Joshva aged ten years is studying in 5th Standard at St. Xaviera School, Little Mount, Saidapet. He was regularly attending school and was studying well. But during and after the floods, the schools were closed and Joshva spent his time playing in the nearby Coovam riverbed. Even after the school reopened, he spent his time playing without going to school, since he had lost all his educational aids in the flood. He felt ashamed to go to school and face his friends and teachers without the much needed books. His parents thought that he was attending school regularly. The school authorities also did not inform his absent in the school to his parents. Whenever his parents requested him to study, he used to escape and played in the river bed.
REAL, supported by PLAN India, started the Child Friendly Space (CFS) in Rengarajapuram as part of the Chennai Floods Response programme. Joshva visited the CFS and saw the recreation and play materials with many indoor games. Joshva started regularly visiting the CFS, simply avoiding the Coovam riverbed for his recreational activities. The Facilitator Ms. Y. Amalorpava Mary at the CFS motivated him to understand the importance of education and disaster management. The play way methods taught him good and healthy habits and encouraged him to attend the school regularly. He made new friends at the CFS and became playful and energetic, with venues to open up his mind once again. Without the support he gained at the CFS, Joshva might have become a school dropout.
CFS has given Joshva an opportunity to realize the importance of education. The centre has helped a probable drop out to continue his studies.