the PROMOTION of Child Rights in every sphere of the society. Vidiyal operates in the larger society with various stakeholders to sensitize them for the protection and promotion of child rights. The following are the significant strategic interventions made by Vidiyal in promoting Child Rights.
• Inviting the general public to share their resources to provide and protect children and their rights
• Building solidarity with people’s forums to include children’s agenda into their functioning
• Media advocacy through popular dailies, weekly magazines, FM radios, and Television channels are done periodically.

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