On a daily basis, children of India’s underserved communities face grave physical and emotional neglect. This adversely affects their mental health and traps them in a circle of perpetual poverty. Efforts at breaking this cycle have led to community initiatives like children’s libraries which allow children to learn, express, and connect freely. These hubs are critical in recognizing social challenges that require urgent intervention, including domestic violence, caste-based discrimination, child marriage, and drug addiction. What kinds of interventions are necessary to protect children and young adults of underserved communities? How can therapy through art and education help protect the most vulnerable amid a pandemic?

To find out watch the fourth Anahita Speaker Series session of 2021, where Lakshmi Karunakaran, program director of Buguri Children’s Program at Hasiru Dala, draws on her experience as an educator to discuss how we can help safeguard the welfare of underserved communities through holistic education. The discussion was moderated by Kanika Monga.