Sparsha Trust child care centres
Shikshana Mitra Residential Centres (1 and 2) – (A friend for education)
Started in 2009, Shikshana Mitra 1 (friend of education) is a residential centre for children from 6 to 14 years old. Located in Sanjeevini Nagar, near Kodigehalli, Sahakara Nagar, Bangalore North, it reaches out to young children who are deprived of educational opportunities due to their family’s poverty, neglect or migrating patterns. This area has a significant population of construction labour, domestic labour, and apartment housekeeping (contract labour) workers. The children of this community do not find support for education at home, and hence there was a large proportion of school dropouts among them. Each year 40 to 45 children are accommodated in this centre. This center is managed by volunteers and the local community.
Started in 2010, Shikshana Mitra 2 is a residential Centre that was initially housing about 40-50 children aged between 6 to 16 years. Located in Mestripalya behind Manyata Tech Park, near Nagawara, Hegde Nagar, the children in this Centre come from families who migrate often from their native village to the city living a life of struggle amidst housing and financial insecurities. Due to low wages, they are not able to fulfill their basic needs like nutritious food, clothing, house, etc. More than 4 people live in small plastic covered tents or thatched houses which are smaller than 4’ x 3’ meters.
At present, 14 children above 14 years are staying at this Centre, which is completely self-sustained and is being taken care by a volunteer family. We select more highly educated youth and volunteers from the local community to act as role models at our two centres. These young leaders ensure that every child is enrolled into formal or non-formal schools situated near the centre. They also conduct tuition classes, motivation classes, and other creative classes to help the children to develop.
Makkala Mitra 1 and 2 – (A friend for children who are in need)
Makkala Mitra 1 is located in Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Mysore Road, Bangalore, and Makkala Mitra 2, is located in Hosakote. Both the centres started in 2011 are the residential open shelter that cater 24 hours for about 60 children who need care, protection and development opportunities. An average of 150 children gets benefited through these activities every year. Many of the children who are staying here were once living on the streets. They were the victims of abuse and exploitation, begging and rag picking. Funded by the Department of Women and Child Welfare, Government of Karnataka, these centres give children the option of either staying in the centre or coming in the morning and leaving at night. These centres are inter-linked with Contact Points that function as day care centres and provide informal educational opportunities and basic amenities in the respective areas.
Apta Mitra – (Friend of those in distress or need)
Since 2012, Sparsha Trust is managing a night shelter known as Apta Mitra (Friend of those in distress or need) for homeless people in urban Bangalore. Located in Ulsoor, and funded by Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike, Apta Mitra has the capacity for 60 persons, located in Ulsoor. Each year, about 120 urban homeless persons, including a few physically challenged or ailing or the aged use the night shelter at different points in time. They were provided with dinner, personal hygiene accessories, health care and a safe place to sleep. Apta Mitra has also catered at times to street children who came in for protection and care to the centre.
Sparsha Trust initiated three mobile crèches – two at Mestripalya, behind Manyata Tech Park and one at Hommbale Construction, Kommaghatta, near NICE Road. This project is funded by Mobile Creche, New Delhi to cater to children of the construction labourers from 0-14 years.
Through this project, children who stay in a semi-constructed room without proper food or meaningful activity are given food and health care. Although they do not attend school, the project enrolls them in an informal educational system thereby ensuring that the children are able to learn different subjects. Depending upon the age group, the children are taught alphabets to basic levels of different subjects.
- Teaching the basics of Kannada, English and Hindi
- Sports, Crafts, Drawing, Music, Yoga, Dance and Other Cultural Activities
- Breakfast, Lunch and Evening Snacks along with Dinner
- Safe area for relaxation and sleep
- Exposure trips
- Monthly meetings with parents and community
- Regular medical checkups
As the mobile creches provide care, protection and safety to the children, they are protected from any possible abuse, dangers of accident and exploitation.