Soniya, is a cheerful caretaker at one of our day-care centre (Balwadi) at Dewas. The children are less hesitant around her and over time, tend to develop a relish for her warm company.
Soniya recalls- her uncomplicated routine and the fun of group teaching before the pandemic hit. “The euphony of children singing aloud nursery rhymes in their own sweet voice, and playing with their animal themed flash cards- are some of my favourite moments that I hold in my bag of memories.” she says. She clearly remembers how a sense of togetherness helped the children groom into better individuals and develop self-confidence. She also recalls the ease with which the children would make friends and participate in activities together.
However, after COVID-19 hit India, nothing has remained the same.
Following the government’s safety guidelines and protocols, Centre-based Balwadi day-cares are not functional for the time being. But the caretakers of our Balwadis are now shifted to a new routine i.e. grouped day-care arrangement where they do activities with children in small groups. They can now entertain not more than five children in one sitting.
Our caretakers have also maintained a continuous supply of nutritious food for the children, helping lower the risk of malnutrition, especially during such trying times. Only parents are allowed to come to Balwadis and collect the food for their children in their own tiffin-boxes.
We hope that this situation will soon change and we will again see small children coming to Balwadis for their regular schedule. Times like these come with challenges of their own, yet caretakers like Soniya remains hopeful.
It is with the help from generous donors like you, that our committed caretakers are able to go beyond their role. We appreciate your acknowledgement of the fact that your donations can have such a profound impact on the lives of so many children. At present, Seva Mandir, in close collaboration with communities, is running 160 Balwadi centres catering to 4,451 children in Udaipur and Rajsamand districts of southern Rajasthan.Your support is invaluable to these children, and we dearly thank you for being with us.
Stay safe and healthy.
Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team