Deepalaya Institutional Care Programme
Change begins at home. But what if our children are still struggling to fulfill that basic need? Moved by the plight of children from vulnerable communities who are often not even covered within the Census, let alone welfare programs, Deepalaya started its Institutional Care programme at Deepalaya Gram, Gusbethi (7 kms from Sohna) to bring a long-lasting change in the year 2000. From 19 children in the year 2000 when the project was set up, the programme has grown to accommodate over 50 children. At present there are 20 girls and 43 boys, residing in separate hostels.
The programme is run by Deepalaya Gram in close coordination with the Ministry of Child and Women department through the local area child welfare committee (CWC), seeking to provide shelter, care, a safe atmosphere and a dignified life to children from difficult circumstances like street and run-away children, victims of child abuse, children of lifetime convicts, children of HIV/ AIDS positive parents, children of sex workers, and other vulnerable categories. The Children’s Home is a Registered Children Home under the Juvenile Justice Act 2000. Apart from providing food, shelter and clothing, the Children’s Home provides the following facilities –
• Individual care for each child through House Fathers and House Mothers
• Regular health check-ups
• A vast playing ground for overall personality development of children
• Counseling sessions to give a new direction to their lives
• Healthy living classes that include yoga and meditation.
• Provision of education, vocational and skill training for helping them earn a living for themselves.
The project also takes care of their special needs like anger management issues, problems relating to personality disorders and other problems. The Vocational Training program helps the children to equip themselves with marketable skills to secure dignified jobs after reaching adulthood.
A whopping 1695 children have been rehabilitated under the Institutional Care Program. Out of this, 28% were orphans, 41% came from single parent families unable to take care of them, and 31% came from families who could not support them due to financial struggles.