August saw the beginning of the Children’s bank at the Jeevanshala. Children at the Jeevanshala have their own passbooks and operate their own accounts. They deposit their cash with the Bank Manager (also the Centre Sanchalak) Rabindra Bhaiya. Whenever they need any commodity, they fill a requisition slip. Once they receive their item, Rabindra Bhaiya updates their passbook with the amount left. While almost all children have visited a bank with their parents and families, the chaos and poor treatment (stemming from prejudice towards illiterate and working people) given to their families is no way to start financial inclusion for the children. The bank therefore is a initiation into banking at an early age, in a dignified and respectful manner.
In August we celebrated two festivals. One Rakshabandhan and other Independence day. On Rakhi we invited the children’s parents and siblings at the center. Jeevanshala believes in gender equity and thus we tie rakhis on each others hand, irrespective of caste, class, gender and age barriers, vowing to take care of each other. Also on Independence day, we hoisted the tri-colour, distributed Jalebis and discussed ideas of true Independence which believes in the idea of justice, equality and liberty for all. We reiterated our commitments.
Every month we conduct a workshop on various issues of relevance to the children. In august, we conducted a workshop on health and hygiene. During this children made clay models of germs, painted some rules on sheets and watched short videos.