Thiruvananthapuram

Hope reignited for children

A shot in the arm for DCPU initiative to nurture young talents at Rajaji Nagar

Some dreams of the children of Rajaji Nagar may come true after all.

Last year, the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) held a three-day camp to identify and nurture latent talents of the children in the colony so as to bring from the fringes of society to the mainstream. Scores of children turned up for the talent spotting in painting, sculpture, dance, drama, and music. The children, in the 7-16 age group were divided into three groups, and on the last day of the camp, leaders such as president, secretary, and other members were selected from each group to take forward various activities in the colony.

Fund crunch, however, came in the way of the intended follow-ups to the camp.

Now, the initiative is set to get a fresh lease of life. At a monthly project review meeting with the DCPU and non-governmental organisations, District Collector K. Vasuki had inquired about the project.

After another meeting with stakeholders, it was decided to revive the project.

First though, it was necessary to get an idea of the number of children living there. A survey was conducted by the DCPU, with the help of MSW students, public activists, and volunteers, in the colony from May 11 to 16. Over 600 houses were surveyed.

However, as a number of houses were locked, the possibility of more children being identified existed, and it was decided to revisit the colony again for an exact count.

Facilitation centre

Five projects for the colony were also put forth by the DCPU in front of Dr. Vasuki. One was a facilitation centre that would provide a common space for children to take part in cultural and other activities.

The children had also sought help with Mathematics and spoken English in the survey, and the facilitation centre was proposed as a venue for those. Camps were proposed to zero down on children whose interest lay in arts and in sports, and provide them training. A library was also proposed on the children’s demand.

The Collector visited the colony recently to hear the children. They highlighted the lack of a playground in the colony. They also brought the problem of ganja sale there and the danger to girls’ safety by the ganja users to her attention.

A detailed project proposal will be presented to the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) after consultation with the Collector.

The DCPU staff said the children had ambitions about their career, and the projects, both short-term and long-term ones, would help hone their talents, improve self-esteem, and give them a leg-up in life.

This was part of a long-term goal to improve, through constant intervention and engagement by government departments and NGOs, the social capital of Rajaji Nagar.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 10:51:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/hope-reignited-for-children/article24157380.ece

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