Indian Pollution Control Association
Healthcare program for ragpicker children; primary education program for ragpicker children
Since 2013, in partnership with India Pollution Control Association (IPCA), IDS has been focused on improving the educational, health, and social standing of the rag-pickers' children in India's National Capital Region (NCR). In this partnership, we leverage IDS experience in activity-based learning programs with IPCA capability to reach the rag-picker communities.
Currently, four education centers are running in Delhi NCR (two at Indrapuram- U.P, one in Noida -U.P, and one in Kaushambi -U.P.) with approximately 35-40 children at each center. The educational centers are augmented with health care services and nutritional support. The centers provide monthly medical checkups to our children, and BMI is measured. To reduce severe malnutrition, food supplements, including fruits, are provided for the children daily.
Approximately 130 children regularly attend our center, of which 60% are girls. The program's main objective is to admit these children in the nearby government or private schools, mainstream them and provide formal education. Our primary education program is resulting in better school readiness and helping to reduce the number of dropouts of these children from the schools. About 27 students have been admitted to different schools.
In each health camp, about 30-60 children who are part of the primary education program have been seen by the medical professionals. Children are examined and provided with free medicine, including de-worming pills as prescribed. The combination of improved sanitation, health care (including de-worming), and nutritional support has helped reduce malnutrition among the rag-pickers' children. The unit cost per child is approximately 61$/year.
Human-Interest Story or a case study?
Various events like Republic Day, Diwali, Holi, Children's Days are celebrated. During the programs, children showed their talents through dance, songs, poems, drawing competitions, etc., in which they participated very actively. Prizes, Diya, colors, and gifts were also distributed at respective festivals.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we had to close our centers in late March on account of Covid-19. We are hoping to reengage with the children when it is deemed safe to gather in groups.