Vidya Shankar, chairperson …

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Vidya Shankar, chairperson …

 

Vidya Shankar, chairperson of the State Juvenile Welfare Board and founder-director of the NGO Relief Foundation, has pioneered Chennai’s first government-NGO partnership for the management of juvenile homes

The visitor is Vidya Shankar, chairperson of the State Juvenile Welfare Board and founder-director of the non-governmental organisation, Relief Foundation.
Shankar plays a dual role in Tamil Nadu’s juvenile justice system. She is a presiding officer of the court and pioneer of the first-of-its-kind government-NGO partnership involving the co-management of juvenile homes in the city.

Says Shankar: “Our objective was to provide children in the juvenile justice system access to a better quality of life, education and to rehabilitate and integrate them successfully into society.

Shankar explains: “It is important to prevent children from becoming anti-social and/or unproductive. Better understanding of the procedure and limitations of governmental services and the role of civil society in adding value to the existing services cannot be stressed enough.”
The co-management effort has resulted in a decline in medical ailments among the children, a change in staff attitude and, significantly, a reduction in the number of children actually institutionalised, thanks to parent and guardian counselling.
So, what are the challenges and rewards of attempting to duplicate the co-management model? Shankar believes it requires a patient understanding of the system. She says: “It is the synergy between the kinetic energy of a voluntary organisation and the potential energy of the government system.

“In the last few weeks, I …

www.thehindu.com, 24 Jan 2012 [cached]
“In the last few weeks, I have been receiving at least three to four enquiries from parents every week to guide them on home-educating their child,” says Vidya Shankar, who has been advocating home schooling among parents through various forums. “In home education, at least one of the parents should be ready to invest their time on the child for a better future,” says Ms.Shankar, chairperson, Relief Foundation, an NGO working in the area of education.
…Given the busy schedules of most parents, such a set-up would work better if parents come together and are engaged in co-operative learning, where parents can take turns to help children every day, says Ms. Shankar.

“Home Page

 

Vidya Shankar, founder of Relief Foundation (an NGO working with
In 2001, Vidya Shankar, …
www.relieffoundation.org, 1 May 2006 [cached]
In 2001, Vidya Shankar, Chairperson of Relief Foundation, was appointed Chairperson of the Juvenile Welfare Board inChennai, and in 2002, she became a member of the Juvenile Justice Board.Her growing involvement in the Juvenile Justice System helped Relief Foundation to better understand the reasons of juvenile delinquency and criminality and to develop new preventative projects.
Today, we have developed into a small, cost-effective and powerful organization.
Infochange India News Features Pioneering government-NGO partnership to manage juvenile homes
www.infochangeindia.org, 1 April 2004 [cached]
Vidya Shankar, chairperson of the State Juvenile Welfare Board and founder-director of the NGO Relief Foundation, has pioneered Chennai’s first government-NGO partnership for the management of juvenile homes
……
The visitor is Vidya Shankar, chairperson of the State Juvenile Welfare Board and founder-director of the non-governmental organisation, Relief Foundation.
Shankar plays a dual role in Tamil Nadu’s juvenile justice system.She is a presiding officer of the court and pioneer of the first-of-its-kind government-NGO partnership involving the co-management of juvenile homes in the city.

Says Shankar: “Our objective was to provide children in the juvenile justice system access to a better quality of life, education and to rehabilitate and integrate them successfully into society….
Shankar explains: “It is important to prevent children from becoming anti-social and/or unproductive.Better understanding of the procedure and limitations of governmental services and the role of civil society in adding value to the existing services cannot be stressed enough.”
The co-management effort has resulted in a decline in medical ailments among the children, a change in staff attitude and, significantly, a reduction in the number of children actually institutionalised, thanks to parent and guardian counselling.
So, what are the challenges and rewards of attempting to duplicate the co-management model?Shankar believes it requires a patient understanding of the system.She says: “It is the synergy between the kinetic energy of a voluntary organisation and the potential energy of the government system.

 

“The buck stops with the teacher

In 1998, a group of adoptive parents launched Relief Foundation to engage in family-based care for children who are placed at various governmental institutions in Tamil Nadu. Gradually, they worked with the homes and dealt with child-protection and rehabilitation issues. Soon they noticed that however hard they or the institutions that they worked with tried, children did not express a sense of belongingness to where they lived.

 

Up to 2008, Relief Foundation has been working closely with the Juvenile Justice System. Roping in educationists, corporate houses, as well as welfare specialists the organization has been conducting studies on education reform. Years of study on the factors that helped child growth and independence led them to one conclusion—if the school was right, then the chances of the child blossoming into a self-reliant and successful individual was far higher than if it was not.

Says Vidya Shankar, Chairperson, Relief Foundation, “We realized that we were all along working at the fag end of a lengthy problem. It was time to start focusing on schools and we did so without wasting further time.” Thus began the school reform process.
Relief Foundation, in collaboration with Shriram Foundation, adopted five schools around the Thiruneermalai area where they conducted training programs for teachers, shared good practices, developed lesson plans, and worked on improving the general schooling experience for children.

 

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