RDWA and Mallika Gupta organised the launch of ‘Samarthya Shaala’ a specially designed classroom for street-connected children on Sunday, July 17th, 2022 at RDWA Railway Centre, Aligarh, (UP)
Rag Dreams’ Weavers Association (RDWA) with architect Mallika Gupta and her team organised the launch of ‘Samarthya Shaala’ a specially designed classroom inspired by the concept of ‘Building as a Learning Aid,’ for street- connected children to play, learn and safely dream in on Sunday, July 17th, 2022 at RDWA Railway Centre, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh (UP).
This project aims to provide a space that encourages children to learn communication, creativity, collaboration, and other life skills, supported by RDWA’s mentorship program.
RDWA is a youth-based, non-profit organization, working on behalf of street-connected children, in North India in collaboration with North-Central Railways and Consortium for Street Children, UK. The space for the classroom has been provided by Pawan Kumar (Secy. Scouts and Guides, Aligarh Division). The event was attended by Sanjay Kumar (DTM Tundla), S.K. Sharma (ADEN Aligarh), D K Gautam (Station Superintendent, Aligarh), Raja Babu (Deputy SS, Aligarh), Railway Police Force, Rajiv Verma (Post-Commandant) and Amit Chaudhary (SI), Dr. Deepti Gupta (Associate Dean, IIT Delhi), Veni Thapar (Senior partner at V K Thapar and Company, Charter Accountants and Director, Bank of India) and Dr. Sanjay Gupta (Vice- Chancellor, World University of Design, Sonipat) were also present as RDWA advisors.
RDWA also announced their future collaboration for the pedestrianisation of school zones with Aligarh Smart, supported by Municipal Commissioner IAS Gaurang Rathi.
In early 2017, Sagar Sisodia, a Gandhi fellow, saw a child being physically abused by an adult on the road in his hometown Aligarh. Upon inquiry he discovered that the child was being punished for no crime other than playing on the road. He was shocked by the injustice of this incident but truly believed that education could serve as a solution for empowering the children to stand up for themselves. Within the next 24 hours, he had begun classes for the children on the same road with a group of friends. Over the last 5 years, this initiative has grown into a registered organization- The Rag Dreams’ Weavers Association (RDWA) with over 200 children directly under their wing, and many more lives positively impacted.
Keeping empathy and the Child-rights approach as the pillar of the organisation, RDWA works towards supporting children from street situations to become empowered individuals with primary education and 21st century skills. They are now recognized partners of the North-Central Railways with centers in Aligarh, Tundla and Agra. They are also data partners of the Consortium for Street Children, UK- the only global network dedicated to raising the voices of street-connected children with more than 130 international organisations, working across 135 countries.