Matri Sudha- A Fifteen Year Old Child

We celebrated 15 year of existence of Matri Sudha on 28th February 2016. The journey of one and half decade saw changes not only in the community but also within the organization. We have tried to capture the small moments of our work with children in these years which is collated in the coming paragraphs.

“Started as a charitable cum service devlivery organization working to uplift the poor living in urban slums of Delhi to an organization working centrally for the upliftment of underpriviliged children”.

The journey started with a charitable cum service model where in we used to run a school for children living in one of the designated slums of Delhi. The school successful ran for 10 year and taught every children. Recently we met one of the mothers of a child in Nardan Basti, basti where we started our work and still present there, who thanked us that ‘for lying the foundation of her four children who have completed their schooling”. Hundreds of such families are there who were given school education at primary level. These ten years of our work was around providing school education up to primary level, organizing health check-up camps, arranging skills development classes of youth.

15 Year Cake

On the other hand the capacity building of personnel involved in day to day activties started when two people were being given certificate of participation in pulse polio campaign in 2001 and 2004. Matri Sudha also recognized by Delhi Tuberculosis Association where in we used to represent in the Youth Club in 2007. Matri Sudha also participated in 2nd National Health Assembly organized in Bhopal in 2007. Vishwa Yuvak Kendra also certified Matri Sudha for its participation in the Awareness Generation Programme of Delhi Social Welfare Board in 2008. In similar year Matri Sudha was acknowledged for its meaningful multi-pronged social service. Since then Prof Sydney Rebeiro, Advisor Alumni Affairs, Delhi University is the Patron of Matri Sudha. In 2009 Pandi Sunderlal Sharma Central Institute of Vocational Education certified Matri Sudha for its participation in Para-Medical Vocational Traning Programme for Youth of Northern India. In the same year Ministry of Micro, Small Medium Enterprises and National Nutrition Board appreciated for its work toward youth empowerment through skills development courses.

There was an ongoing struggle for many years within the organization in respect to carry on with the work which it started 10 year before or to work completely for child development. There were not only internal reasons for it but also the external forces which prompted us to think upon in that direction. For instance the Government of India enacted Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 which compulsorily demanded minimum standards for a school to run educational activities. Should we have been continue with the school or to empower the community to send their children to nearest school in the area? Should we have feed the children below six years at our Creche or to encourage parents to send their children to local anganwadi centre? Similarly, government of India started focussing on children issues, when various national policies and legislations were enacted for children of this country.  There were several rounds of discussions before we concluded to make Matri Sudha not only an organization but an ideology where community children issues to address them. The ideology which may impact thousands of children of this country in coming years of its work.

“The ideology to work to ensure that child rights are identified, respected, protected and taken care of by every individual”.

In year 2011, Matri Sudha came into partnership with Child Rights and You [CRY] where we not only provided financial assistance but also strengthened the capacity of the organization in many folds. We are into sixth year of our parternship with Child Rights and You. Prior to this partnership Matri Sudha established its presence with key child rights networks in Delhi.

Today our Guiding Principle is “Building Community for the Children By the Children and With the Children”. To us this line has the given meaning

For the children “children issues at community and family level may be identified”

By the children “that children may be empowered to take collective action to address grass root problems”

With the children “to ensure that each child participate in our process to address grass root problems”

The approach to address children issues at the community level comprises of the following strategies which are in themselves dynamic in nature.

Engagement with communities– direct intervention with children, community and other stakeholders at community level like ASHA and Anganwadi Workers, school teachers etc.

Awareness Building- aware community on child rights issues particularly in areas of child health and nutrition, maternal health, school education

Developing knowledge, attitude and good practices- among communities to make continued and lasting change in lives of children

To work toward creating ownership among children and other community members- to address their problems where we play the role of a facilitator

To advocate issues of children at multiple levels- to fix the problem and create solutions for children at large by strengthening the system

Matri Sudha is also a child safe organization where we have our own child protection policy which guides us also to ensure the protection of children in the resource centre which we run in the community.

We thank all our well-wishers, donors, individuals, our Patron Prof Sydney R Rebeiro, Mr. Amitabh Bhowmik who developed and designed the logo of Matri Sudha, members of Matri Sudha and other civil society organizations who showed tremendous faith in us to bring changes in lives of children of our country.

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