Traversing through Mumbai, one can easily remark how diverse and astoundingly colorful the slums of Mumbai are. Filled with shades of various castes and creeds, our slums are in the grave need of community development. Community development will ensure a sense of unity among slum dweller, thus gradually helping them to empower themselves.
That is exactly what we aim to do through our ‘Anganwadi Project’. We wish to weave a path towards a united community of slum dwellers, mainly through children – the root of any community. Our volunteers engage themselves with the children through various activities – book reading sessions and fun experiences like extempore form an important part of them. These can easily inculcate good values and simultaneously educate them about various social topics.
One of the most unique and defining features of this project is that it goes to the households of these children – it travels to their ‘Angans’, literally. This allows them to explore, grow and learn in the vicinity of their households. Unlike traditional teaching methods in which one teacher teaches a class of more than 50 students, we believe in giving an intimate and personal learning experience to our kids. One volunteer for every 3-4 kids is the methodology we work on. The children range from 3-16 years of age and are categorized into three levels based on their age and associated learning abilities – beginner, mediator, an expert. The ‘Anganwadi Project’ currently operates in the Asalpha Slums, more famously known as the ‘Positano of Mumbai’, located in Ghatkopar, Mumbai.
The first branch of the Anganwadi project operates in the ‘Ganesh Maidan’, which is an open-air ground situated in the arms of the Asalpha Slums. There are 70 children who attend these sessions regularly, which take place on Sundays for 2 hours. A blend of laughter, love, and fun allows them not only to enjoy their Sunday but also to widen their knowledge on various political and national issues.
Another branch of the Anganwadi project operates in the peaceful campus of a Gautam Buddha temple, again situated very close to the Asalpha Slums. This temple called Baudh Vihar, caters to the development of around 80-100 kids, again through a blend of educational and extracurricular techniques. Through interactive news reading sessions, these kids are currently well informed about several social topics like personal hygiene, sexual habits, the difference between good touch and bad touch, etc.