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Kailash Satyarthi NGO floats new centre in Delhi to 'empower' underprivileged children

By Our Representative 

A voluntary organisation linked with Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi-supported NGO has floated a unique children’s resource centre at Sanjay Camp, Chankyapuri, New Delhi, in order to facilitate in imparting remedial education, recreational training and holistic development of children of around 2,500 under-privileged slum-dwelling families.
Virender Singh Kadian, MLA of Delhi Cantonment, inaugurated the centre, which is called Shaheed Kalu Bal Vikas Kendra. The resource centre is in memory of Kalu Kumar, who died at an young age serving and working towards the development of under-privileged children, said an NGO source.
A firebrand activist, Kalu Kumar was trafficked from Bihar to the carpet manufacturing belt of Allahabad when he was six. He was rescued by the Bachpan Bachao Andolan at the age of 10. A bright student, Kalu he covered up the lost ground very quickly and grew up to become a leader fighting for the rights of other child slaves at Bal Ashram.
In 2000, looking into the eyes of the then President of the US, Bill Clinton, he asked, “For ending child labour is it necessary to be the President of America? Without being on that pedestal can’t you help children like us?”
Kalu gave up a job in a multinational company to work as a grassroots activist in the Satyarthi movement. In October 2011, when Kalu was in Koderma travelling for Campaign on Wheels (Mukti Caravan), spreading awareness in the village, a snake bit him cutting short his life.
The resource centre is an effort under aegis of Bal Mitra Mandal (BMM), an initiative of Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation (KSCF). It would seek to empower children and their communities to collectively work towards securing their rights and protect them from child labour, child sexual abuse and raise their awareness on education, water, sanitation, hygiene and livelihood, through democratic actions.
BMM will also train children as “child-leaders”, who will work towards the benefit of other under-privileged kids, the NGO source added.
"A Porta cabin contributed by Kadian houses the resource centre but has undergone an exciting transformation with the support of a young volunteer Anika Somaia and street artist Aftab Ahmad, the duo has created huge mural that celebrates the joy of childhood", the source said.
First-of-its-kind facility in Delhi, the centre will focus on key areas of developing children by providing remedial education to school drop-outs in the slum community and enabling them to take advantage of various government schemes designed to benefit children.
As a part of this initiative, KSCF has partnered boAt, the country's leading audio and wearables brand, launched a talent development programme ‘Meri Awaz Suno’, for children of four urban slum communities of Delhi. Under these initiatives children will be trained to develop in multiple skills including dance, theatre, music and cricket.
The concept of the resource centre is part of KSCF’s “Rang Badlav Ke” programme that seeks to transform the quality of childhood of the under-privileged children who are most often found to be victims of substance abuse, petty crimes and exploitation.
"As a part of its effort to uplift the quality of life of urban slum children KSCF is currently protecting over 23,214 children from exploitation every day through the BMM programme", the source claimed.
Kadian, thanking Kailash Satyarthi and his organization KSCF for developing the unique concept of Bal Vikas Kendra in his constituency, said, “The Bal Vikas Kendra will go a long way in helping the children of the area to learn mathematics, English and other subjects”. He further said, “Development of under privileged children requires a collective effort and appealed all parents in the area to send their children to the centre for education and training”.
Thanking the legislator for his contribution that will facilitate childrens development, executive director of KSCF Rakesh Senger said, “The centre will of great help to under privileged children in developing their talents and providing them with an opportunity to fulfill their dreams”.
Two young artists, Anika Somaia and Aftab Ahmad and their co-volunteers Anurag, Ravi and Shubham were happy to join Kailash Satyarthi’s unique initiative. “Joining the initiative provided us with an opportunity to give back to society through our art and it gives us immense pleasure in doing it”, they said.
At the event Tilak and Ashima performed a rap song, while other children including Kajal Shah, Kajal Thakur, Soni, Varsha, Rahul, Aditya and Varsha performed a street play.

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