Education and Vocational Training for Children of CSW in Maharashtra
Navjeevan Center and Smile Foundation have come together to provide Education and Vocational Training to destitute children in rural Maharashtra. The beneficiaries, boys and girls between 3 to 18 years, are mostly children of commercial sex workers (CSW).
The project is established at Navjoythi School & Vocational Training Centre at ‘Navjeevan Village’ in Khapri, Murbad Taluka (about 56 km from Kalyan) in Thane district of Maharashtra. Navjeevan Village is in fact a residential rehabilitation home for underprivileged children and destitute women.
The initiative aims to bring life skills and dignity to the most deserving children, which has also received appreciation from the local communities.
About the Project
The project caters to the most needy children with the defined criteria from the nearby villages and mostly from the Kamattipura red light area.
The project is based in ‘Navjeevan Village’ that provides residential facilities to the boys and girls from the deserving section of the society. The school was established in June 2002 to provide formal education to children of Navjeevan Village (they are children of commercial sexual workers) and for children in nearby villages. The school has classes from 1st to 10th std. Presently there are 300 children studying in this school.
The total of 275 beneficiaries comprises of 165 identified children directly from ‘Navjeevan Village’ and 100 children from nearby villages.
It is a training centre to train the school going children as well as adolescents from nearby villages in job oriented skills. Children studying in the school are provided with training as an additional subject. Children having completed their 10th class will be given full time training in job oriented skills. Vocational training is offered, as an additional subject for students studying in class VI – IX, at Navjoythi School. These children have to opt for 1 or 2 skill areas as part of their academic requirement. The students, who complete studies till 10th and are not interested in continuing their formal education further, are given a full time intensive training in the trade of their interest. The project also aims to motivate and counsel the commercial sex workers to take up skill training too.
These vocational skills training include subjects like Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrical work, Leather work, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Mechanic, Beautician course, Tailoring & Embroidery and Baking.
The beneficiaries of the project include boys and girls between 3 to 18 years of Navjoythi School and the Vocational Training Centre. These children are from nearby villages of the project area and are related to commercial sexual workers, staying in Navjeevan Village.
Navjeevan Center is a venture of Mar Thoma Church (a Christian denomination from Kerala) founded in 1994 by few committed volunteers. The Trust was initiated with the aim of reaching out to the CSWs, to motivate and support them to give up their demeaning occupation and work towards integrating them with the mainstream society.
Navjeevan Center, mainly works for human dignity, equal opportunity and social justice with an intention to promote the causes to ensure a dignified life for the underprivileged people.
Navjeevan Center is presently undertaking various programmes:
• Two day and night centres for the children of sex workers
• Orientation (preparatory) Centre to prepare the children emotionally and physically for institutional life in school
• Navjeevan Center runs model village named Navjeevan Village, which is a residential home to 165 children of commercial sex workers
• Health clinic
• Counselling, health monitoring projects and saving scheme
• Rehabilitation programmes for the commercial sex worker and their children at Kammittipura red light area.
Special Focus of the Initiative
• The primary goal is to provide an opportunity to the underprivileged children for their constitutional rights to basic education.
• To provide access to basic education to the beneficiaries
• To use innovative and alternative teaching methodology to teach the children.
• To impart job oriented skill training to the youth from the Navjeevan Center as well as from the nearby villages
• The skills training centre is intended to meet the needs for short, low cost and easily accessible job oriented vocational training courses
• To expose the youth to the requirement of various job skills and to develop in them skills that are needed for specific