A Day at Asha Grih

The dawn breaks over the city and with it begins a typical day at Asha Grih. The elder children wake up the younger ones and under supervision, all of them freshen up for the day in an orderly manner. Of course, like in a normal home, there are some squabbles, laughter, pranks, and jokes among the kids. Exercise and breakfast follow, and if there are any new children, they get introduced and welcomed to the assembled group. The children are divided into different groups according to their learning requirements and abilities. Some head to school, while others are home-schooled to bring them up to the required standard of learning before they are admitted to the school. Some children, who have unique talents are empowered through specific vocational skills to make them capable of earning a livelihood through honest means. Learning at Asha Grih, therefore, follows a very flexible and customised approach so as to cater to every child’s needs.

Post-lunch, we have circle time, which is popularly called ‘The Circle of Hope’ where volunteers discuss issues faced by children. This is the most critical session of the day, where some children share their experiences on the street, some of which are traumatic and heart-wrenching. However, the mentor, who leads the group, is trained to encourage the children to open up and share themselves within the safety of their groups so that their problems can be understood, noted down and addressed. Story-telling is one of the most important tools used during this time to guide children to think and act right so that we can mould them to differentiate between right and wrong and show them how to become productive citizens of the country.

The evening is a time for play where exercise and sports are given importance. Children are taught the importance of fitness, the rules of games like cricket, football, badminton and more. Emphasis is also given to equip each of them with defensive techniques because there is always a probability that they may return to an environment, which is aggressive and exploitative. The children are then given time to complete their school work or practise other interests like drawing or watch educational programmes and movies in a common room. Here, house parents are constantly available to guide and shower their affection on the children.

Dinner and Lights Off! happen by 10 pm as it is considered mandatory for children to get complete sleep in order to grow well.