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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mukand and Riaz at Mumbai Mobile Creches

Here is the note sent by the lovely Team MMC:

MMC’s day care centers are probably the most unique day care centers in Mumbai. Mumbai Mobile Creches is the only NGO that runs day care centers for children of construction workers in the city of dreams. The parents of these children migrate from all over India in a desperate attempt to find livelihood, and get employed as skilled and unskilled workers at the booming construction industry of the city. Such sudden and short term moves from the native village to the city, and from one construction site to another, impacts the tender mind the most. The children are often deprived of affection of their grandparents and siblings, whom they had to leave behind in their natal places, and hence they try to find solace in the company of their friends at the day care centers. Although coming from 21 different states and from various different castes and religious backgrounds, they all share the same experience of being a migrant and living on a construction site. Friendship brings some sort of coherence in their ever-changing lives.

The library program plays a very important role in MMC’s comprehensive day care program, and one entire week is set aside as the Book Week. It is one such week (annually) when a lot of activities are planned around books and reading. During the Book Week, both children and community members engage in multiple fun events that kindles their love for reading books.

Tying friendship bands

From November 16 to 21, 2015, the children at MMC’s daycare centers celebrated this year’s Book Week, and the theme of the 6th MMC Book Week was “Friendship”, or “AdbhootDostiKeAnokhe Rang”. During this event the children professed their unconditional love for their friends through books.  Story books depicting unique and unconditional friendships were selected for children of different age groups. One such story was that of “Mukund aur Riaz” by Tulika publications which shares a message of magnanimous bonding between two friends. It was a perfect selection which migrant children could easily relate to as they too go through similar feelings of separation when they move back to their villages or other construction sites.

Telling the story
Before narrating the story, the teacher initiated with an introduction activity where children tied friendship bands to each other and celebrated friendship. It was followed by the “Read Aloud Session” of the book “Mukund and Riaz”. All the children were fascinated by the Red colour cap which Mukund gives to Riaz as his last friendship gift. As a follow up activity, the children then made caps and some of them spoke about their best friends and their names. One of the child prompted “Maine bhimeri saheli ko goan jate samay chudiyan diyithi”. (“I had also given my friend bangles while going back to my village.”)

The fabulous caps

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