Shillong, Oct 28: The pandemic made the lowest stratum of the society vulnerable to crime owing to an overall economic breakdown. At this juncture, SPARK, a city-based NGO, has been striving to better the living condition of the urban poor and those struggling on the outskirts of the city.
The NGO, led by award-winning social worker Shima Modak, had launched a months-long programme that ended on Thursday.
The programme, ‘Welfare and Development through Knowledge and Empowerment with Special Reference to Covid-19 Situation’, was initiated on September 21.
It was a holistic approach to address to the needs and problems faced by these sections of the society aiming for their welfare and development. The first phase was from September 21-28 and the second phase was from September 28-October 28, covering the most vulnerable areas. The programme was supported by the Office of the District Social Welfare Officer, East Khasi Hills, and the Social Welfare Department.
The programme was held at Bara Bazaar slum, Mawlong and Mawlynrei Triashnong villages and in the adjoining localities covering more than 600 participants.
“The situation is worse with the underprivileged section of the society surviving on daily wage and surrounded by multiple crises. Moreover, they lack awareness on social issues and evils, knowledge of the importance of education. They witness huge incidences of crime against children and women, which include teenage pregnancy, early marriages, gender inequality, dropouts, etc… health and hygiene are a concern. Children are malnourished,” SPARK said in a statement issued on Thursday.
“The programme consisted of community awareness and capacity building to help them get enlightened, and at the same time, enhance the knowledge to empower and build up the capacity of the people living in these villages,” it added.