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Nagpur NGO for Child Rights
Varadaan is beginning the massive exercise with support from certain industries as a part of their corporate social responsibility initiative. It has already begun the process of identifying slums with most vulnerable children from all age groups.
VARDAAN, AN NGO promoting adoption and child rights, has decided to take its child rights awareness work to ten unapproved slums in city.

This follows its success in creating awareness about rights of children and securing people's participation in the process in Toli, a slum in Besa, over the last two years.
 
Varadaan is beginning the massive exercise with support from certain industries as a part of their corporate social responsibility initiative.
 
It has already begun the process of identifying slums with most vulnerable children from all age groups.
 
Speaking to the media persons  Professor John Menachary, President of Varadaan, said that the organisation had earlier conducted the experiment using it's own resources and funds. Since the new initiative would run into a few years, it would require massive financial input. Varadaan is, hence, seeking outside support. "
 
Even in the so-called educated middle class and upper middle class society children's rights are violated regularly without any realization by the parents and elders. Abusing children verbally as well as physically by beating them is a violation of their rights but hardly anyone realizes it. In slums, the children are many times much more vulnerable not just due to their economic status but due to social structure of the community residing there," he said.
 
"It is not easy to make intervention in slums and most organizations have to face a lot of hostile behaviour in initial stages as people look at social workers with a lot of suspicion. But after working among communities like Mang, Garudi, Ramoshi in Toli area where most men and women were engaged in anti-social activities we have learnt many newer ways of winning hearts and minds. We would use them as lessons for the new localities," said Vasanti Deshpande, Varadaan's executive director.
 
Menachery, who also happens to be principal of Matru Sewa Sangh's Institute of Social Work and director of Childline nodal unit in city, says that changing lives of children in slum takes a long time. "How many of us even know that protection of child rights is state's responsibility and it can intervene anywhere against violation of rights? Unless some beginning is made, things won't change. NGOs like us only share this responsibility.
 
 The difference with social work intervention and state is that organizations like ours can actually change the picture by invoking the aspirations of parents. Hence we involve not just parents but all adolescents in a family as they too are victims of various kinds of abuses," he said
 
Varadaan plans to evolve tailor-made models for each slum looking at their social structure and literacy levels. "We will have to handle each slum differently.
 
 The plan is to take unapproved slums first because there is no safety net protecting people and children living here. They can be ousted anytime. They have no access to basic amenities like water and electricity. But if they can be brought together and trained in some vocation, brought to a minimum level of literacy and gradually made self-sufficient they will be able to survive many odds," said Saroj Kolhe, Secretary of Varadaan.
 
The organization also plans to identify all school dropouts and work separately on them aiming at protecting their basic right to education. Of course, creating awareness about self hygiene, health and education remain an integral part of all awareness programmes.

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