New Delhi - January - March 2000
Takuya Yoshida, Second Secretary with Embassy of Japan
Japanese Embassy has given financial support worth Rs.36,54,938/- for furniture, sanitary items and for installing an elevator for the disabled children, in Deepalaya School, Kalkaji Extn.
Mr.Yoshida, is the second Secretary with the Embassy of Japan. He had to say "Japanese Embassy congratulates Deepalaya"! You continue to carry on the good work you do for the society specially the children. We are glad to be associated with you and hope we can see all the children in India smiling. Therefore we would like to do our best in supporting organizations like yours involved in the well being of children.
He further stressed that the Embassy had chosen Deepalaya because we want the children be given education and are not deprived of their rights and a bright future. And in Deepalaya, I know you give opportunities and encourage children to rise in life. We would keep supporting such a venture always.
Pavan K.Verma (Author & Bureaucrat)
"I write a column in the Newspaper "People like us", a column which seeks to highlight Individuals and organizations which are in their own little way trying to make a difference around them. In my search for such organizations, Deepalaya figured among the first.
Since then, Mr.Mathew kept in touch with me and together we masterminded to set up a group "Friends of Deepalaya"
This was followed by my visit to Deepalaya School, I se this visit important for nurturing of faith that even in today's cynical, obsessed and materialistic world, there is an organization which symbolizes care and concern. It was particularly an invitation to joy, seeing the children in Deepalaya. Infra structure came as a surprise! It was a proper school with proper class rooms and teachers. It was just right environment.
I am also sponsoring two Deepalaya children, I feel happy and a nice experience too, but I do feel I am not doing enough. I often motivate other to sponsor and think of doing more. Well, it is a nice feeling to give back the society in a small way.
I would like to congratulate Deepalaya and wish Deepalaya should grow further, become more aggressive in raising funds, should continue to remain transparent as it is today. Every one working with Deepalaya should get over the notion of completion of two decades and look ahead with confidence and with lot of ambition for many such decades.
Rashmi Paliwal, A Sponsor Parent
She is an integral part of the fashion industry, established as a major exporter in the international garment market. Rashmi Paliwal's incessant inclination towards educating less privileged children led her to become a sponsor parent with Deepalaya in 1992. She sponsors two children.
She said, "Looking at the state of children in the slums and streets, I wish there were many more Deepalayas, educating children belonging to socially weaker sections. It becomes more important as percentage of educated individuals are low in our country, there is a need to make education" a birth (fundamental) right.
I like the way Deepalaya make the sponsorship more personalised, I have faith in thsi organisation and hope these two kids would graduate to become useful citizens. I have a collection of all cards, photographs and reports which Deepalaya sends to me. I wish Deepalaya all the very best in eyars to come! I hope it continues to motivate more kids to attend school and make the community aware that education is important".
Neha, claiming the future
In the slums an adolescent girl is closeted in the house for the sake of her family's honour, which depends on her virginity and modesty. For this reason a girl is often confined indoors, if she is out in the world, she may come in contact with men outside, which might risk her family's reputation. These limitations became visible in many classrooms, where you find boys in higher enrollment than the girls. Amidst this morose situation when girl child is denied of her fundamental human right, left out of life's opportunities we present a success story of a girl child in Deepalaya who is claiming the future. Neha is 17 years old, youngest daughter of Vijay Kumar who runs a tea stall in Nehru Place and Santosh, a house wife and self employed as a tailor. Neha is doing her 1st year B.Com (Hons) from P.G.D.A.V College. She is not only good in her studies
but a good actor, dancer, painter... list goes on.
We recently met Neha in Deepalaya School just after the award function. She was awarded a memento, certificate and cash award for her exemplary performance in XIIth Std, she scored 79.7%.
Q. Congratulations! on your success, how do you see your future and career?
A. I really want to have a good career in future. I want to be a trained professional, I aim to be a CA, that's my first choice. But if at all for some reason, I am not able to become a C.A. I wouldn't give up, I will go for teaching or banking services.
