January 12, 2020
Basic Information: The creche continues to run smoothly. The Project Co-ordinator is Fatema Begum and she does a good job running the project. This year we have admitted only girls to promote the education of the female child. Thus we have brought the number of students in the creche to 40 students.
During the field visit the parents were also met and they expressed satisfaction over the working of the creche. The doctor, Dr. Dey, also visited the creche during the visit. He felt that there is a lot of commitment of the staff. The children appeared well looked after and happy. Soumeta Medhora The Indian Society for Sponsorship and Adoption Kolkata.
The project at Bara Anduliya was started on 01 May 1993 with the primary aim of fulfilling a child’s basic needs of nutrition, health and education.
The place is an hour’s drive from Krishnanagar, an important place in Nadia district in West Bengal famous for it’s terracotta handicrafts. Krishna Nagar is a 4 hour drive from Kolkata. The project is being run in a building provided by a local NGO, Lok Seva Sibir. Today the crèche is successfully running with 35 children and the coaching class has 130 children.
The crèche caters to children in the age group of 3 to 5 years. Most of these children are first generation school goers. The children belong to families in the lowest economic strata of society. The parents are engaged as biri workers, maid servants and daily agricultural labourers. The crèche timings are from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. The children are looked after by a crèche mother and a crèche teacher who are assisted by a helper. 12 children (5 girls and 7 boys) have joined in the new session 2011-2012. The day starts with prayer followed by exercises. The children are then divided into two groups. The older group is taught by one teacher while the students who have just joined in the new session are taught by another teacher.
The older batch of 23 children have learned to write the Bengali and English alphabets. They can also write the Bengali numbers from 1 to 5. Both English and Bengali languages are taught. Along with studies the children are also taught drawing, rhymes, dancing etc. The new batch of 12 children have settled down well in the creche. They are being told stories, rhymes etc.The teachers have a fixed syllabus which is used to teach the students. The children are served light breakfast around 9.30a.m, lunch at 1.30p.m and a fruit or light snacks at 3 p.m when the children leave. Emphasis is given to providing a nutritious diet. Milk and bread/biscuits is served in the morning while lunch usually comprises of rice with vegetables and either Egg/chicken or soyabean nuggets.
With the spiralling rise in the price of food items, it was felt necessary to increase the allocation for food from about Rs4 per child per day to Rs10 per child per day to provide nutritious food. Accordingly the increase was effected from 01April2011. We are now able to give milk every day to the crèche children.
A doctor visits the crèche once a week. The childrens’ weight is checked on a regular basis. The immunization records of the children are also regularly checked to ensure that the children are regularly immunized. A parent-teacher meeting is held once a month to discuss the progress of the children and to address problems if any. The children are provided free uniforms by ISSA.
The children love coming to the crèche. Small functions are held to celebrate important days of the year like Saraswati Puja(goddess of learning) Independence Day, Childrens’ Day and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s birthday. They are taught dancing and singing to perform on the respective days. Coaching Class The coaching class caters to all the erstwhile students of the crèche. At the end of the academic session all children above 5 years move out from the crèche to join the local government school. To help them in their day to day studies, all children from Infant to Class V attend the coaching class. In the academic session2011-‘12, there are 130 students who are being taught by 5 teachers. The classes start at 6.30 am and continue till 9am, 6days a week. Weekly tests have been introduced to test the ongoing performance of the students. The children are taught in batches and have greatly benefitted from the coaching class. Light tiffin (puffed rice with soaked gram, bread with banana, biscuits etc) is served at the end of the class. We would like to extend classes beyond class V or at least reimburse the senior students the private tuition fees. However in the absence of funds the same has not been possible. On our last visit at the end of 2010, all the children of the crèche and coaching class put up a beautiful cultural programme comprising of songs, dances, recitation etc. A sit and draw competition was held for all the children of the crèche and coaching class on Childrens’ Day. Prizes for the best drawings in each group were given out by the doctor of the crèche on the day of our visit.