LTP IN INDIA
In 1997, Bala Mandir Research Foundation (BMRF) entered into an international partnership with the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre, Canada, to bring the Learning Through Play (LTP) programme and materials to India. Twenty years on, the programme and tool have become synonymous with government and non-government ECCD initiatives, and parenting interventions into the community across India.
The programme was first introduced within the Bala Mandir institution, which served as a LTP teaching, and learning model. LTP projects in Bala Mandir spanned a range of critical issues, including institutional care, school health, home visitors, and play, many of which have now been converted into regular Bala Mandir programmes.
From 2000 onwards, BMRF began to expand the LTP programme beyond its own walls, to other government and non-government organisations, and schools, across India. The ‘Joy of Parenting’ training programme, based on the LTPC, covered ECCD, health and community workers, Kindergarten teachers, and NGOs working in various ‘parenting’ environments, such as urban slums, rural communities, tribal areas, orphanages and difficult circumstances.
A special project partnership between BMRF and Vidya Sagar, Chennai, in 2002, also led to the development of an adapted calendar titled 'Accepting Diversity' (ADLTPC), for children and families with special needs.
Since 2008-2009, BMRF has begun LTP training programmes, to empower partner organisations, along with it, to train other NGOs in the field, and take the programme forward in their own State. BMRF is also now working with partners to conduct parenting interventions into the community, based on the LTP messages.
The LTP programme has steadily expanded from its roots in Bala Mandir, Chennai, to work with partners in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. The LTPC, and support materials, have been translated into seven regional languages, to promote reach and understanding. Aside from English, the materials are currently available in Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.
The programme is now set to expand partnerships further to four States; Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab and West Bengal.