A trunk full of toys from children who have plenty or have outgrown them are being given to kids who rarely or never get toys to play with.
An organisation is giving the toys to NGOs and those who work with underprivileged children in the city and its outskirts.
It is not enough to only cater to the academic needs of a child, they also have “a right to play, which often gets ignored”, said one of those behind the initiative.
The idea is for children to play in a group and put the toys back in the trunk.
“All children have a right to play that should not be ignored. It helps them learn better,” said founder director of Educhange, Manjir Ghosh, the former principal of a city school.
The initiative Toy Trunk was conceptualised when Ghosh wanted to give away her daughters toys.
She had felt it would not be enough to give the toys to one organisation because there are many children who want but do not have access to toys.
Early Childhood Association (ECA), a forum of pre-schools for pre-primary education, has emphasized every child’s right to play.
“Play is the work of the child. They absorb through play,” said Suman Sood, national core committee member and mentor, Kolkata territory, of ECA. Children living in shanties neither have toys nor space or scope to play, especially in urban localities, said Ghosh.
She wanted to give toys to individuals who directly work in the community. So far, she has handed over five trunks of toys to different communities in the city and its outskirts, including to a group that works with children who live under the Gariahat flyover and to children by the railway tracks in Santiniketan.