Prayasam - Using children as a vehicle for change

India Water Portal
Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 10:30

Amlan Kusum Ganguly started Prayasam  to touch lives and and make a difference. Troubled by the plight of children in brick kilns and slums  and the widespread indifference towards sanitation, clean drinking water and health,  Amlan Ganguly and his organization decided to target the young to educate slum –dwellers. One of the first slums that Prayasam decided to work in is the Rishi Aurobindo Colony in the eastern fringes of Kolkata.

When Prayasam commenced work nearly a decade ago, Rishi Aurobindo  Colony and the slums adjoining it were full of disease. Garbage vats were always full, and open drains completed the picture of pure mayhem. Diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera, gastroenteritis were widespread.

The children in Rishi Aurobindo Colony  were taught the basics of hygiene, health and sanitation. The children then took the lead to teach hygiene to elders at home. They were taught to cover all food, and never litter the slum with garbage to , and  never to defecate in the open.  Elders were in the habit to throw garbage in the only open space in the slum where children played.  The Prayasam campaign freed the playground of garbage, and today, it is a playground that the children can happily use.

In the brick kilns too, the children are getting educated, and looking forward to a life far removed from the unhygienic surroundings that characterize the world. Prayasam uses the multimedia approach to create awareness in the slums. Children make masks, enact plays at street corners, and conduct awareness drives shouting into make-shift loudspeakers they fashion out of wastepaper.

View the video  here