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Children's Collectives - Children's Development Khazana(CDK)
A school for learning and practicing Children's Participation and
CDK is a project conceived, initiated and anchored by Butterflies
Programme with Street and Working Children, Delhi, India.
Street and working children constitute one of the most disadvantaged
sections of the urban population. These are children who have escaped
hunger and violence at home to seek a better future in cities only to
experience worse forms of violence and betrayal by adults in the
cities. What is amazing is how these children survive in spite of all
adversities are positive and look for a bright future. The urban child
workers are another group of children who belong to poor families who
live on the pavements or slums with their families. They work to
supplement the family income and in some cases are the sole bread
winners. They work as porters, scrap pickers, street vendors, and shoe
shiners and in some instances as helpers in shops. Education and
health care, two basic rights of these children are denied to them.
These children struggle for their survival in an uncaring adult world
yet maintain their dignity. These children deserve better they are our
present and future.
CDK is the response to their situation
The Children's Development Khazana or Bal Vikas Bank as it
is known in India is a logical evolution of BUTTERFLIES saving and
credit union scheme and works on banking and cooperative principles.
The Khazana was started in April 2001. The project was conceptualized and
initiated by BUTTERFLIES, as a vehicle to empower street and working
children. The project is operational in the South Asian region with
main branches and 77 sub branches of CDK operational in Afghanistan,
Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Within India, CDK is in Leh
(J&K), Kolkata (West Bengal), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Delhi and
Children's Development Khazana project is a vehicle to:
street and working children with skills for democratic functioning
principles and practices of democratic participation
● Teach to
prioritise needs, budget, save and manage money
● Provide an
education and be a self reliant, productive and respected adult in
Children and adolescents are the only stake holders. Any
street and working child can save money with the bank, which is their
own and is run by children like them, under the guidance of adult
facilitators. Implemented as part of life skill education, CDK enables
its members to earn an interest on their deposits and its adolescent
members to access advances for initiating small economic enterprises
The primary objective of the CDK is to impart life skill
education, it supports children to be responsible, inculcate the habit
of prioritizing needs, to budget and save. It helps in providing
security to a child or adolescent's future. Street and working
children are able to use the capital for their empowerment.
Specifically CDK objectives are to:
habit of saving and budgeting
● Equip street
and working children to access education and health care
● Organize street and working children/adolescents for
collective action for self- empowerment
● Provide knowledge, skills
and support to initiate and manage economic enterprise (small
● Enhance self esteem and
confidence of children and adolescents
● Work in partnership with
other children/youth related organizations and media, financial
● Provide technical
assistance and training to other children's groups in India and abroad
to set up their own
Children's Development Khazana.
CDK teaches children basic principle of banking. They are also taught
how a bank functions and more importantly how a cooperative bank
functions. The volunteer managers are also taught basics of accounting
that is how to keep a ledger, cash and pass books.
The issues of democratic functioning are understood when the children
themselves manage the bank. They learn to negotiate, draw rules and
regulations, and be responsible of other children's money. This also
strengthens their value system. The CDK in turn also becomes their
lifeline as it gives them a sense of security and supports them with
funds in times of crisis, use their money to improve their lives by
spending it on useful things such as, buying nutritious food, taking
care of their health, for school fees, books and clothes.
Adolescents are also taught how to make business plans, what are the
important issues to keep in mind while identifying a particular
business enterprise, the knowledge and skill required for the same,
what kind of capital is required and so on.
CDK enables its members to earn an interest on their deposits and its
adolescent members to access advances for initiating small economic
enterprises or cooperatives.
Adolescents are taught the value of ethical practices in their
business. All children associated with CDK continue their education.
They focus on becoming entrepreneurs or learning a professional skill
and exiting from their situation of poverty and insecurity.
To get more information on the project please click the link