Tag - Right to Education

Celebrating Children (Magic Bus, Nikhil Chinapa’s campaign, Akshayapatra)

Underprivileged children holding slates to ask for help towards their education

Since this month hosts Children’s Day (November 14th in India, November 20th everywhere else), we thought we would continue celebrating and supporting children. One way for us to do this via our blog post is to highlight all the cool things being done that aim to secure children’s fundamental rights. These also give YOU the opportunity to support children and do right by Children’s Day.

Educating through Sports

The delightfully-named NGO Magic Bus was established to provide wholesome education and life skills to children through sports and play. A brilliant stratagem to beat illiteracy and help transform the future of underprivileged children, we think. Magic Bus has been able to help 250,000 children so far and hopes to positively affect one million children’s lives by 2015! Want to be part of this incredible movement? Start a fundraiser for Magic Bus!

Girl-child Education

The one and only Nikhil Chinapa (yes, the very one who has worked with MTV and several music events) has been campaigning on Ketto in support of girl-child education. The campaign is raising funds for a cool programme called The Schooling Project by the Indu Jagmohan Toshniwal Charitable Foundation. The programme aims to provide holistic education and academic opportunities to 460 underprivileged girls. They are working towards giving these girls the opportunity to pursue their dreams, whether in professional sports, the creative arts (music included, but of course), environmental sciences…you get the picture!

If you choose to support this campaign, you are in for a special treat. Nikhil Chinapa has created some exclusive rewards to give to all those who contribute to his campaign. You can opt for tickets to his next music concert, or hang out with Nikhil in his DJ booth at the gig, or get a quick cash course in mixing, or have a post-event meal with him and shoot the breeze, or you could even have him perform at your birthday bash!! Check out his campaign page and choose your reward!

Ending Classroom Hunger

We are all aware of how malnutrition can impede every aspect of a child’s development. A hungry child would not be able to concentrate on academics. A malnourished child may well succumb to frequent illnesses and miss out on schooling completely.  This is the scenario NGO Akshayapatra is working on erasing for good. So far, student attendance has increased by around 11% thanks to their efforts. And a mere Rs. 750 is all they need to feed a child for an entire year. Imagine how many more children you could help if you fundraised! Get started here!

Want to start a campaign for an NGO of your choice?

 

Nimaya Foundation: Transforming the Future

nimaya blog image

“‘Nimaya’ means opportunity,” shares Samyak Chakrabarty, co-founder of Nimaya Foundation.  He, along with his fellow co-founder, Ayesha Thapar, have been creating such opportunities for the children of Shree Ganesh Vidya Mandir Primary.

The foundation’s name “reflects our goals of empowering by providing opportunity,” he elucidates. Created in 2012, this Mumbai-based NGO aimed solely at empowering women “from under-resourced communities by enabling them to use their skills in entrepreneurial contexts and achieve economic independence.”

Dharavi, a paradoxical balance of under-resources but high efficiency of work, became Nimaya’s focus area.  “It is also a very enterprising community, thus, we felt that there is a lot of scope to uplift people here,” he adds.

The plight of the school was brought to their notice by a lawyer who incidentally had done his own primary schooling there. Once the goal was set – to ensure these bright Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe children continued to get an education – the founders began to build a solid framework for the Marathi-medium school to blossom in. “We engage with educationists who help us better develop the school’s curriculum and introduce new subjects that the children have not been exposed to.”

Samyak is also the Managing Trustee of Thincquisitive Foundation, an organization that undertakes projects to effect positive change. He associated it with Nimaya’s initiative to support the school. The result – an enhanced curriculum including subjects such as sports, arts, spoken English, music, dance, general knowledge and an introduction to technology – now allowing the children a holistic educational experience for the children.

Constantly striving to offer the children unique experiences, Nimaya has organized enjoyable, imaginative events such as the Harley Davidson Mumbai Riders Club Christmas party. This particular event was made possible thanks to a donor who is a member of the club.

With a small unit of four people devoting themselves to improving the quality of life of the women and children of this Dharavi community, the involvement is entirely hands-on. “We interact with these communities on a weekly basis,” he asserts. “We are actually launching our pilot programme this year,” he says, referring to the entrepreneurial programme for the women of the Dharavi community. “They are a group of women whose children attend Shree Ganesh Vidya Mandir. They are already showing a great deal of promise and are excited to kick-off their business training in September.”

These women were selected using specific criteria. “They had to be below a certain income bracket, have a desire to start their own business, know basic reading/writing/mathematics and be able to commit to a year’s worth of training and full-time work,” Samyak elucidates. “The current pilot project features 8 women who want to learn tailoring so they can someday launch their own brand of clothes. They are from a low-income background, have two-three children on average and are very enterprising. They are Marathi-speaking and are eager to contribute to their household incomes and further their children’s educations.”

The mentoring programme is set in place. “We have two tailors who have been working in the social space, teaching tailoring to impoverished adolescents for 22 years. They will be training our group of women. We also have a business trainer, who is a fluent Marathi speaker, and experienced with working with rural women. They will be teaching them the basics of starting a business.”

The programme is three months long, with 2 hours of training 5 days a week. “This will alternate between basic stitching techniques and embroidery. One day a week, they will be taught business basics; this includes book-keeping, budgeting, etiquette training for client meetings and idea-generation,” he lists.

“We plan to recognize these communities’ potential by building upon their skills and helping them break free from their current socio-economic situations,” he concludes.

We wish Nimaya Foundation and its beneficiaries the very best through their on-going campaign on Ketto, and for the future. And, though we repeat ourselves – may their tribe increase!

Seeds of Change

4. Seeds of ChangeA lot has been said and quoted by influential figures and the government as well. A lot has been promised and vouched for. However, the laws and measures that are put out by the government seem fair on paper. It’s easy to believe that things are rosy. But the fact is to the contrary – the implementation of the words is yet to be had..

There are loopholes in every system. Some can be filled out while some are smeared out but to what extent are we as a public willing to forgo such mistakes? A lot of this leads to discussions and debates while a very few lead to actions. This very act of bringing about a change in society was brought out by a lady named Beena Rao. A woman who is a staunch believer in the bringing about of change in the lives of the underprivileged, she transformed her vision into reality.

She started out by beginning a free coaching institute for slum children where the turnout was more than 1,200 students wanting to learn and attend these classes. She realized that in spite of the introduction of RTE’s and educational schemes, there still remained a huge dropout from schools. To fix this, she started her own non-profit organization that employs over 34 volunteers across Surat, Gujarat.

She simply states, “My satisfaction is immeasurable! It’s wonderful to see positive change in these children.” All of her hard work was done voluntarily just on the basis of a vision she wished to follow. Her strong determination has not only led to bringing her personal satisfaction and sense of achievement, but it has also led to the education of over 5,000 underprivileged children. All of them waiting to learn and grow.