At Aaranyak in Dediapada, Shaishav is currently working in 14 villages towards making them “child-friendly villages” by improving the situation of child rights and awareness about it among children and other stakeholders. The process involves active participation of children and adults. The effort also involves enhancing life skills in children.
In the past one year, Shaishav worked with 851 children in 14 villages. These children were in the age group of 5 to 14 years. Shaishav also created Child Rights Committees in all these villages, consisting of children, parents, leaders of the respective villages, and the youth. Currently, Shaishav is training members of these committees.
Shaishav has also initiated two Van-shalas (Forest Schools) in 3 villages. Here, the team is working on creating open learning space for children (basically, giving children more options and choices about what and how they would want to learn).
389 children of Van-shalas learn through projects and decide through Bal samitis (child committees) on what they would like to learn. Project team does various educational activities with the children as well as activities involving creativity and critical thinking, sports. With Adolescent girls and boys, the physical, mental, and emotional changes during puberty are discussed with appropriate gender perspective. Topics such as healthy body image, healthy friendship, bullying, natural differences between genders and yet the need for gender equality were discussed.
Through village libraries, the team also encourages children to read books.
Thus, in 2021-22, the project reached out to 870 children. This work was with the adolescent girls and boys. This year, in 2022-23, Shaishav has initiated work with 11 Aashram-shalas as the Pandemic has almost receded. Apart from this the project reaches out to another 389 children through the 3 Van-Shalas, taking the total number of children to 1259 children in Dediyapada.