Q. Tell us about a very special moment in your life?
A. When I saw my score on the school notice board, it made me feel good! my first day in college was full of excitement but my dream moments would be when I reach a particular height, career-wise, which would not only make my parents proud but all those who have supported me in achieving my goal.
Q. Tell us some thing about your family?
A. In my family, I have my parents, two elder sisters and a younger brother, I am the third child. My father runs a petty tea stall in Nehru Place and my mother is a hosue-wife. She does sewing to supplement family income. My eldest sister has completed her graduation and the sister elder to me is in the second eyar of graduation. My brother is studying in class III. Right from my childhood days, I have seen my father working really hard to support our family and my mother has made sacrifies too! My parents, unlike many parents have treated me and my sisters as boys. My sisters and me always try to stand by them in the troubled times.
I know life is struggle, I have realised this in 17 years of my life but I view my future with a lot of optimism.
Q.Do you recollect your days in Deepalaya School? Where do you put Deepalaya in your success?
A. Deepalaya has done a lot for me! I have studied in Deepalaya School till class VIII, thereafter I was admitted to Sri Satya Sai Vidya Vihar School, but I had always been so closely attached to Deepalaya; my second home. The love and affection that I have got from the teachers in Deepalaya cannot be stated in words. I think nowhere else could I find myself so secured as I found to be in Deepalaya. Today I am happy, I could make Deepalaya proud by my performance. Before I forget! I must mention about the dream trip to Holland sponsored by Deepalaya. I really enjoyed my stay in the country. I got opportunities to learn Dutch culture. In Holland we received lot of appreciation for our cultural presentations in Dutch schools. I even appeared on Dutch Television which is a very rare opportunity for a girl like me.
Q. What will you like to do for Deepalaya when you achieve your goal?
A. I have always appreciated the work Deepalaya is doing in giving children lot of opportunities, whose parents cannot afford quality education. I would very much like to sponsor a child's education in Deepalaya as I was supported through Deepalaya sponsorship programme.
Inauguration of Deepalaya Transit Home at Gusbethi (Haryana)
The Transit Home, a vital life line for neglected and abused street children was inaugurated on 30th December 1999 at Deepalaya Gram, Gusbethi in Sohna (Gurgaon). The Sakura Bank, Japan and its employees through a pay roll giving system donated rs.6,00,000 to establish the Transit Home. The Sakura fund was set up with employees contributing regularly part of their salary and the Bank contributing equivalent amount. In the year 1998, Sakura fund was extended to eight projects, two of these projects were located in India, Deepalaya is one among the two.
The Centre was Inaugurated by Mr.L.S.M.Salins (IAS), Commissioner, Gurgaon and Mr.Takehara, Joint General Manager, Sakura Bank presided over the function.
Mr.T.K.Mathew, Secretary & Chief Executive, Deepalaya while welcoming the Chief Guest and other dignitaries, gave a brief account of Deepalaya Gram a Rehabilitation Project for Street and Working Children and the dreams centered around emancipating the neglected, abused, exploited children, who are also India's future.
Mr.Salins, in his inaugural address lauded the dedication and commitment of Deepalaya workers. He hoped this transit home would offer opportunity for the thousands of street and working children to become useful citizens of tomorrow contributing to nation building. He underlined education is the greatest wealth which can help them to confront the challenges and abuse.
Mr.Takehara, Joint General Manager, Bank of Sakura addressed the gathering and expressed his happiness to see the completion of the Transit Home.
Children would be given with basic education and training in vocations like Electrician, Plumbing, Tailoring, Agriculture, Horticulture, Air-conditioning, Radio & T.V mechanism etc.
On this occasion children presented a colourful cultural programmes which included a short poem recited by children of local Deepalaya School which received a huge applause from the rural community which had come to attend the function. Mr.Salins also gave away prizes to winners of various competitions organised for the children in the rural belt of Mewat.
Deepalaya Award for Child Rights
To mark two decades of Deepalaya's relentless struggle and advocacy for the protection of Child Rights an Award was instituted by Deepalaya. This Award for the journalists, is to encourage them focus their attention on the "Convention of the Rights of Child", the issues and circumstances which affect the lives of children. Ms.Ramya Kannan of 'The Hindu (Chennai)' was chosen to be the first receipient of the Award by distinguished panel which include Mr.Rajendra Sachar (Former Chief Justice, Delhi High Court), Mr.H.K.Dua (Editor), Mr.Aloke Mehta (Editor, Dainik Hindustan), Mr.Pavan K.Verma (Senior Bureaucrat and Author), Ms.Usha Rai (Pioneer in development Journalism), Mr.Sanjoy Hazarika (Author and Columnist) and Mr.V.K.Madhavankutty (Former Editor Mathrubhoomi and T.V.Journalist).
The award ceremony was held on 13th November on the eve of children's Day at Andhra Bhawan Auditorium. The Award was presented to the budding jouranlist by Justice P.K.Shyamsunder, Chairperson - National Commission for Backward Classes. The award carried Rs.21,000 cash award, a citation and Deepalaya Trophy.
Welcoming the distinguished guests, Mr.T.K.Mathew, Secretary & Chief Executive, Deepalaya spoke on Deepalaya's 20 years tireless journey to meet the basic needs of children from slums and streets. While congratulating Ms.Ramya Kannan, he thanked the panelist for spending their valuable time in judging the winner.
Justice Shyamsunder, congratulated Deepalaya on completion of two decades, he spoke on violence, exploitation, discrimination and neglect of children. He underlined the need for NGOs, Government and people to get together in the protection of children.
Mr.Pavan K.Verma in his address expressed his concerns at the growing numbers of illiterates, malnourished population, poor access to safe drinking water and various other issues. He went on to say that, "the nation's future in the next millennium will depend on people's participation and our ability to relate these problem to our own lives".
Ms.Ramya Kannan the recipient of the Award, thanked Deepalaya and spoke on the role of Press and Media in brining a social change, specially in highlighting the state of children in India.
The Award function was followed by Abhinaya, the annual event which bings two classes of the society, the fortunates and less fortunates on a common platform. This year 3 reputed schools of Delhi. The Sri Ram School, Meera Model School and Ryan International School participated in this exercise of friendship through drama.
There couldn't have been a more appropriate occasion than this, when children irrespective of their background involved themselves into celebration of song, dance and drama with a social message for the society to respect children and their rights on the eve of last Children's Day of the Millennium.
National Open School Results Declared:
The result of the Secondary and Senior Secondary Examinations of the National Open School held in November '99 have been declared. In all 259 candidates appeared for Secondary and 147 for Senior Secondary Examinations. Congratulations to 75 candidates for clearing Secondary and 31 candidates for clearing Senior Secondary Examinations.
Visit of Mr.Larry Summers, Secretary-US Treasury to Deepalaya Sanjay Colony School
"A remarkable investment in India's future.."
This was the impression of Mr. Larry Summers accompanied by Tim Geithner, Under Secretary (U.S.Treasury), Sheryl Sand Berg, Chief of Staff (US Treasury) and Linda Morse, Head of Mission-USAID after visiting Deepalaya School, Sanjay Colony.
Mr.Summers visited, Deepalaya Sanjay Colony complex at Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-II. The Deepalaya Complex has a Primary (Formal) school, Transit Home for the Street & Working Children, a unit for Disabled children, Non-formal Education, Vocational Education, Distance Education (NOS), Remedial Education Unikts, Community Health and Women Development Programmes.
Mr.Summers stayed for over an hour. He took keen interest in the course content, teaching methodology and even joined the Mathematics teacher in standard IV to solve mathematical problems.
Mr.T.K.Mathew, Secretary & Chief Executive, Deepalaya in his welcome address, gave a brief introduction on Deepalaya and the situation of illiterates, abused and exploited children in India.
Mr.Summers in his address said "this visit would always remain fresh in our memories and I thank Deepalaya and your children for the wonderful hospitality". He acknowledge the children for their hard work and hoped India and the world could see a brighter tomorrow in the hands of these children.
