Children from CRS’s Education Centres were treated to a day out on 26 November when the exclusive private school, La Martinere, opened its doors for the annual Mega Children’s Day Carnival. One hundred children from Sukantanagar, Bibibagan, Hastings and Topsia were selected to attend. They enjoyed food and games, and each received gifts.
14th November is the birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India. In honour of his dedication to the welfare and education of children, this date was chosen for the annual Children’s Day. As usual, children at all CRS centers in Kolkata celebrated the day with enthusiasm, and this included performances of dance and song. Thanks to the support of the Rotary Club of Calcutta, Outram, the children also received a packed lunch and gifts.
Shishu Jagat (Children’s World) is a network of grassroots-level organizations working with children at risk. It aims to empower children to carry out action and development programmes in their own communities. The CRS centres in the neighbouring areas of Basanti Devi Colony and Sukantanagar have a Shishu Jagat programme that is very active. Previous news items have covered a range of their activities including environmental awareness and tree planting, a summer camp focused on arts and creativity, the Raksha Bandhan sibling celebration, and an event on International Literacy Day. This month, Shishu Jagat members worked in groups to create a wall magazine for their school. They designed large posters featuring series’ of drawings to tell stories and communicate messages to those with lower levels of literacy.
A report by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) revealed India to have 287 million illiterate adults, the highest number in the world. While there is full literacy among affluent Indians, the poorest members of society are not projected to achieve universal literacy until 2080. In 1965, UNESCO declared 8th September as International Literacy Day. This year’s 50th Anniversary honoured five decades of efforts to increase literacy rates worldwide. Children from the Sihsu Jagat (Children’s World) programme at the CRS Education Centres in BD Colony and Sukantanagar organised this year’s celebration including songs and recitations by children and teachers. Women and girls who attend the CRS skills training programme also shared what difference literacy made to their lives.
Teachers’ Day has been an annual celebration in India since 1962. It is held on 5th September, the birth date of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the second President of India. Children attend school as usual but, instead of normal classes, hold celebrations in appreciation of their teachers. Children at CRS’s 8 urban slum centres and four rural village schools celebrated in the day in their own ways. The students of CRS’s Training Center for Differently-abled Persons also held a celebration, enjoying a sing-a-long with their carers and teachers. In addition CRS organised a small get-together at the office headquarters to thank the teachers who make such an important contribution to the lives of children from poor and underprivileged backgrounds.