“[Bangalore City Mission‘s] child care centre was such a blessing in our lives. When it was closed so suddenly, we didn’t know what we were going to do.”
When Tulsi and her husband moved to the city to find jobs, in order to survive they both had to work in a local garment factory. For many parents in Bangalore, this means risking the safety of your children by leaving them home alone. But by the grace of God, Tulsi found the BCM Child Care Centre and both Vera (aged 1 at the time) and David (3) were accepted.
“It was hard at first, they would always cry out for me when I left, but these days when I arrive to pick them up, they don’t want to leave. They love it so much. Sometimes I have to drag them home.”
When the pandemic hit in March last year Tulsi found herself facing that distressing choice once again. Initially, Tulsi and her husband couldn’t work at all. They had saved a little money over the years, but by the time the total lockdown was lifted they had no choice but to both return to work to keep food on the table.
BCM saw that most of the centre’s parents were facing this dilemma. Many of these families also depend on the nutritious meals that the centre provides. So teachers from the centre began visiting children in their homes to bring meals, and to keep them engaged through games, stories, toys, songs and printed learning materials.
Government restrictions mean the centre has not been able to reopen yet but BCM has been able to reallocate teachers and funding so they can continue offering this service for every child in the program.
“It’s not the same as going to the centre but it is such a blessing to see the kids still engaged with learning and having fun!”
* Names are changed to protect the privacy of those we serve