By Kshama Hastak:
We have all individually, at some point or the other, come face-to-face with the reality of abject poverty. A Professor from a private university in Lucknow, who along with a couple of friends, started teaching underprivileged children who live int he slums and villages of Uttar Pradesh during weekends. Soon, she realised that the problem in hand was magnanimous. The issue was not only financial but also situational. There was a critical learning issue at the school level, lack of home education, low rate of learning among kids and a lot more. That is why we thought of coming up with an effective After School Model. The model handles issues that children face at school level, home front and also focusses on children who do not go to schools. She was soon joined by another young engineering graduate who left his mainstream career and started working for this cause full-time.
At Sarthak Foundation, we work for improving the quality of life of children living in slums and villages in Uttar Pradesh, India. Our project (“educaTE A CHild”) focuses on providing quality education to children who are deprived of it due to financial constraints. Our vision is to free the current generation of children from poverty. The only way to do so is to empower them through education and employability skills. Once they get employed, they will be able to take their families out of this vicious cycle of poverty and that is what we wish for.
Our After School Model is very supportive. We conduct classes (Open Study Centre) six days a week for the children and cover their primary education. We set up centres within the hearts of the slums to ensure regularity of students. We teach them English, Mathematics, General Awareness and Etiquette. We also conduct sports, arts and cultural classes for them on regular basis. Our focus is on the holistic development of the children and on improving their learning levels.
The founder has left her university job and is giving her full time to this cause. The team engages a lot of volunteer services. The average age of the team is 27. Most of us work without remuneration and dream of a day when each one will be able to work for Sarthak in a full time capacity. The core team has management professionals, teachers and engineers. The team is motivated, driven, confident and focused.
With very less help, in the last three years, the team has managed to raise our headcount from six children to more than four hundred. We have got some children admitted to an English medium school. We now have four centres (three slums and one village) in Uttar Pradesh.
We have managed with funds raised from friends, acquaintances and small donations. Our model works and we now want to scale the impact. If you are interested in either sponsoring or donating for our cause, you can head here.