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HindustanTimes Sat,27 Dec 2014

Songs help reach migrant mothers to persuade them to educate kids

Eileen Singh , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, October 29, 2013
First Published: 00:01 IST(29/10/2013) | Last Updated: 00:06 IST(29/10/2013)

Following the mantra of - Innovation is the key to success -  city-based NGO Vatsal Chhaya has curated a unique programme to enroll maximum students to school. And what better way to do that than to reach their mothers in their regional songs.

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The organisation is including migrant mothers in their effort to spread education among children and to motivate them to go to school.

The programme has been started in various colonies such as Colony number 4, 5 and Dhanas, Maloya, etc.
 
The NGO, which launched the programme recently, is using traditional methods to reach and influence the mothers as they are the ones who usually decide if their child goes to school or not.
Regional songs of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh are being used by the organisation to persuade mothers. A village ladies sangeet often called a 'bullava' is put together by the organisation where groups sit in a cluster around a dholak and sing songs.

Sangita Vardhan, head of the organisation says, “Through this innovative way, we are able to connect with the migrant women as this is their language and the connection becomes easy. The educational message includes influencing other mothers from various colonies to come forward to get their child educated in various schools.”
 
Vardhan, who feels this idea will help impart the right message, adds, “Among the multiple layers of deficits and hurdles that block school access and retention of children in schools, a very crucial aspect is the disempowered mother who feels the child should be earning rather than losing money by going to school. There are numerous dropouts here and building awareness is crucial for the child.

This message has to be delivered with full attention to their context and in a culturally appropriate manner otherwise it is lost in translation.”
 
According to Vatsal Chhaya, additional support is very important such as flexible timings, sibling care, pre schooling, health and hygiene assistance. This creates comprehensive scaffolding around the child and paves the way for achieving breakthrough outcomes.
 
Radha, who is a migrant mother from Colony number 4 says, “This programme has helped a lot of women and some of them have come forward to the NGO to seek help.”

13-year-old Raju, and many other like him now go to schools after their mothers joined the programme.

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