NEW DELHI: The Dawoodi Bohra community and Deepalaya today announced the launch of ‘Project Rise- Early Childhood Care & Development Centre’ to provide early childhood education and skills along with nutritional and health support to underprivileged children at Sanjay Colony slum in New Delhi. The sustained programme will support around 100 children between the ages of two to six every year whose parents are daily wage workers in the adjoining factories and construction sites.
Sharing details about the initiative, Dr George John, CEO of Deepalaya, said, “Studies have shown that the majority of underprivileged children under the age of five suffer from inadequate early childhood opportunities, nutritional deficiencies and health issues. Understanding this sensitive period for child development, we have partnered with the Dawoodi Bohra community in New Delhi to set up the early childcare and development centre at Sanjay Colony. The centre will equip vulnerable children with gross motor skills and functional literacy and prepare them to join formal schooling as they reach six years old.”
“So far, 54 children have already been identified and enrolled in the Centre, including the appointment of teachers and support staff. As part of this holistic development, the Centre will also take care of the children’s nutrition, sanitation and basic health requirements,” John added.
Mr Hatim Badri, Representative of His Holiness in New Delhi, said, “Every child deserves access to early childhood care and basic education for their overall growth and development. We’re fortunate to have launched this project to support the disadvantaged parents who struggle to give time, resources and nurturing care to children during their early childhood years.
“The leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community, His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, has always encouraged the community to show kindness to the less fortunate and strive to uplift those in need. With this guidance, our members continue to undertake various social welfare projects in rural and urban India and across the world,” he added.
Speaking at the launch programme, Dr Adarsh Sharma, Former Director of the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development from the Government of India, said, “Learning begins from the time of inception and continues till death. Beginning early is important so as to ensure setting the right tone for one’s future actions. Urban slum communities are in dire need of such programs and my best wishes to the Dawoodi Bohras for initiating the Project Rise Early childhood care and development Center. This Center like all other Deepalaya learning Centers shall contribute towards the holistic development of children and further towards national development.”
Project Rise, the global philanthropic endeavour of the Dawoodi Bohra community, is working in partnership with local community volunteers and organisations to support vulnerable members of society through better education, healthcare, nutrition, water and sanitation, and environmental protection.