AID Troy had requested a visit to Parichay and see how we can possibly help them come out of the financial crisis that they were facing.

Parichay was started in 2000 by a Gandhian - Vijay Bajpai. He had gone to Tukhmirpur for a function and noticed that a lot of children were playing around in the streets and not going to school. He resolved to do something for them. Parichay has changed the lives of at least 70 children since then.

Though the school or center had holidays the children being locals were very easy to collect in one place - especially when that place was their "Parichay" center. They are all well-mannered and one cannot but love them. They are all in the age-group of 5-16 years.

Vijay bhaiya uses music as a means to teach children. He has himself written poems to introduce children to the concepts of colors, alphabets and moral values. He has come up with a few books which help children learn in a very interactive and playful manner.

That Parichay has really changed lives is evident from a few incidents that Vijay bhaiya recounted to me. There is a student - Rani - who does some embroidery at home. While earlier the contractor would give her whatever he felt, when he recently came to give her something for embroidery, she pointed out that she should get more money for the more intricate work. She realizes today that her work has value and that she should get what she deserves. 

In another incident, parents of the children who used to come to the center took their children and got them enrolled in a formal government school. These parents were earlier ignorant of the change education can bring to the attitude of their children, but when they noticed that their children enjoyed studying, they took the initiative to get these enrolled to a full-time formal school.

With the help of vocational training these children also make quite a few very beautiful handicrafts which help them earn some income from the sales. A part of the profits also go for the upkeep of the center for the salaries of the teachers. One can support the good work at the center by purchasing these handicrafts. The catalogue includes a wide range of products from handmade pen-stands, paper folders, lamp-shades, bookmarks, potlis, show-pieces to greeting cards and handmade paper dairies.