Manzil is currently functioning from two locations. Our Kotla Mubarakpur center is an integrated and inclusive school for a spectrum of exceptional pre-school students, including struggling-learners and children from mainstreamed schools. During afternoons, it doubles as a Stitching & Tailoring school as well as an Adult Education center for the young mothers of these children and others. By providing a safe space for students with diverse talents, strengths, needs, abilities, backgrounds, perspectives, funds of knowledge, cultural and social capitals, intelligences, and learning preferences, we, at Manzil, attempt to actualize the oft repeated slogans, “equal education for all students” and “all students have abilities and talents.”
The school has an enrollment of 40 children between the ages of two and five years. The school timings are 9am to 12noon. Students are taught the formal concepts of colour, shapes, sizes, numbers, and are imparted pre-writing and pre-maths concepts in a systematic way. Activities for physical, language, intellectual, socio-emotional and creative growth are a natural part of the programme. A nutritional support programme is also running. Our school welcomes differently-abled children to its integrated environment, and has been variously attended by such children. In addition, one of our earliest helpers was also a mentally-challenged woman. We hold parent-counseling sessions regularly, for parents of normal as well as differently-abled children, to dispel common myths, attend to their anxieties and address their myriad queries.
About 15-25 women and young girls attend the adult education classes on basic reading and numeric skills, along with meetings around issues of Nutrition and Hygiene like weaning foods for infants, snacks & midday meals for children, AIDS awareness etc. The attempt has been to provide information and knowledge relevant to their everyday lives so that they can make their choices in a more informed and self-assured way. The same group also learns basic tailoring and embroidery skills. We have five sewing and one embroidery machine for this training. Through literacy, life-skill development, vocational training and income generation, we have been striving towards the overall development of these women, slowly releasing and realising their liberating potentials. In addition to this serious work, we also organize picnics at Lodhi Gardens regularly to meet and strengthen our bonds in an informal setting.