Homeless children of Ejipura paint homes of their dreams

A small but significant monetary gesture came from a concerned group of children from Indiranagar wanting to do something for their deprived counterparts of EWS. They approached ActionAid to doing something memorable for the deprived homeless children. Consequently, a children’s summer camp ‘Chinnara Loka‘ was planned for 28 May and 29 May, 2013.

Around 35 children participated from the EWS homeless community. The two days were spent in singing, painting and games which were designed to bring out their talents. Ananth, cultural child rights activist facilitated this programme.

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We, the organisers were not surprised when most of the children came out with paintings of homes which reflected the deep pain of their recent loss of their homes. Children spoke about their paintings during the valedictory programme. Mani, 12-yeasr-old boy, said: "I have drawn the scenario of bull dozer demolishing our home. We are pained the way our homes were demolished just before our exams, it will be nice to have our homes back, it is difficult live on the foot path."

Another girl child said, "We need our homes back! Till the demolition there was no hygienic environment. I don’t understand how they could trample over my green plants without any mercy." One of the parents said: "This programme was really an outlet for our children otherwise they were just roaming around in the streets, to kill their time." All the children thanked their ‘friends of Indiranagar’ who supported this programme.

BBMP should take the wholesome responsibility for the status of the EWS children and needs to come up with solutions to the current complications faced by the community like food, shelter, health, weather. They should realise they are first accountable to people than to other private corporates. The eviction has forced families to shift to houses beyond their ability. Further, they have taken high interest loans which will definitely result in making them compromise on their children’s education. This will lead to inevitable consequences – school drop outs and child labour. BBMP should ensure that the children of EWS barring any discrimination on allottees/non-allottees go back to school.

To facilitate this, we suggest that they bear the school fees for the year 2013-14 for all EWS children who are studying in private schools, to discourage school drop outs.

This information was provided by Malar Balu, a social activist, and published as part of Citizen Matters Message Forward service for non-profits.⊕

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