Ever since our shift to Rein Basera a few weeks back, our focus too has shifted significantly to cleanliness. At Gandhi Park, we did not have the means to ensure that the kids sit with clean hands and faces. Shaila occasionally bought wet-wipes and we would use at least five on each child before the hands and faces looked slightly cleaner, and we took a few kids a few times to the public toilets to bathe, but besides these there was no option for us to have a daily bathing and washing routine.All this has changed at Rein Basera. We have toilets and bathrooms and we have fitted these with buckets, mugs, soaps, shampoos and detergents and manjan (power for cleaning teeth). The kids are exploiting (the word ‘use’ is not enough) these resources and we could not be more delighted! On the last check, I can proudly say that we are using 3 bars of soap everyday, 10 sachets of shampoo and 2 bars of washing soap for clothes besides about half a big bottle of hair oil. We also lose one comb every three days owing to the fact that the kids’ hair have not been washed or combed in so long but we expect this trend to end in another week!One of the best new things we have introduced at Rein Basera is mending clothes. The older kids, along with the teachers all sit down after work is finished or after lunch when the little ones are glued to Doremon on TV and among us, we have sewn together clothes that would demand nothing less than top honours in the museum of wardrobe malfunctions.
Onto other news now! On 29th, we had the team from Childline 1098 come to Rein Basera to talk to us about the emergency services that they have launched in Uttarakhand recently. Childline is a wonderful initiative- a toll-free help line for street children that was originally launched in Mumbai and has recently been introduced in Dehradun and other parts of Uttarakhand (more information about Childline can be found here). As part of their promotional work, the Dehradun Childline team came to Street Smart to talk to the children about using the 1098 help line.
It was a great session and involved games and a short play. At the end of the program, all of us formed a circle with the Childline team and shouted their couplet “10-9-8, ab hamare saath” while clapping our hands, so that the kids remembered the number. A few pictures from the Childline session: