New Delhi - April -June 1994
Universalisation of education is one of Deepalaya Goals. Deepalaya collaborates with every one in the Total Literacy Campaign. With Education as thrust area and total literacy a goal. Deepalaya plans to make the 28 slum pockets of delhi, where Deepalaya is working, 100% literate. As a forerunner Deepalaya launched the Total Literacy Campaign at Gandhi Basti of South Delhi Project. This campaign was flagged off on 26th March '94 by Mr.Parvez Hashmi, the local MLA at a function. It is a beginning of a long march to reach out to every one in the localities, where Deepalaya is working. This campaign is supported by 'India Literacy Project, California, USA. The girl child is another thrust area for Deepalaya. Out of the total enrollment of students 48% are girls. Deepalaya exercises a positive discrimination towards Girl Child. The "Girl Child" project was officially inaugurated on 8th June '94 by Mr.Rambir Singh Bidhuri, the local MLA. The emphasis of the project is to provide special care for the girl child of opportunities not only to educate but also develop her latent talents and obtain formation to be a better mother, an equal partner to her husband and a major contributor to the social, economic and moral aspects of the family and community thereby partaking in direct nation building activity.
The 31st May 1994 was a day of elation for the Deepalayites as the members of the Deepalaya parivar came together to celebrate. It was an occasion to share from the depths of one's heart, to feel emotional and be part of a movement, to strive for, to enjoy the sharing of hard work. The community members, the association functionaries, Deepalaya workers and Management, on the same platform, expressed their experience of being part of this grand task. Let us make Total Literacy, Girl Child thrust and Togetherness a reality.
Secretary & Chief Executive
WHY WE SPONSOR
Poverty is the bane of Indian Society. It inexorably lead to no or poor education for millions of unfortunate children. The Government, charitable organisations and philanthropists are doing their very best to remove this scourge but the scale of the problem beats all such efforts for achieving the goal. Nonetheless, efforts such as of Deepalaya are most welcome and need to eb fortified and multiplied. Pray, Deepalaya is able to spread its wings far and wide to bring light and comfort where darkness and disease would otherwise rule.
Sunil Lamba-Sponsor Parent
LITERACY IN DELHI,Via Minnesota, USA-KPS Menon
Delhi, 1994: My story on literacy is full of contradictions that are being resolved by experience of the last 5 years. Having lived nearly 30 years (in short since 1964) in the U.S.A. It seemed very unlikely I would attempt to join a grass-root effort to make India 100% literate and teach in "jhuggis" in Delhi. Each of my nearly annual visits of 2 months, have seen just such efforts evolve.
I was brusque and naive. I merely walked through the narrow paths of a 'basti' accosting random individuals, men and women, with a survey book in hand, to see who would read and who could not. Somehow I evolved these encounteres into a statement that I would be there an hour each afternoon to teach adults and children. The 'basti' was just around teh corner of my nice home in Greater Kailash.
There were some raised eyebrows, on dya one, the elderly leader to whom I was directed looked at my fat Bhargavas Hindi dictionary and asked if I was carrying the Bible and was a christian. NOr were they too impressed that my Hindi was very wanting to be a teacher.
But, I did sit by the edge of the street, on the dustry pavement, and my class size of children numbered 20, with 4-6 adults. By the second year the children were the same but the adults were zero in number. I saw apathy as some parents whiled away winter afternoons in the sun chatting. There was ignorance amongst those who thought ltieracy would not help. I felt that some local forces might have kept adults away from the classes.
The "jhuggi" people did not know that my literacy efforts had begun in 1989 very far away in Minnesota, USA, after a chance meeting with a Dr.Parameswara Rao of Vizag district, Andhra' that a group of us in USA had met in November of 1989 to set up the India Literacy Project (ILP) hoping to make a grass root efforts grow there in the U.S. amongst people of Indian Origin (POI). In 1990 I had wandered in 3 districts of Tamil Nadu by fortunate contact with the Bharata Gyan Vigyan Samiti. I could claim the experience of being a "jatha" member of the historic 1990 "all districts jathas". In 1992 I travelled again through Midnapore district seeing West Bengal literacy. My own literacy had improved each time, for i now was functional in Tamil Nadu and Bengali, besides Malayalam and Hindi.
My heart was throughly with this great effort by India, for the first time ever in its history, to be 100% literate. There are times when I feel that history suggests that India will crumble under massive exploitation and incompetence and it is then that I see literacy as a great upliftment that every Indian should turn their attention to, at least for a small part of each day. I feel as if there is a race between collapse from ignoracne and great peoples great capabilities.
So let us all work to a 100% literacy India, and many thanks to Deepalaya for what I have seen in its efforts towards such a cause.