He underlined in his address, that he was particularly impressed to see more girl children in the school, and he pointed out that educating girl children is an effective means to achieve Economic Development. As this would ensure happier and healthier families & community.
The group was treated with a colourful culturla programme presented by children of Deepalaya Alumni Association. The group was given a wonderful send off by children waving American and Indian flags.
Extract from the Report of The Wall Street Journal Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers steps into the Deepalaya School, a charitable project that provides the luckier slum children many of them young girls - with their only chance at getting educated and getting out. the students place a sandalwood garland around Mr.Summers neck, shower him in rose pertals and dab a red tika smear onto his forehead a traditional greeting.
"There is no greater investment a country can make in its future than educating its girls", he later tells his hosts. Slum visits have become de rigueur during Mr.summer's travel outside the world's wealthy nations. The Treasury puts a good deal of effort into fidning just the right pocket of poverty for Mr.Summer's to visit. Officials enlist the U.S.Embassy to seek out antipoverty organizations that are having some success, often through education, health care or community credit plans.
Inevitably, Mr.Sumemr's slum visits create the awkward juxtaposition of any meeting between the well-off and the desperate. But the distance between comfort and want is particularly surreal when the man is Indian newspaper calls "one of the most powerful decison-makers in the world" wades through squalor to meet some of the least powerful.
Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Convention of the Rights of the Child:
Childhood, the times of greatest hope and promise. It carves the future self confident young adults, equipped with the knowledge. But 10 years after World Summit for Children, millions of children continue to grow amidst homelessness, starvation, illiteracy.... Deepalaya joined hands with UNICEF to sensitise the masses about the Rights of Children and reaffirm commitment to the children living in difficult circumstances.
First phase of the activities was conducted between 4th-17th November in all 62 project locations where children exercised their imagination of Child Rights through painting, slogan writing, essays, plays, songs and speeches. Prior to the competitions orientation sessions were held for participants educating them about Child Rights and how to put their rights into practice for their overall well being and development.
The finale, was organised on the YMCA lawns on 18th November, where 20 best participants from each project met for the final contest. The Day long function witnessed children participating in drawing competition, reciting poems, enacting plays and group songs on Child Rights.
Mr.Mathew, Chief Executive & Secretary-Deepalaya greeted all the children on the occasion of Child Rights week, he in his address gave the children on overview on promises made in the onvention on the Rights of Child. Jatin Das, renowned painter and leading Actress and social activist Nafisa Ali presided over the function to encourage children to judge the best entries.
Theatre Workshop in East Delhi Programme
Indira Camp Kalyanvas was the venue of an unique theatre workshop conducted under the guidance of NSD professional, Mr.Swaran Rawat. Week long workshop was held from 7th January and participated by 20 children who through medium of play acting addressed some of the serious issues confronted by Social workers to run developmental activities at the project locations.
For past few moths social workers were facing problem of children dropping out of the school, attendance and non payment of fees. After series of discussions among the social workers, they decided to hold a theatre workshop involving the children from the community on the theme focussing on the above problems.
The play named "Mummy Pappa" revolves around need for quality education, attendance in the school and timely payment of less. In an effective manner the play conveys how the community compromises with education at the cost of extravagant spending on toiletry, costly food and clothes etc. The workshop was viewed as a medium to address some of the crucial issues pertaining to own resource management and family budget.
Disability Day Celebrations
December 3rd every year is celebrated as World Disability Day to spare a thought on main streaming people with disability and to spread awareness on disability.
To celebrate the occasion Deepalaya organized a function on 8th December at Karpuri Thakur Camp which was graced by Ms.Anuradha Mohit, Deputy Chief commissioner for Disabilities and presided over by Mr.T.K.Mathew, Secretary and Chief Executive, Deepalaya. Welcoming the guests and the children Mr.Mathew pointed out that there is a need to understand disability and the changing mind set of people. He underlined that these children don't need sympathy but some encouragement.
