We first met Mobile Creches Executive Director Sumitra Mishra last November at the ReadyNation 2018 Global Business Summit on Early Childhood.
The Mobile Creches mission addresses the education of young children: “To influence multiple stakeholders at National, State and Local levels by promoting Early Childhood Care and Development through providing and supporting services, enhancing capacities and campaign building.”
See our video interview with Mobile Creches Executive Director Sumitra Mishra
The challenges around enabling early learning — indeed, learning and development — for children and families in various locations can be significant.
“Right to Education for All”
Mishra told us regarding child care in their early years: “We work with the most vulnerable children and they are children of migrant workers who are moving from place to place in look of work, and these creches are located at their work sites. It is therefore mobile because a creche lasts at a work site till as long as the workers are working in that community at that work site.”
To that point, in her 2018 lecture titled “Realizing the Right to Education for All: At the Altar of the Courts or in the Hands of the People,” Amita Dhanda, Professor of Law and Head, Centre of Disabilities Studies, Nalsar University of Law, wrote: “The lecture dwells on the varied consequences that ensue when the right to education is agitated for through judicial review or grass-root initiatives of the people. Whilst the former is dictated by what Judges and Co. think the people need, the latter is the people fashioning their own solutions and garnering resources for them from state and non-state sources. Further when justiciability attaches to an entitlement, the right to move the courts is not limited to the beneficiaries of the right alone; persons resisting the recognition of the right also have access to the courts. What do these alternative approaches mean to the ongoing struggle to obtain recognition for the needs and entitlements of the youngest, especially as the most vulnerable of children tell us that education is a composite right, which demands more than being sent to school.”
50 Years of Mobile Early Learning
In addition to explaining the impact Mobile Creches makes everyday in early childhood education, Mishra also explained that 2019 marks a special milestone: “Well, 1969 is when it began. It was founded by a woman called Meera Mahadevan who’s been an original Gandhian. Incidentally and ironically the first creche started at the place which was being constructed as a Gandhi memorial for his 50th year centenary. So, since 1969 to 2019 is going to be our 50th year journey, and we’ll be celebrating our 50th year with a Gandhi centenary celebrations.”
Part of the ongoing celebration involves engaging the children who benefit from the program — with a focus on school readiness.
Mobile Creches notes: “The art workshops saw participation by 100 children in six centres of Mobile Creches spread across Noida, Gurgaon and Delhi. This was done in partnership with Artreach India that connected us to the talented artist,Moumita Ghosh. She steered the activities to help children create gorgeous wall murals, masks, puppets and greeting cards in joyful, vibrant colours.”
Said Rita Rawat, Centre In-charge, Brookfield G1 Creche, Gurgaon: “The workshop was festive and a huge learning experience for the children and us. It was also a great break from the daily timetable; we had fun while teaching and caring for the children”