Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Vikalp’ s Roshani Resource Centers

Many girls in Jodhpur stop going to school when they reach 9th or 10th standard, and sometimes earlier than this. With the help of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Vikalp Sansthan created Roshani Resource Centers (RRC) in 10 slum areas of Jodhpur city. These RRC serve the purpose of an academic and nurturing environment outside of school. The RRCs provide a safe haven for young girls as well as boys to play, read, and learn from the RRC librarians who are chosen by Vikalp and the community. 

Part of the mission of the RRC is to discuss the importance of education, promote healthy gender roles, and mitigate violence against girls and women.  When one walks into any RRC center, they will see the walls covered in posters such as the Hindi and English alphabet, healthy hygiene practices, and Vikalp gender violence and girl’s education posters. Shelves in these centers hold a small collection of books and art materials for the children’s enjoyment. 

However, these rooms are often cramped, lack electricity, and have no fans—making the facilities almost unbearable in Jodhpur’s heat. Due to these issues, Vikalp is now looking to rent slightly larger rooms for these resource centers. Furthermore, interns Shamyra and Tess have decided to use their grant to purchase and have installed ceiling fans for the 10 RRC centers.  This grant is allotted to them through the Foundation for Sustainable Development with whom they are also working. 

Since the founding of the RRCs many girls are now in school, child marriages have been prevented, and Vikalp staff have observed many case studies in which children have made great gains in their personal development and interaction with others.

Young boy reading in Sargara Basti RRC

Meeting at a RRC

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