Circle Points are areas in Bhavnagar that we visit once a week to encourage communication and interaction amongst children from divided communities. Circle Point was established following the communal rioting of 2002 that split some areas of Bhavnagar (as well as many other areas in Gujarat) along lines that divided Hindu and Muslim communities.
Each week the Shaishav team visits different gathering places in Bhavnagar with the mobile van to initiate activities. These circle points are located in areas which are communally sensitive or face caste tensions. The philosophy behind this activity is Saathe Ramiye–Saathe Rahiye (play together-stay together). By interacting with each other, the children can build lasting friendships and respect differences. The activities focus on recreation, creativity, life skills and value education. We have found that 40 to 50 children regularly attend each centre. When the mobile van is not present, young people from the local area gather children in their neighbourhood to conduct activities independently. Each of these circle points has a Balsena team.
As part of our Circle Point activities we have developed a partnership with Play for Peace (USA) to use games and activities purposely developed for building relationships between children who live in communities affected by conflict.