Childhood is by far the most integral and vulnerable period in a person’s life. Happy childhood experiences are a lifetime treasure for any individual, since they lay a foundation for the future action; and stay captured as refreshing and joyous memories. It inevitably becomes the responsibility of the society to ensure that a friendly and supportive ecosystem is provided for growing children, especially in the burgeoning urban areas.
Most urban cities, in trying to fulfill the modern demands of infrastructure and automobile excess are eating up on the free and safe spaces for unrestricted childhood. Children have less cycling paths or play areas and more video games and TV channels. The closeness to nature, running around bare foot or on cycles, climbing up the trees, feeling safe in the neighborhood is completely losing out to technology and modern infrastructure.
To create “a Child friendly city” - a city which accords safety to the child; where the child has freedom to explore, derive fun and joy, has ample opportunity and builds happy memories for a lifetime.
aProCh, a community based initiative was born out of this need for change. To fulfill the vision of aProCh, various initiatives were designed and implemented.
Parul Patel is associated with The Riverside School since its inception in 2001. A B.Com Graduate, she started her career as a Junior K.G. Teacher in 1990. Currently working as an Administrator, Parul was actively involved with the Design for Giving School Contest in 2009, and is an integral part of the Design for Change Global Contest since 2010. She enjoys reading and watching movies, and is an out-and-out people's person. Her administrative skills are impeccable and she puts her heart and soul into everything that she does.
Meet Eduhero Priyanka Prasad, also known as Soliditude. Priyanka works with the RTE and aProCh programs, through which she hopes to add value to the community. Priyanka is very courageous and is quick to follow-up and meet her deadlines. Priyanka is also very funny and has a good sense of humor. Children love being around Priyanka, whom they often refer to as “Sticker Ma’am” because she gives them stickers for encouragement. The local government says that Priyanka is very affirmative with her work in RTE and aProCh. Parents consider her to be “supportive and understanding,” and her colleagues say that she “knows how to get her work done.” Priyanka has a Master’s degree in Labor Laws and Labor Welfare from Symbiosis Society of Law College, Pune. She has worked in aProCh for over eight years.
Meet Eduhero Kirti - also known as Persipatient! On a typical day, you will find her feeling strongly about creating opportunities for Children to engage in free play; imagining different ways to add value to the community - especially children, making sure that aProCh doesn’t mean just fun but also learning. To achieve these objectives, she enthusiastically organises different initiatives like Street Smart, Parents of the Park, City on Cycles and Mov’ing Experience. She is always excited about adding value to the stakeholders and inspires them to take ownership of the vision of aProCh.
When we met her stakeholder Mr. Neeraj from NGO Saath, this is what he had to say about her, “Kirtiben has provided an opportunity for children to experience and explore spaces outside their community. She is able to handle situations under pressure in calm and confident manner, making each experience beneficial for the child.
Other stakeholder Mr. Soham Shukla from Spark Foundation adds “Her endurance and persistence for the idea is amazing and inspiring. Her dedication to make programs valuable and successful, her relationship building skills and continual support ensures partners are always motivated.”
Meet Eduhero Gayathri, also known as Flexadapt. Gayathri enjoys trying out new things in practice that helps to build her understanding of the students. She is also very flexible and adaptive, which enables her to work well as a member of the Children Support Program. Gayathri believes that if students are emotionally connected with the teacher, then learning will become more interesting for the students. She always approaches students in a positive and friendly way.
When we met one of Gayathri’s stakeholders, she told us, “Gayathri is very proactive and very friendly. She is always ready to learn new things with full enthusiasm and positivity.”
Gayathri has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. This is her second year working at Riverside.