Dalil Ekta Camp, Vasant Kunj

Dalil Ekta Camp (DEC), a slum cluster located behind Vasant Kunj Police Station, comprises around 250 jhuggis. The inhabitants of these jhuggis are mostly illiterate and work as domestic help, plumbers, painters, and day labourers.

Ritinjali set up the DEC Learning Centre in 2007 to address the fact that most of the children living in this slum cluster were not attending regular school. The purpose was to develop basic numeracy and literacy skills, essential scientific and communication skills; and build self-esteem and confidence among these children. The intended outcome was to prepare them to be mainstreamed into the formal schooling system, and enable them to find their place in society.

Currently, 45 children are enrolled at the Centre and based on the children’s current level of knowledge, the Centre is divided into three sections. A dedicated teacher conducts classes at the DEC from 2.30 to 4.30 p.m., six days a week. The children come in after school hours, to get support and assistance in various subjects, such as English, Hindi, Mathematics, and Environmental Science. They are also provided with books and stationery, as and when required; as well as clothes, blankets, and footwear.

An interactive programme, comprising games, music, theatre, and arts, strengthens the learning experience for the children at the DEC. To nurture a love for arts, music, and drama, they are encouraged to develop and perform skits on topics they have studied at the Centre and are curious to explore further. This also gives them an opportunity to hone and showcase their creative potential.

The children are regularly taken out for picnics and excursions to places such as India Gate, Raj Ghat, the Doll Museum, the Nehru Planetarium, and the Garden of Five Senses. There is an emphasis on the educational component of these excursions, which makes it wholesome — as well as fun — learning experiences.