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Social Entrepreneurship: Turning mirrors into windows

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Tanaya Singh:

The important thing is not so much
that every child should be taught,
as that every child should be given the wish to learn.
John Lubbock

The best entrepreneurs today are the ones who commit their lives to the cause of the Gift. The gift of desire given to every child –“The desire to learn”.

Every child has the right to learn. But the right alone can do nothing if children in India are devoid of the means. Lack of resources leads to a sense of neutrality and apathy in the minds of the unprivileged.

This is the sole concern of a number of non government organizations in India. They are working hard towards the goal of education for all. They want to harvest in every child the dream for a better future and the desire for knowledge. By education, we don’t just mean the superficial learning of a few subjects. It refers to the learning about the art of existence.

It was once said that whole purpose of education is turning mirrors into windows. That’s what these organizations are dealing with. They are trying to take care of the most fragile but ultimately the most lucrative business of all times. If we want a better India tomorrow, we have to harvest the country’s mind when it’s young and fragile. And for this we need to help those who are trying to help the needy. Here is a brief listing of five NGOs from the major states of India that are working towards education:

DEEPALAYA (Delhi): With the belief that “every child deserves a chance”, Deepalaya has been working for the past 30 years for the development of rural slums in Delhi and also the rural parts of Haryana and Uttarakhand. It has established 337 educational centres where 50,000 beneficiaries are given formal and non-formal education. The organization also provides vocational training to defeat the ever growing problem of unemployment. Deepalaya got the award for the best NGO in north India in the year 2007.

Contribute: http://www.deepalaya.org/

Agastya International Foundation (Bangalore): Agastya works for rural India which according to the organization is creatively skilled and entrepreneurially enabled. This Bangalore based foundation aims at transforming the thinking of rural students and teachers. It helps children learn through a practical approach rather than with a  theoretical one. Having been established in 1999, Agastya has now had an impact in over 30 districts and four states of India. Agastya’s quoted vision is “to build a creative India of ‘tinkerers, solution-seekers and creators’ that are ‘humane, anchored and connected’ by inspiring widespread social development, innovation and leadership through education

Contribute: http://www.agastya.org/

AKANKSHA (Bangalore): Stretching from 15 children in one centre to over 3500 children in 58 centres and 6 schools, Akanksha has been successfully pursuing its goal of building for every child a planned and a secure future. Other than preparing a strong fundamental base in English and mathematics, it helps to impart a sense of value, confidence and self esteem in children. Learning of important tools that shall help students earn a living is also considered a crucial need. One of the many beliefs of this foundation is that dreams do come true….and quite obviously, they do.

Contribute: http://www.akanksha.org/

EUREKA CHILD (Chennai): Eureka child is an Air India education initiative which is working towards quality education for every child in Tamil Nadu. It emphasises on joint ventures with other NGOs to promote a common cause. The organization has been working with the government to create a network of teachers and to work with the government officials for the implementation of planned programs.

Contribute: http://www.eurekachild.org/

KARUNA (Rajasthan): I could have given the fifth spot to another well recognised NGO from some part of the country. But I chose this one. You can consider a personal motive behind it. Karuna is an unregistered NGO (to be registered in less than a month now), that belongs to the students of Modi Institute Of Technology And Science, Lakshmangarh. What started as a student forum a few years back has grown up to be a headstrong visionary organization. Karuna was ventured with the idea of helping the children of the labourers who worked inthis college. With the hard work of the college students, the vision has now been expanded. This group of enthusiasts is now working for the betterment of a primary school in the village of Lakshmangarh. Students of this college take time out of their academic schedules to go and teach the kids of the school. These girls also concentrate on vocational training in the fields of pottery, shoemaking, candle making etc. Books, stationary and uniforms are also provided to the school. Overall personality development of children who are poor and do not have the sufficient resources is the goal of this establishment

Contribute: Karuna does not have an official website yet. But it can have one for sure if it gets your support. Please contribute in any way you can. HELP needed. (Drop in comments if you can be of any help and your message shall be forwarded)

P.S: Always aim at raising gourmets rather than gourmands when you are educating the stomach, and always aim for the wise rather than intelligent when you are educating the mind 😉

image: youtube-kids.blogspot.com

You must be to comment.
  1. ritesh anan

    Appreciate the concern….somwhere down the line the cause needs a self sustainabale model which can very well be built….will be happy to support the cause in any possible way.

  2. Tanaya

    @ritesh

    thanks fr the comment….yes the coz needs a lot frm each of us..just a particular grp of ppl working for it will not b enough….

  3. Sandeep Dasika

    Hello Tanaya,
    Needless to say, it’s a very good article that educates people about the need for social awareness and concern towards child education.
    I know I’m pretty late in commenting on the thread, but I feel I can be a part of the helping hand of Karuna.
    I am sufficiently proficient in web design and development, and so I feel it would be great if I can design a site for such a noble cause.
    Please let me know if there still isn’t an official website for Karuna. I would be happy to design one anytime.

    Regards

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

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