Saroj who serves as domestic help at a housing society in Bengaluru would carry her two-year-old son with her to work until one day “Madam told me not to bring him along.” She wasn’t happy leaving him at the neighbour’s house. Then she met Sister Elise Mary who enrolled her son at the Murgeshpalaya Crèche. A Franciscan nun serving at the Navjeevan Mahila Pragati Kendra, Sister Elise visits the slums of Bengaluru to “understand the difficulties of the women in the slums, counsel them (in case of domestic violence) and help them find a job.”
RC Delden Borne, D 1560, Netherlands and RC Bangalore Lakeside, D 3190, in association with Navjeevan Mahila Pragati Kendra, set up their seventh crèche in Murgeshpalaya locality to empower poor mothers to take up jobs while their children are fed and taken care of at the crèche. Inaugurated in May, the crèche has enrolled 30 children so far and has six caretakers. “The number of admissions are steadily increasing and we plan to remodel some existing crèches in two more places,” says Jayanta, a member of RC Bangalore Lakeside.
Saroj says there were times when she couldn’t feed her son well “but now he eats like a Raja! The breakfast menu at the crèche includes poha, idli, dosa and a glass of milk.” Between 8 am to 4 pm the children are taught rhymes, English alphabets and Kannada. There is also provision for these children to sleep comfortably and they are fed three times a day. Parent meetings are conducted twice a month to assess the child’s development, address parents’ grievances and provide nutrition and hygiene awareness to them.