Level 2: Structure!

Sometimes I think Street Smart could be turned into a really exciting video game. It is challenging and as you move through the days, there are unexpected challenges and set-backs. There are so many levels to the program. The first level, as I see it started with the program setting up, through its various modifications of space and schedules- from Rein Basera to Astley Hall, to outside Orient Cinema and finally into Gandhi Park. There was the detour to the school near Astley Hall that did not work out and therefore was a dead end, from where we turned around and extended our Gandhi Park program by an hour. That worked wonders and hereon, I think we are ready to move to level 2!

Level 2 is back to Rein Basera, the wonderful space behind the GPO near Clock Tower that serves as an overnight shelter for homeless males, over 18 years in age. Rein Basera is built on two storeys and has spotless, sparkling premises with bathrooms and toilets and plenty of storage space- all for our use during the day!

So the plan starting from Monday, June 12 is as follows: The children are transported to Rein Basera from Parade Ground and Astley Hall everyday in vikrams at 11 a.m. We may get one of those bells that we carry with us and create a din with, so that the kids know it is school time!

Once there, we have so many ideas for more interactive, creative and fun classes. With storage space, we can look at the idea of a blackboard or whiteboard, making hand puppets and finger puppets, stories boards and others that can work in continuation of the previous day’s lessons and therefore build on previous learning. We can also finally have dance, music and all other things that at Gandhi Park, drew crowds of leering men!

With the Parade Ground kids attending our program consistently now, the food bills also went spiralling up in the past couple of weeks. Shaila has  come up with a wonderful plan for food that is not only affordable to Aasraa’s pocket but is also sumptuously nutritious! The lady who runs her thela (food cart) and serves the kids food outside Gandhi Park was asked to cook a recipe of daal and chawal with lots of vegetables in it. It is soupy in texture and has a lot of flavours in it since the cook puts in ginger, garlic and masalas and garnishes the end product with coriander. The lady has agreed to make 1.25 kgs of rice and half a kg of daal with the veggies today as sample and from Monday onwards, we will get one big pot of this daal-chawal-vegetables at Rein Basera where the kids will eat them in big plastic/aluminium bowls in the verandah.

So Friday and Saturday are when we take on the last few big challenges that will ensure our entry into Level 2! These are-getting the parents’ assent for the shift to Rein Basera, talking to the vikram-drivers and fixing a sum with them for daily transportation from Parade Ground to Rein Basera, and of course overseeing a thousand other small details.

Stay connected to the blog for more updates on our journey as we move to the next Level and attempt to conquer bigger things and defeat bigger monsters! 🙂

4 Responses

  1. aditi says:

    Nice!Was wondering when we could come and show the kids a 2 min. skit and speak to them about CHILDLINE 1098 the toll free emergency helpline for children.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow!…Power and strength to you and all the children…you will win!!!! Mamta

  3. charugoyal says:

    Hello, I am happy to be with these children at Gandhi Park on every Tuesday.Aasra is doing a great work. I wish them good luck. charu Goyal

  4. Thank you for your inspiring and encouraging words. Aditi, this is a great idea! Would love to have you over to talk about the helpline at Street Smart. I will talk to Shaila about this and will call you soon. Lots of Love!

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