Chiguru – meaning ‘budding’, is specially organized for the underprivileged adolescents and young adults from the community who are infected with HIV. These camps primarily address their growing needs in the field of Health, Education, Personality Development and Livelihoods.
There were well-known senior doctors and professors such as Dr. Smt. Pushpa Khadi, Professor & Head Of Department Of HDFS, Dr. Smt. Manjula Patil, Asst. Professor & Jr Scientist, AIICRP (CD), Smt. Vinuta Mukthamath, Asst. Professor, Dr. Smt. Veena Jadhav, Professor & HOD of FRM, and Dr. V.S.Kulkarni, Professor & HOD of Animal Science from The University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad to speak and present the sessions on Life Skills.
The Sessions included the Importance of communication, Interpersonal relationships, Stress Management, Empathy, Problem Solving and Decision Making. Also a session on the awareness of personal hygiene and other adolescent-related matters pertaining to physical changes was conducted.
We had successful entrepreneurs such as Shri Suresh Patil, B.E., Agriculturist, Shri D.B. Patil, Proprietor, D.B.Patil Photo Studio, Belagavi and Mrs. Rita Handa, Proprietor of My Own Business Institute, Hubli, to present Vocational Guidance and career options to the adolescents.
We also had some very bright and enthusiastic volunteers who conducted the team-building activities and games. Ms. Sudha Kumbar, Final Year (Bachelor of Home Science), College of Rural Home Science, University Of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad was specially invited to be a part of this event to showcase her craft (pottery and candle making) to the participants.
The schedule for the 2nd day of the camp was more of Vocational guidance and options that adolescents could have for a career, be an entrepreneur, or earn a livelihood, even if they did not fare well academically. The adolescents were given basic guidance on a few professions such as Beauticians, Photography, Tailoring/ Apparel designing, Pottery, Candle Making, Baking, making Stationery and Disinfectants and guidance in Agri-based professions such as Vermicomposting, Goat rearing, Poultry, Dairy farming and so on. Basic information was shared about how to procure raw materials, make a product, the time required, initial investment, the market for such products and so on.
One session that stood out in the camp was the Problem Solving and Decision Making session. The target of the sessions was to give the children talks on personality development and explain the importance of understanding one’s feelings, sharing feelings, proper communication, communication of disagreements etc. The success and highlight of this session was the wholehearted participation of the adolescents who shed their inhibitions and shared their experiences and feelings.
With a lot of insights from the event, we closed the proceedings with a promise to reach out to more adolescents in the next camp. The participants left the event with a lighter load and a lot of memories made with new friends and a positive outlook on their future.
The Chiguru Camp 2016 was a resounding success and an eye-opener, which encouraged and motivated us to plan the next Chiguru Camp which was organized in 2018.