Swayam- The Self Help Group

It was a day of celebration of yet another milestone. Fifteen children and their parents had excitements written on their faces

Twenty-one year old Disha, who was just two and half years when she was admitted to the school, was feeling in charge. She greeted everyone excitedly telling everybody that she was now the proud owner of a ‘factory’

We drove to an empty apartment close to the school, in the by-lanes of Artist Village. She excitedly pointed out to the waterfall as I stood watching (from the window) the greenery and a patch of flowing water.

A small prayer was performed and she distributed Prasad to everyone present.

The fifteen children, with the help of their parents, would start their self-help group from this apartment. This is an independent group that involves just children and their parents, with the guidance of school management. To start with, children will sun-dry and pound the spices. They will pack, weigh and sell the product in the market. The parent will do the marketing of these products and children will earn a stipend. The plus point of these products is that it is unadulterated and the people living in Artist village are very happy to buy it regularly.

We came back to the school and the party continued. ‘Swayam’ was inaugurated by Mr. Ghosh, the president of Rotary Club, Hillside, CBD, He was accompanied by Mrs, Sujata Bhatkar, the president of Inner Wheel, CBD and Dr. Patro, ex-president of Rotary Club. The children proudly demonstrated the pounding of turmeric. Mr. Ghosh was so impressed by children’s aptitude that he announced the donation of one more pounding machine for the centre. He promised to give his assistance in promoting and marketing of the products.

A new milestone had just begun.