“CHILDHOOD SHOULD BE CAREFREE, PLAYING IN THE SUN: NOT LIVNG A NIGHTMARE IN THE DARKNESS OF THE SOUL.” – Dave Pelzer
Childhood is a time and should be a time which is happy, filled with memories of warmth, love and carefree sins. Unfortunately, this is not the case of every child especially in a country like India. According to a report, the total number of poor has reached 363 million from 269 million in 2011-12. Therefore, most of the children are forced to be a part of unstable lives and have to cope up with upheaval and problems at home such as abuse, neglect, alcoholism, drug addiction etc.
To deal with such problems, numerous child welfare programmes are introduced that involve making sure children’s need are taken care of. The main aim behind these programmes is to keep the best interests of all children in mind and work hard to protect them from deplorable situations.
Ms. Raashi Anand, a young social entrepreneur, founder of Lakshyam, which works for the betterment of the society with the focus on child education, holistic child development and women empowerment.
Lakshyam was established in 2012 with the aim to educate and provide the basic necessities to the street slum children. It was an attempt by Ms. Raashi Anand to end the exploitation and oppression of the underprivileged groups. Thus, it tries to pull the children who are involved in various professions like rag picking, begging, toy selling and shoe polishing along with kids who are drop outs or have never been to school to centres in Vasant Kunj and Arthala, Ghaziabad amongst other centres spread across India.
One of Lakshyam’s programmes focuses on the welfare of the children by the name Butterfly. Butterfly- Child Welfare and Education program was established to provide comprehensive assistance to impoverished children through a learning program focusing on textual and practical knowledge as well as personality development. Butterfly is a symbol of freedom – freedom from the clutches of inequality and child labour.
Butterfly functions at the grassroot level and tries to bring education to the footsteps of children’s home. Lakshyam’s remedial and bridge centre provides free of cost tutorials. The children are taught subjects such as Hindi, English and Mathematics, in purview of methodically filling in the gaps in formal education; as well as positive healthy habits of cleanliness, hygiene and discipline.
Lakshyam takes care of all the aspects of children ranging from menstrual sanitation to child healthcare. It further organizes various recreational activities such as dancing competitions, painting, magic shows, puppet shows etc. The ultimate aim of Lakshyam is to help the children reach till standard 5th as that has become a mandate for all the skill-based programmes and create relicable models for the country.
Lakshyam, therefore, through its various initiatives tries to alleviate these children from the various problems faced by them and work towards their holistic development. It further provides a conducive environment where they can come out of their fears and can get the freedom to foster creativity and curiosity.