New Delhi - Jan - Mar 1994
The recent 'Education for All' summit in Delhi of highly populated countries was a landmark event. The participating countries resolved to launch a relentless attack on illiteracy. Inida is one of the countries in the developing world with a large percentage of illiterates. This is a major challenge.
Kottayam town, Ernakulam District and the state of Kerala did the pioneering torch bearers job of brining literacy to all in Kerala and created an environment for others to emulate. The role of district officials, the political parties, the voluntary organisations and the general public was crucial and their vigorous, concerted effort as a movement got Kerala declared as the first state in India to be 100% literate. Literacy is one of the indicators for determining the quality of life. The quality of life index of India is far behind of what is desirable and bence promotion of literacy a universal need.
The new Government of Delhi has declared its commitment to make Delhi 100% literacy by 1997. The political will mustered needs to be translated into a reality. The requires a committed bureaucracy, co-operation from all political partiies, co-operation of NGO's, educational institutions and the general public. The situation of an urban city in terms of conduciveness for creating the learning, teaching is far from satisfactory compared to the rural situation. It is hence a colossal task.
Deepalaya is committed to universaliation of primary educaiton of which total literacy action is major o obsession. With this major obsession Deepalaya enteres into a phase to work towards declaring the twenty one clusters in which it is working as totally literate. According to the data base available, there are over one lakh illiterates in these clusters in the age group of 6-60 yeares. The campaign model is the approach as opposed to the centre based teaching. Planning is on and it is proposed to launch the campaign from March 94. Deepalaya looks forward to the support and co-operation of all concerned in this challenging endeavour. We are convinced that a totally literate population shall make the environment more conducive for child's proper development.
It is man's basic instinct to give-be it in form of money, love, time or things material. However, to my mind the single most useful and wonderful imperishable that one human can give to another is the opportunity to learn, and opportunity to provide a materially less privileged child the chance to gain knowledge formally.
It provides the child growth prospects whereby he can realize his self fulfilment, self worth, and, an enlightened way to lead his/her life meaningfully.
Knowledge can only grow, and thus has the desired chain reaction, naturally..... as it passes from one to another and to yet another.
Sponsoring a child is indeed a rewarding experience specially so, if one is assured of the near passionate dedication and enthusiasm with which 'Deepalaya' runs its singular most important mission for children.
Sponsor Parent of Manju Kumari
AND THE TWAIN DOTH MEET..
What an evening it was. There was excitement. Hpe.Tinsel world glamour. But what ultimately triumphed and blazed in full glory was the message of integration of friendshi of the one world we all belong to and of the need to dissolve all divides that exist between man and man. abhinaya, the inter school drama festival was held at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium on the 29th of November, 1993. It once again opened our eyes to the prodigous talent our childrne from the slums have and the tremendous need to give them opportunities of expression of the same. abhinaya offers scope for our children to interact with children of elite public schools through the medium of dramatics. This integration venture is instrumental in debunking many wrongly held notions and perceptions that better off children have of their counterparts in the slums. Thus paving the way for beautiful friendships.
Cambridge School, Srinivaspuri walked away with the abhinaya Trophy for the best presentation and mOther's International was declared the Runners Up. The Delhi Public School (Vasant Kunj) play also came in for a special mention. To lend this festival a touch of class, we had as our guests of Honour Mr.Anupam Kher, Ms.Kiran Kher, Mr.Roshan Seth and General Kandeth. And the day belonged to the cause.
CREDIT PROGRAMME OF NGOs-MILES TO GO
Availability of easy credit is one of the most crucial intervention by NGOs to alleviate proverty among poorest of the poor. The main source of credit for these under privileged have been local money lenders, friends and relatives. The money lender specifically charges 36-120 percent interest. The money lenders do not face much difficulty in recovering the principal amount with interest either due to their muscle power and greater approach to higher ups or because repayment is considered a prestige issue by the poor people in the social circle they live in.
Voluntary organisations have tried to bridge the gap between the exploitative but efficient credit system adopted by money lenders and the cash-rich but totally inefficient credit system of Government sponsored programmes. When the voluntary organisations take the role of money lender, they adopt a soft approach in collecting back the disbursed credit amounts even without charging any interest because the NGOs consider the credit amount as grant and sometimes write off the credit amount with the pretext that the targeted people are poor. This attitude of NGOs badly reflect in the attitude and behaviour of the poor who while utilising the credit money do not utilise the credit for which it was intended for. This approach not only erodes the principal amount in purchasing power as a result of inflationary factor and results in low replayment rate but also deprives some of the needy credit seekers to avail the opportunity. The evaluation of different NGOs Credit programmes reflects that the NGOs adopting business-like approach in their credit programmes have emerged as the substainable credit programmes for the poor.
This has been observed that the NGOs run credit programme have failed to generate sufficient impact due to the unfavourable factors-non-utilisation of credit money, lack of sufficient knowledge to assess the feasibility and sustainability of individual proposals, and lack of adequate technical/management inputs on cash/business management to enable the poor tot take decisions on their own. Though the main aim of NGOs is to enable the poort ot have sufficient control over the means for income generation and manage their own affairs, it is seen that NGOs are reluctant to let the poor take decison on their own and over protect them with the plea that they do not have the required skills and do nothing to develop
managerial skills among them. It is high time for Government and NGOs to redefine their credit programmes to reach the poor effectively and for longer duration in order to develop a resource base in terms of skill and facilitate access to credit institutions at the community level.