Often children from underprivileged families grow up in homes where survival is the daily goal and where their thoughts, dreams and creativity take the backseat while childhood passes them by. Again, many are frequently witness to violence and abuse, which become normalised for them.
Mitsuko believe that every child has the right to be a child and they strive to make that possible for them through various activities such as theatre, song, dance, art and craft and self-defense. They also empower young people to participate in matters concerning their villages by setting up Bal Gram Sabhas.
17-year-old Diksha Naik was one among many kids in Carambolim, a village in Old Goa, who was upset about the polluted state of their lake - a haven for migratory birds. So she put down a concept for a play ‘Kuthe Gela Swatch Pani? (Where has the clean water gone?)’ that spoke of the construction debris, open defecation and garbage which impacted the purity of the lake.
When the play was performed, the students of Sunshine Worldwide School in neighbouring Ribander were deeply affected and have adopted the lake and taken the responsibility to keep it clean.
This is child participation at its best and exactly what Mitsuko - which means ‘child of light’ in Japanese - was set up for, in memory of a social worker of the same name who was moved by the plight of India’s street children.