On the first day of our visit in Mumbai, we visited the David Sassoon Industrial Home.
About the Home
The David Sassoon Industrial School is an institution certified as a Special Children Home under section 9 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. It comes under the management of The Children’s Aid Society, Mumbai. It is a formal education and a vocational training center with focus on character development of children there and reformation of juvenile delinquents. The sanctioned vacancy of the home is 400 boys ( 200 Children in Conflict with Law and 200 Children in Need of Care and Protection) between the age group of 12 to 18 years of age.
The campus is centrally located in Matunga, Mumbai and appears to be a normal school campus at the first glance once inside. The campus is equipped with a office building and a huge ground along with school building, dormitories for boys, medical room, workshop buildings, common hall and kitchen. The campus includes a huge ground surrounded by greenery from all sides which gives positive vibes and a comfortable energy to the whole place. The children staying inside are allowed to play on the ground every evening for few hours apart from inter and intra-school activities conducted. The buildings in the campus are heritage and are spacious enough to house the existing number of children inside. The workshops are slightly older structures but well-equipped with tools and materials required for the training required.
Interaction with the Staff
In the initial part of our visit we got to interact with Mr. Gaikwad, the Probation officer there who walked us through the working and operations of the place. He further introduced us to Mr Pawan, art teacher who had interesting insights into creative work happening there currently. We also interacted with the teachers who teach in the school.
School and Vocational Training
The students attend the school classes and workshop in batches in a day. The batch of students who attend classes in the morning go for vocational training in the afternoon session and similarly for the other batch classes are in the afternoon. Lunch breaks and evenings are common playtime for all. Keeping in the Line the National Policy on Education, David Sassoon Industrial School runs formal education classes in Marathi medium from 1st std.to 8th std.Those who are good in studies are encouraged to continue their education 10th standard. Students good in drawing and paintings attends the Drawing class. Basic Computers training is given through NGOs’.
Apart from these David Sassoon Industrial School has vocational training in –
- Welding and Metal Working
- Electrical Wiring Work
- Organic Farming (in association with Aashiyana)
The Workshop with Children
After a day of thoroughly visiting the place, we conducted a small introductory workshop with a group of 8 to 10 boys along the lines of previously conducted workshop in Mehsana. The session lasted for half an hour and it turned out to be a very interactive session with much enthusiasm from the children’s side. The activities in the workshop were designed in a way to initiate more interaction with each other and see the rapport children have inside.We also got an insight into what the children like to do, what are their aspirations, etc.
Observations and Insights
- Children were slightly hesitant to draw but quickly caught with the fun nature of activities
- Quick, prompt response to tasks given.
- Interest in sports like cricket,volleyball and dancing was common across the group.
- More enthusiasm but out-spoken kids.
- Once outside some children showed interest in pursuing sports as a career, learning.
- Children wrote heartfelt letters to people they wanted to connect you and aspirational personalities outside.