Educating Migrant Workers’ Children

Project: Educating Migrant Workers’ Children in partnership with Shaishav and Adhar
Location: Dahod District, Gujarat
Category: Empowerment and Education

 

Educating Migrant Children

Shaishav, which means “childhood” in Gujarati, is a volunteer organization committed to keeping children out of the labor force by providing education. From its beginnings in southwest Gujarat, it has grown into one of the largest participatory child rights NGOs in India. Shaishav’s mission is to ensure that all children become productive, socially sensitive, and democratically skilled citizens.

Shaishav has been working in the Dahod District of eastern Gujarat, which is among the country’s 250 most backward districts and the sixth most backward district of Gujarat. Dahod supplies the highest number of unskilled, unorganized laborers in the entire state of Gujarat.

Lacking social benefits or efficient welfare systems, these migrant laborers work in high-risk environments where they are subject to exploitation. Three-quarters of the population migrates yearly to work in construction, brick kilns, and agriculture. The children of these laborers fall behind in their education, which perpetuates the cycle of unskilled labor. shaishav-2

Shaishav has been working to deliver two primary outcomes:

  • To provide every child with access to education
  • To improve the quality of life for migrant children

In 2015, Shaishav contacted more than 500 children between the ages of 3 and 14 and encouraged them to enroll in schools. Outreach is done mostly through a door-to-door approach. Shaishav also conducted three life skills workshops to educate children about leadership, sports, and cultural activities. More than 200 children took part in these workshops.

Looking ahead to 2016, Shaishav intends to reduce the dropout rate of children who are newly enrolled in schools. IDS will continue to monitor Shaishav’s work to ensure that its outcomes are realized and sustained.

–2015 IDS annual report


Alleviation of Child Migration and Poverty

Shaishav, which means “childhood” in Gujarati, is a volunteer organization committed to keeping children out of the labor force by pro­viding education. Established in 1994, Shaishav was designed to fight child labor through uni­versal education. Begun in Bhavnagar, a city in southwest Gujarat, it has grown into one of the largest participatory child rights NGOs in India. Shaishav’s mission is to ensure that all children become productive, socially sensitive, and democratically skilled citizens. IMG_3914

This year, IDS partnered with Shaishav to bring IDS expertise to the Dahod District of eastern Gujarat, which is among the country’s 250 most backward districts and the 6th most backward district in Gujarat. Dahod supplies the highest number of unskilled and unorganized labor­ers within the entire state of Gujarat. Unskilled migrant laborers work in exploitative, high risk, and accident-prone environments without social benefits or efficient welfare systems. Three-quarters of the population migrates yearly to work in construction, brick kilns, and agriculture. This causes children to fall behind in their education, perpetuating the cycle of unskilled labor.

Shaishav and its partnering organization Adhar will work together to implement the following:

  • Community outreach—Door-to-door volunteers to increase school enrollment for children ages 3–14.
  • Children’s education centers—Construction of five centers to provide after-school edu­cation in leadership, life skills, sports, and cultural activities.
  • Increased awareness of educational rights—Spreading awareness of the Right to Education Act and providing guidance to other resources and advocacy to help pro­mote social improvements for children.

While Shaishav is the recipient of IDS grant funds, its partner, Adhar, will provide day-to-day involvement. IDS will continue to partner with the tandem organizations to ensure that outcomes will be realized.

–2014 IDS annual report