|NGOs >> Mobile Creches >> Concept Note|
MOBILE CRECHES, MUMBAI
Mobile Crèches, Mumbai, is a voluntary organization established in 1972, which provides day care for the children of migrant construction workers and others in the low income group in different parts of Mumbai and its suburbs. Mobile Crèches creates a safe haven for these children under the supervision of trained teachers and crèche workers. An integrated day care program caters to the educational, nutritional, health, recreational and emotional needs of children from birth to 12 years of age. We also attempt to preclude child labour, substance abuse and child delinquency from the lives of these underprivileged families. The centres are at or near the dwelling places of these families, and in the case of construction workers, this means they will be at the construction sites. At present Mobile Crèches is running nineteen centers, catering to the needs of about 1000 children daily.
Justification for the Mobile Crèches Program
The Mobile Creches programme was originally started for the children of construction workers. These people are primarily destitute farm labourers who were driven off their lands by rapacious farmers and poverty, and lured to big cities by touts. But in the cities, also, they are badly paid, and frequently find themselves in debt to the touts. They live in makeshift shanties on the construction sites. They work under dangerous conditions, without benefit of machinery or safety equipment, often perched precariously on bamboo scaffolding high above the ground, building sky scrapers for the affluent. This migrant population usually does not get registered in any municipal rolls, and hence is denied many basic civic amenities. Most of the construction sites are located in areas where development is just being initiated and therefore there are few facilities of drinking water, sanitation, health care or schooling for the children. In the villages, the extended family would have looked after the children, but here they are left to fend for themselves for the whole day, while both their parents are at work. The children grow up, playing in the rubble of the construction work, and are in constant danger from falling debris, pits, open lift shafts, drains, chemical fumes, trucks and bulldozers, etc. Frequently, the children have to do without food till the mothers come home to cook the evening meal. The older siblings, are supposed to look after their younger brothers and sisters, but they themselves are usually young enough to need constant care themselves.
In short, Mobile Creches attempts to respond to the very genuine and impelling needs of these children.
1. The CCVC Process on Children’s Right to Participation
are members of the Co-ordination Committee for Vulnerable Children (CCVC).
The CCVC as a forum has been working towards a reconciliation of
the practices of NGOs with the standards stipulated in the Convention on
the Rights of Children (CRC). Discussions within the CCVC have led to the
realization that the issue of Children’s Right to Participation needs
consultation workshop aimed at forming a Resource Group which would take
the process forward in terms of working closely with children was
conducted, in which Mobile Creches also participated. This exercise proved
to be very enlightening and gave new insights into the project.
for Crèche and Child Care Services (FORCES) is a national network of
organizations committed to the care of children below the age of six, who
come from poor and underprivileged sectors of our society. The basic aim
of the Forum is to lobby for more accessible and good quality child care,
and to assist the formation and implementation of policies in this regard.
Our Head office at Delhi has been associated with FORCES since its
inception, and the Forces office is housed in the Mobile Crèches
Crèches, Mumbai is one of the core-committee members of Maharashtra
FORCES, a regional network, and has been actively participating in all
their programmes and activities. (E.g. workshops on quality in early
childhood care and development).
FORCES, in collaboration with the Indian Association for Pre-primary
Education (IAPE) & Maharashtra Bal Shikshan Parishad has initiated the
formation of an autonomous body to work on establishing and maintaining
high quality standards. Mobile Creches-Mumbai is one of the members on the
committee, and played a key role in drafting its constitution.
Status of workers on construction site
of the workers are ignorant of their rights and laws hence they suffer in
terms of getting benefits from employers. Maharashtra Chambers of Housing
Industry (MCHI) has drafted a code
of conduct and in that they have mentioned that crèches on
construction sites for the children of construction workers are desirable.
a few contractors and builders are sensitive to the needs of the children
of construction workers. They approach us for childcare services and are
ready to provide suitable
infrastructure for day care units.