The aim of the Balwadi Project is clear by its tagline – Cultivating Healthy Habits Through Education. And this includes nutrition and health along with the educational needs of the tiny children enrolling into our Balwadis. We realise that this holistic approach towards education can be successful, not just when these younglings attend their classes, but also when they have an equally supportive parents at home, monitoring their every move and helping them adopt these good habits in their everyday life. Moreover, the population of our Balwadis consists of the children of vegetable vendors, rickshaw pullers, house-helpers and so on. This population that co-exists with the urban luxuries of corporate hubs, international airport, high-rise towers, are themselves devoid of the bare minimum necessities like clean toilets and safe drinking water.
Hence, the Balwadis holds the Parents-Teachers Meetings across all the 30 Balwadis every two months. The objective is to meet and inform the parents of their children’s progress in terms of their health, food habits, cleanliness, body weight, class performance; as also to discuss with parents the changes they do or do not see in their children, especially in terms of health and hygiene, after having attended a few months of Balwadi sessions.
The results this time was extremely encouraging! About 95% of the parents attended the meet and healthy discussion followed. While emphasis was laid on cultivating healthy food habits and cleanliness, we also encouraged honest feedback from the parents. Renu Dubey, one of the parents from Balwadi No.3 in Marol Pipeline area happily shared with us, “Before my child start her Balwadi classes, she was very weak physically and mentally. But regular classes at the Balwadi has not only made her smarter and but also healthier!” Similarly, Savita Yadav from Balwadi No.14 exclaimed, “My child recites all the poems and stories at home that learns in the classes and he makes us so proud! He is learning good habits also from the Balwadis.”
The highlight of the sessions, especially for the tiny tots was that one among 31 students in each Balwadi was felicitated with the “Healthy Child Prize” to encourage other tiny tots as well as their parents to actively enforce healthy and clean habits in their lives too!