A unique initiative undertaken by college students here is helping teenagers cope with 'growth pangs'.
Seventeen students studying in various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the city have launched "Udaan", an organisation that focuses on teenagers studying in Classes 9 to 12 and helps them resolve their problems through counselling.
"We started this organisation, which is for the children, by the children and of the children, in July 2005 with seven members. At present, we have 17 people and others are keen to join us," Rakhee Jaju, president of Udaan, told IANS.
"We try to solve the problems of the school children through counselling sessions. What compelled us to take the initiative was the fact that during adolescence we had also faced the same problems and dilemmas that are faced by today's young people," she said.
She said the pulls and pressures faced by teenagers could hamper the growth of their personality.
Udaan has so far helped more than 600 young people in the city.
"Of the 600, six were typical cases of depression and drug addiction and we were successful in solving them," said Jaju, adding, "We also give them tips on character building and moral science.
"In this age of tough competition, children especially those studying in Classes 9 to 12 are under tremendous pressure to perform well in academics.
"Besides, adolescence is the stage when boys and girls begin entering into relationships, which can be a further cause of stress. We try to help them deal with these issues," said Jaju.
"Most children complain that their parents do not understand them. Among girls the most common grouse is that parents don't let them stay out with boys for long hours. In such cases we try to conduct one-to-one meeting with the parents to resolve the issue. And surprisingly things are working," said a member of the organisation.
Jaju said sometimes children were unable to or uncomfortable in sharing their problems with parents or friends. In such cases, organisations such as Udaan could provide an alternative.
Udaan reaches out to the children by getting associated directly with various schools in the city and by conducting plays, quiz competitions and one-on-one interactions with students.
Jaju said members were personally financing all activities of Udaan.