CHILDREN

In 2020, while most of our population was quarantined in their homes, my family was lucky to live in a society that allowed us free use of the roof terrace for exercise. My husband, daughter and I often enjoyed morning breakfasts up there, and every evening we made it a point to run around, play and exercise. As the first wave waned, slowly, things started opening up. We were overjoyed. We could finally enjoy watching the sun go down the horizon and be in the greenery to ease our anxieties and move our bodies. What became clearer to us was…

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Bengaluru is a finalist in a nationwide competition to implement and scale kid-friendly neighbourhood design over the next two years. Pilot projects formulated and implemented by the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) and Bengaluru Smart City Ltd (BenSCL) aim to enhance access to transit, open spaces, maternity hospitals and anganwadis. There are ten winning cities in the Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge, a national initiative to shape neighbourhoods across India that support healthy early childhood development. The challenge was launched in November 2020 by the Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), in collaboration with the Bernard van…

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This is the second of a two part story on the Delhi government’s initiative in introducing Entrepreneurship Mindset Classes for school students of classes 11-12. You can read the first part here. Students are clearly smitten by what is expected of them in this programme seeking to encourage and nurture entrepreneurial mindset.  “People study, work hard and pass exams, yet very few get jobs, and fewer of them get decent jobs,” says Khushi, a student of the government-run School of Excellence in Kalkaji. “If this curriculum and the Business Blasters makes me a business woman, I will know where I…

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This is the first of a two part story on the Delhi government’s initiative in introducing Entrepreneurship Mindset Classes for school students of classes 11-12 Between June and December, when a satellite TV channel first aired its promo for the Indian version of the popular American entrepreneur reality show Shark Tank,  scores of class 11 and 12 students from Delhi government schools had pitched to “sharks” business ideas they had executed and discussed investments needed to scale up their enterprises. Many came out with flying colours in interviews that were no less gruelling than those faced by candidates who made it…

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“Primary Education is grass-roots education on which the pillars of the future get built,” says  Raghav Kataliya also known as Raghu Ramakdu (toy) of Mithyala Prathmik Shala in in Saurashtra region in western Gujarat. “I am happy that the concept I started in 2020 is now being implemented across Gujarat.” The 32-year-old math teacher is known for his creative teaching skills. For instance, he uses an umbrella to teach patterns and his shirt to teach multiplication. Worried about his primary school students missing out on their studies during the lockdown, Raghav conducted classes for his students in batches in open…

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It did not last long. 10 days after the reopening of schools in Delhi for Classes 1 to 5, they had to be closed again because of severe air pollution in the national capital region. According to the latest, schools will remain closed till November 21st, but if they do reopen after that, the experiences and observations reported here from early November may well continue to present the true scenario among schools, teachers and students. Sagar and Sonali were overjoyed when they learnt that they would be going back to their school in Ghazipur from November 1st. Their mother Kriti…

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In March 2020, when the pandemic set in and lockdown was first imposed, spread of the virus, lack of adequate medical care, the lack of vaccines and loss of livelihoods of millions of citizens were the primary concerns among the government and the people. However, as time progressed and the radical changes to lives, livelihoods and lifestyles became more pronounced, increasingly, the discussions – both at a personal and at policy level – turned to the pandemic's impact on mental health. Add to that the several reports about skewed access to education and problems related to online education among children…

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The nutritional status of growing children has always been a matter of great concern the world over. Even during normal days, several factors influenced the dietary intake of school going children. Like their socio-economic status, eating practices, the family’s likes and dislikes, regional menus. It’s not only the qualitative and quantitative food intake that varies. A lot depends on dietary habits. Some families eat together while some eat in isolation. Meal timings vary from family to family. Availability of nutritious food throughout the year in every part of a country like ours is another challenge. Every child has his own…

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The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed India’s evolving child-care ecosystem to the brink of collapse with preschools and playschools shuttered since March last year and no new admissions this academic year. According to a UNICEF report, this has impacted 28 million preschool children in anganwadi centres across the country. But while the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development issued an order in November last year, allowing all states and Union Territories to reopen anganwadis outside containment zones with immediate effect, there is still total confusion among parents, schools and policy makers on the reopening of private preschools.Having seen thriving business pre-COVID, with…

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The year 2020 is certainly one that will not be forgotten soon for the changes it brought in our daily routines, work and relationships. The challenges faced by school going children and their parents have been particularly severe, given the nearly 18 month closure of schools. Now, as schools reopen gradually, the challenges faced by parents of a school-going child are even tougher. Parents remain divided over the decision to reopen schools. Medical experts are also divided on whether or not parents should send their children to school, to avoid any kind of mental stress that can occur due to…

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