Rahul Gupta speaks about an initiative to support children by empowering parents.
In 2017, Rahul started Pune Children’s Zone, an initiative that supports children by empowering parents and communities. We interviewed Rahul to learn more about this initiative.
Q. What are the issues that Pune Children’s Zone will address?
A. Pune Children’s Zone aims to support children’s holistic development by addressing the issues of lack of access to quality education and lack of awareness amongst parents about child development. The three focus areas according to me for a child’s development are Health, Family and School.
Q. Why did you believe that we need to work with communities to support children?
A. As a school leader, I realised that we cannot expect our students to develop holistically by just providing them safe and conducive environment in school. When they go back to their communities and interact with other children they face the harsh realities of life and the question arises that how can we expect change from our children if we do not address the issues plaguing their communities. I also wanted to shoulder the responsibility of impacting children we don’t serve in our schools.
Q. Can you tell us how Pune Children’s Zone will empower parents and communities?
A. I believe that children from underprivileged families need intervention from the time of birth and through their adolescent years. Thus, we have different programs that address specific issues and currently, two programs Paalakshaala and School Development Program have been started.
Paalakshala is a series of workshops for parents of children ages 0 to 3, that helps build positive parenting skills and raise healthy infants and toddlers. The curriculum focuses on child behaviour and safety, communication and intellectual stimulation, linguistic and brain development, and health and nutrition.
School Development Program aims at collaborating with schools run by the corporation and helping them identify their goals and focus areas such that all their students receive high-quality education. We have collaborated with four corporation schools and are in the process of planning and goal setting. We will be impacting 14 schools this year.
Q. We all have certain beliefs about the underprivileged and what needs to be done to make a difference. What was that one belief or thought that has changed for you after interacting with parents and collaborating with communities?
A. That there is always hope and even in the most derelict of situations change is possible.
Q. What is your vision for the children of the city?
A. In ten years, all the children in Pune will have access to quality education.
If you would like to be a part of this initiative or know someone who would support the team please reach out to Rahul Gupta at firstname.lastname@example.org