Dr. Avnish Jolly, Chandigarh, 23rd October, 2008 :The much awaited Vocational Training Center (VTC) at Maloya which was set up by the Chandigarh Administration for empowering the street children and ensuring their rehabilitation as productive members of society will be dedicated to the residents of the city beautiful on October 27. The center has been set up at 4.5 acres of land. The Punjab Governor and Administrator UT, Chandigarh, General (Retd.) S.F. Rodrigues will inaugurate the VTC.The Vocational Training Center has facilities like Administrative-cum-Educational Block, Vocational Training Block, three residential blocks, library-cum-recreational hall, music room, computer training center, medical units, gymnasium and play ground.
Out of the three residential blocks two blocks are meant for males inmates & one for girl inmates. Each residential block would accommodate 300 inmates, with facilities of dinning hall kitchen etc. along with a caretaker residence. Especial arrangements at ground floor have been planned for handicapped persons.
Street children have been identified with the help of NGOs like Don Basco, Child Development Project Officer (ICDS) and Labour Department. Any child (Boy/Girl) between the age group of 5 to 18 years who require care and protection due to any reasons or any child referred by the Child Welfare Committee or run away children or any child who works on the streets, single parent children working on the streets or children displaced due to natural disasters orphans/handicapped or having the impact of HIV/AIDS on the family would be eligible for taking admission in the center
Admission to center would be made by a constituted committee consisting of Research Officer, Social Welfare Department, Resident Manager/Superintendent of VTC and representative of Child Welfare Committee.
About 250 street children between the age group of 5 to 18 years have been admitted in the first phase. The major objective behind the VTC is to enhance the sense of self worth, security and open employment avenues to these children by providing education, training and skill development in the trades like Electrician, Mechanic refrigeration and air conditioning, cutting tailoring & embroidery, plumbing, Mechanic motor vehicle, welder, computer, carpenter in collaboration with Department of Technical Education, Chandigarh.
An Advisory Committee would be formulated which would consist of eleven members under the Chairmanship of Managing Director CCWDC/ DSW while District Education Officer, Education Department, District. Sports Officer, Principal, ITI, Chandigarh, Research Officer, Social Welfare Department, Resident Manager, Manju Bhalla, Member of Juvenile Justice Board, Chairman, Child Welfare Committee, Father Sebastian, Navjeevan Trust Society, Sector 24, Col. Bedi of YTTS and Mrs. Kanchan Bhasin, President, Innerwheel Club as its members. The Advisory Committee would be taking important decisions, to formulate rules and regulations and to make any amendments/deletions in the rules pertaining to this institute.
For the overall personality development of these children facilities like games and cultural activities are also made available to them. Games like Volleyball, basketball, badminton etc. would be provided in the premises of the center in collaboration with the Sports Department. For developing the inherent talents of the children in cultural activities, tie up with the North Zone Cultural Center would be made. Besides, proper Medical Facility would also be provided for the children in the campus.
Nutritious diet would be made available to the children and ensuring variety in taste as per minimum nutritional standards the menu will be prepared with the help of nutritional experts or doctors from General Hospital, Sector 16.
The children have been categorized as per the age groups. The school going children would put in the nearby schools. Special courses would be organized for children in the age group of 11 to 15 years for imparting information and knowledge through special curriculum, so that in the next two years time, they are brought to the level of standard of 8th and 9th.
During the day time they would pursue their respective training courses and in the evening the educational classes will be organized for them so that, after this, they could be inducted into formal system of education and they pass out their 10th & 12th examination with private students.
Once the child is admitted to the Center, the counselor will prepare his case file, which would guide the Resident Manager/Warden and Staff as to how to handle the child. After counseling, the children would broadly be categorized into four categories including School going children, working children, working children undergoing Vocational Training and working children learning to read and write.
The Chandigarh Administration is also planning for a Stipend Scheme for the inmates of the Center. The stipend could be anything between the ranges of Rs. 1000-1500 as may be decided. Department of Social Welfare would run the Center through Chandigarh Child & Women Development Corporation. With the completion of the 2nd phase, the center would be in a position to cater to as many as 900 children.