Promoting Critical Thinking

Swavalamban Kendra – Center for Promotion of Self Reliance

Independent Thought has launched it’s maiden Swavalamban Kendra on 8th March 2016. The Kendra is situated in Sec 9, NOIDA, a large slum which sits close to the commercial and industrial units and has a large population of children belonging to the underprivileged sections of the society. Presently the Kendra is providing direct services to around 80 children and adolescents who come regularly to the center for age specific activity. The Kendra is also mobilizing youth for the ongoing skill development classes which include Spoken English classes (under Teach India Programme of Times Foundation) and Computer Classes (Computers sponsored by Indian Oil Corporation , NOIDA).

About Swavalamban Kendra

Swavalamban Kendra is a multipurpose center within the community which caters to all the above mentioned needs and demand of the community. As the name suggests, the Kendra provides opportunities for self-reliance to all the targeted groups i.e: children, adolescent, youth and women. The USP of the proposed intervention is the community based life stage specific services for holistic development of children.

Ongoing Activities at Swavalamban Kendra, NOIDA

  •  Early Education – Presently there are 18 children between the ages of 4years – 8years enrolled with the Kendra. All the 18 children belong to lower economic class and many of them are first generation learners. The Kendra is preparing these children for admission in the formal school system in age appropriate classes.
  • Remedial and Bridge Classes – There are around 40 school going children from classes 1 – 8, which come to the Kendra for remedial education. These children seek our help to finish their home work and prepare for their tests. Most of the children coming for remedial education are 1st generation learners.
  • Skill Development Classes – iThought is the implementing partner for Teach India Programme ( Times of India CSR Initiative), classes of which are conducted at the Kendra.
  • Computer Training – iThought provides basic training on computer operation for the adolescent and children. Indian Oil Corporation, NOIDA (the pipeline division) has donated two Computers for this activity.
  • Child Rights Defender(CRD) Training – iThought is implementing it’s child rights defender training programme for adolescent and youth and the Kendra is the nodal center for the same.
  • Life Skill Education (LSE) – iThought works closely with adolescent girls and have formed adolescent group of 25 girls. These girls are made aware on various issues related to life skills, health and empowerment during the weekly sessions.
  • Women’s Group – The Kendra is bringing together the women from Sector 9 slums to make them aware on health, education, protection and participation issues of their children through bi monthly meetings.

Expected Outcomes and Impact

  • A safe and protective environment for children where they can get opportunities for holistic development.
  • A decrease in incidence of Child Protection issues including neglect, child labour, child marriage in Sector 9 slums
  •  Develop linkages of targeted children and their family members to government services
  • A more responsible and productive adolescent and youth group which is ready to be gainfully engaged and can be contributed positively to community development
  • A significant increase in the enrolment of community children between 4yrs – 14 yrs in the formal schools
  • A decrease in the dropout rate among school going children especially among girls and children of migrant laborers
  • A cadre of educated and empowered community members including women, youth and adolescents who are able to guide and lead the underprivileged children and steer them away from anti social activities
  • Parents are more concerned about their children well being and education and are instrumental in addressing the child protection issues at community level

Target Population – Direct and Indirect Beneficiaries

Direct Beneficiaries : All Children (under 18 yrs), irrespective of their enrollment status at the Kendra, will be the direct beneficiaries of the Kendra. The Kendra will be accessible to all the children residing in the slums around the Kendra irrespective of their social and cultural background.

Indirect Beneficiaries: The Kendra caters to individuals, institutions, agencies and the larger civil society which are working towards making child development and child rights a reality. The Kendra is involving the community members along with the parents and family members of the direct beneficiaries through it’s outreach initiatives, capacity building and awareness programmes. The parents, school staff and the community at large will be the indirect beneficiaries of the Kendra.

Support Received

We extend our gratitude to our partners the Times Foundation , for their continued support in Teach India Programme and the pipeline division of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), NOIDA for donating 5(five) computers to iThought, two of which are currently installed at the Kendra for imparting basic orientation training on computer operation to the community children.

How can you help

The Swavalamban Kendra is looking for support for the following forms

1. Daily nutritional support (dry items like biscuits, fruits etc) for 20 under 6years children enrolled at the center @ Rs 10/child

2. Once a week nutritional support (dry items ) for 25 adolescent girls from our adolescent group @ 10/girl

3. Stationary items like Crayons, pencils, paper, files etc for our under 6 years children

4. Toys (age appropriate and in good condition) and Story Books

5. Volunteers/Mentors for adolescent girls group and women’s group for taking life skills sessions

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