St. Jude’s Childcare Centre
Address: Noida, UP
Set up for cancer-stricken children to use during their long waits for treatment, the libraries at each of the centres have been particularly helpful not only in getting children to read and improve their language, but also for their parents to become literate. It was a pleasant surprise to see the children making a beeline for the books almost as soon as the racks were put up. It was even better to see their parents do so too!
Pointing to a little girl, Kiran, a teacher at St. Jude’s, said, “This is Sushila - her mother has gradually started reading these books, so you see, the library has been helpful for adult literacy too. Many of the parents never got the opportunity to be educated or had the means to buy books to read, so we’re glad that the centre is enabling them through the Angelique Pustakalaya.”
Twenty eight-year-old Alka Devi, a resident of Haridwar, who is at the centre with her six-year old son Atul Kumar, has also picked up English. “Maine angrezi seekh liya hai,” she beams. She can now read simple sentences and her son enjoys the bedtime stories. “I like joke books the best!”
“I have read all the books,” said 12-year-old Jagjit Singh with a mask firmly on his face to prevent infection. “I prefer to stay in my room and read books,” says another child. “I enjoy reading books. I like reading the books that are in English,” he said. Tarwinder Kaur, 36, a resident of Bareilly, said that she too reads the books kept in the Angelique racks. “I like the storybooks most of all.”
Somwati, 30, a resident of Haridwar in Uttarakhand, is the mother of Priyanshu, who is just four and a half years old. “Priyanshu likes listening to the stories we read out to him. He has learnt a lot in the one year we’ve been here,” said Somwati, 30, resident of Haridwar in Uttarakhand, who is the mother of 4-year-old Priyanshu.
St. Jude’s believes that every child suffering from cancer, irrespective of economic status, deserves to get the best chance of surviving the disease and leading a full, healthy and happy life. Children who need treatment for cancer come with their parents to hospitals from distant towns and village, and seldom have a place to stay whenever the child is not admitted to hospital. These families are provided with free housing, nutritional support, transportation to and from the hospital, counselling for the family. They are also equipped with new skills for income generation, provided with educational and recreational activities as well as art-based therapy, music therapy and yoga.
St. Jude’s Child Care Centre currently runs 16 centres in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Jaipur. Every centre has an Angelique Pustakalaya.