ANDHERI, OCTOBER 18, 2011: Over a decade of working with children in community and on railway stations for their rights, Dominic Savio and Don Bosco Balprafulta recognized a need to work at a family level with Parents.
Effective Parenting has become one of the major concerns; it could serve as one of the best strategies to reduce incidents of exploitation of children in all forms and to prevent the children from stepping out of home and on to the streets.
As a part of our 'Effective Parenting' program, Don Bosco Balprafulta along with Dominic Savio organized a Parents meeting on Sunday, October 16, 2011.
Parents of children who have been repatriated back to their families from child labour situations, from the streets/railway stations - directly home placed or repatriated from the Juvenile homes (Dongri, Mankurd), as also parents of children with whom we work as a part of our community intervention to prevent drop outs were invited for this meeting.
A total of fifty one parents from different parts of Mumbai's urban slum (Govandi, Mankurd, Mahim, Sion, Dharavi and Andheri) came for this meeting. The primary objective for organizing the meeting was to understand the problems of parents while bringing up the children and to make parents aware of children's issues.
Fr. Edwin Colaco welcomed the parents with his usual charm and charisma which set the tone for the entire meeting. The parents were divided into groups to discuss various parenting issues with a help of case studies. Some of the issues discussed were on building a foundation for the children, insisting on them going to school and not to earn. Parents taking more trouble to ensure they spend more time with their children, listening to them, relating with love, having the neighbours care for them when away at work. In short, the parents realized that the future generation is in their hands, if they give the children a firm foundation they become effective parents and they will be able to break the cycle of deprivation their past generations have been going through, with their children.
The Director, in concluding, focused on making parents realize that they have the responsibility as well as the capability to give their children a bright future. He also stressed on breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy with the help of education, skill building and awareness.
Thanks to the community of Dominic Savio (Andheri) for its co-ordinated support and enthusiasm for ensuring that the parents went with greater zest to be more effective mentors of their children.