In December 2010, Ritinjali established a new Learning Centre in the slum cluster behind Artemis Hospital in Sector 51, Gurgaon. The inhabitants of this slum are migrant labourers from Bihar, Bengal and U.P., who have come to Gurgaon in search of a better livelihood. The children are left alone and uncared for while their parents go to work. Ritinjali decided to start the Learning Centre to engage the children in constructive activities and equip them with the 3R’s for a bette r future. The project has received a warm reception from the inhabitants. We started the Centre with 32 children and in a short span of time, the number of children has risen to 52. Notebooks and stationery is provided to all the children at the Centre. A teacher conducts classes from 8.30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and boys from Ritinjali’s Second Chance School help with activities and classes in the afternoon.

Dr. Mridul and Dr. Biplav, two of our volunteers, led a medical camp at the Centre. Both children and elderly members of the community greatly benefited from the general health check-ups conducted by the volunteer medics. Most of the children were administered with iron syrup and vitamin tonics.

An excursion was organised for the Learning Centre, whereby fourteen children were taken to the Rail Museum and India Gate, along with the Second Chance School (SCS) boys and the children of all the other Vocational Centres. The chi ldren from the Centre were well looked after by the other children and thoroughly enjoyed their first outing. The exhibition at the Rail Museum captured the children’s imagination. The outing was a great success; a day to remember for all those involved.

Ritinjali volunteers regularly visit the Centre; they distribute food to the children and spend a substantial amount of time teaching them. During a short space of time, the children have benefited from a wide range of activities and also performed at Ritinjali ’s 16th birthday celebration on February 12th, 2011 at Anandgram.

One boy from the centre, Suresh, joined the Second Chance School in March 2011. The boys from the Second Chance School told him about the Second Chance School during the evening classes they were taking. Suresh decided to join the school because of the future prospects it offered.

Ritinjali hopes to strengthen this endeavour and touch the lives of more such children through this centre.