STORY PREVIEW

2018

Breaking the Chains of Addiction- A step towards a better tomorrow.

THE AKANKSHA FOUNDATION- LAXMI NAGAR MUMBAI PUBLIC SCHOOL

Maharashtra

MENTOR

PRACHI MANGAONKAR

STUDENTS

Aditya Choudhary,

Asmita Pawar,

Pratiksha Mishra,

Disha Kalwar,

Siddhi Prasad,

Mahesh Rupnur,

Step 1 FEEL

The communities are largely migrants from bihar who have settled down in the slums for the sake of employment. Many a times there are no fix jobs or they work as daily wagers and even rickshaw drivers. With whatever low income that we see among the community addictions of alcohol, tobacco and drugs are seen to increase, due to which there are a lot of fights, physical abuse, verbal abuse, financial difficulties, rise in diseases like t.b and disharmony in the family due to all this. This is largely affecting the children as there is no mental peace and they witness this trauma every day and this only leads to a lot of de-motivation among them. also there are very high instances that the youth of the community have dropped from the school and now addiction among the youth and children is seen slowly seeping in, as they dont have good role model. The children expressed their feelings about these issues at home and in the communities during the Circle Time activities and to the teachers, as a result of which this topic was chosen by the kids. They needed a space and a forum to give their parents the message that their home environment and atmosphere is important to them

Creating an awareness about Substance Abuse(alcohol, tobacco, drugs) and the effects and repercussions it has on the family life and the holistic well being of the child. Grade 5 children were doing a lesson in EVS on the ill effects of substance abuse, during the group activity the children discussed in detail its effects and experiences in the community and their homes and how it is affecting them. subsequently a Circle Time activity was done in which the children expressed their need to communicate a message to their parent that they are getting adversely affected by the disharmony at home caused by Substance Abuse

its mainly the children and their mothers who are largely affected by this problem. children usually fall a prey to physical abuse and the constant fights that happens and they are largely traumatized when their mothers are beaten up or spoken badly to. the financial crunch that exists deprives them of good health as healthy food is not cooked and many big or small compromises the whole family has to do at the end of the day since the fathers spend most of their earning on alcohol, tobacco and drugs. and the houses here in Mumbai being small all these problems are quite visible to the kids.

Step 2 Imagine

we first came up with the idea of doing a wall painting on the topic to convey the message. Due to the monsoon we could not go ahead with it also there was no sufficient budget for the same. the second idea was to conduct a street play in the community and do a silent rally but on brainstorming it further they realized that the very setup could be threatening and may be they would not be in a position the express what that wanted to. and finally discussing further the kids realized that they will conduct something similar to a circle time they have in school which would be a safe space for them to give their message and for the parents to express their inner feelings.

the kids chose the circle time with the parents . as they were most comfortable with the structure of the conducting a circle time and they were convinced that they would be able to convey their message to their parents without being too harsh, within the space of the school.the kids also decided on this option as they could give their parents a small brief on what the DFC is and how it is helping to empower them year after year. they also planned a fun filled dance cum skit with the message hidden in it, where they would be only showing the parents what they faced day after day and leave it to the parents to perceive and reflect on the message.

Step 3DO

after the topic was selected the children were given free time for group discussion. a complete explanation was given and videos were shown of what the dfc project is about. the process was explained in detail the children were given a chance once again to feel their feelings about the situation. then the children were told that they could plan how they would like to go forward with their idea. the children were asked to imagine and think what would be the best way to put their point forward, now they prepared posters on the topic to express their understanding. the children sat with the counselor, school social worker and the teacher and decided how the structure of the circle time would be and also scripted the dance cum skit in order to connect or make it relevant to the topic. the survey questions were also framed for reflections.

the parents were sent couple invites handcrafted by the children themselves. there was no mention of the agenda of the programs. kids were also asked not to disclose the topic to their parents however the kids convinced both the parents to be present which all of them did. fathers and mothers were present in full numbers. the parents were a little taken aback when the topic was introduce to them but on seeing the children made posters during the gallery walk the parents seemed reflective and moved. the circle time activity was introduced and explained to them by the children . the parents seemed a little apprehensive at first in the circle since a child was facilitating it. but after the warming in activity the parents became comfortable and started sharing openly. the kids communicated that all expected was a happy and safe family.. were they will be able to share they joys and sorrows and they wanted their families to be their source of support.the parents were shown pictures of a happy and a disturbed family were they gave their reactions this was a breaking moment for the parents were they realized on their own what the children are trying to tell them. and the final question in the circle of how they would change the not so happy moments with in the family to happy moments brought out positive reactions from the parents.

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"bahut accha laga hume, hume pata he nahi tha ki humare bacche itna soach te hai aur apni soach ko kisi ke samne itni sacchai se rak sakte hai" "didi, humre jeevan me ase kai mudde hai jo, baldle ja sakte hai school ne humre baccho ko itna hosla diya hai ki hume puri umeed hai ki ye humare bacche jarur koi bada badlav layege."

after the children came up with this concern it was a little difficult to convince all the children to express themselves and openly communicate this concern to the parents out of the fear of parents reaction. to collect data and information on the extent and seriousness of the problem was a little difficult. to get children out of class for practice while keeping a balance between the academics and the practice was also difficult.

MORE THAN 30 DAYS

Good health and well being

because the mental health of the child is affected by the atmosphere of home which in turn gets affected when there are disturbances at home due to substance abuse. which in turn affects their health, education, and their overall upbringing.

Step 4 SHARE

a presentation was made to the school kids and staff about what the dfc i can challenge is all about. and the reason why this topic was chosen by the Grade 5 kids. inputs and suggestions were shared by the kids and staff. the other classes conducted circle times and activities around the topic. the parents who represent the community children conveyed their message to the parents. so they were involved in the project and the message was received by them.

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a brief feedback form was sent home to the parents that they had to answer and send back. Q1 Aap ko program kaisa lala? Q2 Aap is bare kya karoge aur badlav kaise laoge? we will keep a regular check in with the parents and kids to follow up on the change that has taken place and the effect the program on their family life. the indicators being the progress of the children, their confidence levels and health.