Let me begin by saying "Five years gone, forever to go."
I would be lying if I say that it has been a dream come true. To be honest, I had never imagined that hailing from a ‘for profit’ organisation after 32 years, I will be heading a ‘non-profit’ organisation. Citizens Association for Child Rights has just completed five years of honest and credible work, for the children in municipal schools, coming from low socio-economic background.
During it’s growing up phase, CACR dabbled with a large variety of projects from education to healthcare, recreational to edutainment and it was always a challenge to scale up the projects so that we could reach out to maximum number of children and ensure sustainability too.
However, things turned around in our fifth year and our hard work as well as association with MCGM education department resulted in CACR being appointed as an Urban development partner for project WASH by UNICEF Maharashtra. Getting technical and financial support enabled us to scale up Project WASH including Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) as per Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya guidelines.
While the BCC training on Handwashing with Soap and Menstrual Hygiene continued, CACR successfully engaged officials from MCGM education department into the project, making way for a structured approach to help municipal schools work towards becoming WASH compliant.
Apart from support from UNICEF, we also started exploring CSR support and it was a pleasure to get the same from ICCL, a subsidiary of the Bombay Stock Exchange, which supported us exclusively for the BCC training on menstrual hygiene management program.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Directors, advisory committee members, project heads, co-ordinators and many youth volunteers who have continued to provide support to CACR. We look forward to their good wishes, encouragement and support while we are gearing up to take larger responsibilities and projects for children.