Childern of Soham
During our survey in different villages of in and around Solan district we found that the children especially girls in rural areas are deprived, lack opportunities and do not get exposure for better education as they are overburdened by homely choros. Children Home SOHAMVISHVAS GHAR has evidently shown us that the problem of Children are interlinked with multiple complex issues in the family and community, primarily poverty, alcoholism, gender discrimination, and lack of education.
There are many efforts by the Govt. to provide bookish knowledge and school curriculum which does not prepare them to cope with the new societal challenges, especially girls. Therefore there is a need to provide extra inputs for school going and out of school children to develop their life skills. Therefore SOHAM opened a Vocational Training Centre for women.
SOHAM started this programme for the girls as well women of in and around SOHAMVISHVAS GHAR in April 2007. They were given training of Sewing, Toy making and Show piece making by a skilled teacher engaged for this purpose. Response for this programme was very good, but we kept it very small. Only 10 ladies were selected based upon the background of their low family income. They were trained for 8 months till October, 2007. Winter start getting chilled during November onwards and December and January are too cold in this region. The programme continued for the year April- October, 2008 also.
In 2009 Department of Extention from Local Block Development office had sanctioned a Sewing Centre for this region. Stipend for a local teacher and for 10 students was given to SOHAM. Instead of getting cash, SOHAM distributed a sewing machine to all the 10 enrolled ladies with it. All the Sewing machines were distributed to ladies who have sucessfully completed the course along with a learning certificate in April, 2010. In total SOHAM has imparted the skill to almost 30 ladies in the region till 2012.
Vishvas Foundation Dagshai has started a school for children of labour class community. These are migratory poulation from UP, Bihar and upper shimla. They are often unskilled workers and cater to Construction needs of the area. They donot carry any ration card or any other proof of their identity with them. As a routine their children donot get admission in the Government Schools, as a result they just loiter around and engage in useless activities. Their nutritional needs, recreational, health and other needs are not fulfilled, because of the parent’s engagement at the work places. SOHAM along with Vishvas Foundation, Dagshai has started a Vidhya Mandir for all such children in the age of 5yrs to 14 yrs at Kumarhatti, a midway small town to Solan on Chandigarh- Shimla National Highway, approximately 12kms before Solan. This school was started in July, 2005 and it is continuing till date.
Around 120 students till date have studied in this school till date. Though the school is there till class 5th, but with intervention from local authorities children beyound class 5th were admitted to Government School on the basis of an Entrance Exam.
It is observed in this area that parents in the rural areas do not send their girls to schools/ colleges after 8th, 10th or 12th class due to various reasons. There are economic, social and others reasons such as the availability of Open School system. It has an advantage that the girls can look after the family choros as well as can appear for the exams and get the required education.
In order to equip them with at least one earning skills, a computer training centre was opened in the year April, 2006 at the Vishvas Seva Kendra campus at Kumarhatti. Girls from the BPL families who have atleast studied till 8th standard were given admission. A well qualified teacher had imparted the compute skills to all the students. A batch of 32 students was given training each year at this centre. Till 2012, aproximately 180 students got training in this centre. SOHAM was involved in the overall supervison, guidence and coordination of this centre.