Amjad is 17 years old and is currently working at the Cocoberry Restaurant in Delhi. He has a dream to be a chef in a big hotel and is working hard to make this come true. Life growing up wasn’t easy for Amjad, he lost his father at the age of 2 and came to Delhi with his mother for a better life. Without other opportunities, he started working at the age of 10.
“I came to know about Butterflies in 2004 when I was 11 when they came for routine visits at Kashmere Gate, New Delhi. At first, I was not interested in their education classes, so I avoided them. One day I saw some children sitting together studying and playing at the centre, I decided I’d try it out. I went there for a few days without enrolling or registering myself.”
“Initially, I wasn't going that often but always went for the sport days and cultural events. Didi and Bhaiya used to ask me to come and attend the educational and other activities. Though I joined reluctantly, I am grateful asas I realise it’s important for me. Now, I’m a regular and Iattend all the programmes at the centre.”
Through the classes with Butterflies, Amjad became a member of the Child Health Cooperative and got an opportunity to be a Child Health Educator (CHE). He received CHE training, learned about basic first aid and how to be sensitive towards addressing the needs of children in emergency situations.
“I once found an injured boy laying with blood oozing out from his hands and legs. It seemed that he had been brutally beaten up by someone. He was unconscious and unable to speak. I brought a first aid box, cleaned his wounds and provided first aid. Later with the help of Asha, another child cooperative member of the contact point, I took the boy to the nearest government hospital MCD. The doctor there knew me as Child Health Educator with Butterflies as I had taken other children to the hospital before. Once the doctor had dressed the wounds, I asked the boy what had happened to him. He told me, ‘I am not from Kashmere gate. Ilive on the streets of South Delhi with my brother. I came here yesterday with my friends. This morning, older children living rough on the street asked for money, and when I refused, they beat me very badly and left me here.’”
“I feel proud of myself when I reflected on the way I helped that boy. Now I am recognised as a Child Health Educator not only by the community, but also by the MCD hospital workers.The Child Health Cooperative gave me the opportunity to become aCHE, through which I have gained an identity for myself.”
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