Noted activist, Ms.Anuradha Mohit in her address shared how she has struggled, to achieve her goal after she was left visually impaired after an accident. She also said, education can act as a catalyst to strike a winning streak in the lives of disabled.
Children who assembled from different projects presented songs and dance numbers. These special children also took part in a fancy dress show.
This was an ideal platform for a parent of a special child, Zubaimissa to share with the community her experience in coping wiht a mentally retarded child Shameed. Stalls were put up to disseminate information on kinds of disabilities, teaching methodology, curative and preventive aspects and display of Hearing Aids, Prosthetics and Orthotics aids was also organized.
Fortnight long celebration also saw candle light rally in Gole Kuan project to spread awareness on disability and need for equal opportunities for people with disability. Children from different project locations represented Deepalaya in the "Walk to Freedom" organized by National Centre for Promotion of Employment FOR Disabled People to press demand for recognition of Disability Act. The occasion has left a favourable impact in the community who are further enlightened on the means to combat disability and preventive measures to contain disability.
Children of lesser God gets opportunity to surf on Internet
Schlumberger, a Multinational Corporate house joined hands with Deepalaya to provide opportunities to the children from slums to participate in the Global Community through internet connectivity.
The programme which is named 'Seed Connectivity Program' aims at reaching the latest communication technology to foster closer bond among world wide community from diverse social and cultural back grounds.
The programme was inaugurated on 16th December 1999 by Mr.Krishna Shivram, Vice President, Schlumberger at Deepalaya School, Kalkaji Extension.
The programme in its first phase will cater to 150 enrolled children in VI to VIIIth std. As part of the programme, Schlumberger has provided Deepalaya with p PCs, Server, HUB, Win 98, LAN Cabling, ISDN Modem, Ethernet, UPS and other computer accessories.
Through the programme children will have access to a broad world of information and ideas to enjoy the benefits of sharing information and promoting interdependence as world citizens.
Fund Raising Dance and Dinner
There is an increasing need for the people across the continents to come in rescue of thousands of children deprived of opportunities and victing of child abuse.
Mr.Chris Tuppen from London is an individual involved in championing the cause of Children of lesser God. During his visit to Delhi in April Mr.Tuppen visited Deepalaya School and the projects. On his return he decided to get his colleagues in British Telecom involved in fund raising for Deepalaya.
On 18th September Mr.Tuppen organized a Fund Raising Dinner and Dance in a marquee in his back garden to help Deepalaya with funds. This dinner had 200 guests who not only had fund and an enjoyable evening but also contributed ot raise Pounds Sterling 4000/- for Deepalaya. During the event a talk on Deepalaya was delivered by Mr.Tuppen and also a photo exhibition for the guests at the venue.
The cheque for 4000 pojnds was presented by Mr.Gary Griffiths, Head of Human Resource in the presence of Mr.Arun Seth (M.D) of British Telecon, India at Deepalaya School on 1st November 1999. This donation is invested as Corpus, annual income of which goes to educate eleven children in Deepalaya School to posterity.
Health Training Programme in West Delhi Project
Deepalaya conducted a training programme on Health for 9 Community Based Organisations (CBO) from Raghubir Nagar, Khyala and Meera Bagh. It was a six days residential training programme, and was attended by 15 participants (age group 15-25 years).
The basic purpose of conducting training was to prepare youth from the community to work in the slums providing basic health services and educating them on health related subjects. The workshop was conducted by Dr.P.S.Kalra (Consultant), he addressed subjects related to human body functioning, common ailments, HIV, human anatomy, respiratory/circulatory/reproductive systems, and components of Reproductive Child Health.
This workshop was conducted after intense rapport building edercise with the youth groups from the community particularly the girls. The workshop is the first in the series of workshops being planned. According to the social workers they have planned similar sessions on use of Theatre in Social Developments, Women, Empowerment, Reproductive Healht etc.
Impressions of the visitors from U.K. through The Prince of wales Forum, Aga Khan Foundation and Business & Community Foundation.
Sir Peter Wakefield
This visit had been the high point of my visit to India, an exciting mixture of hope, commitment and achievement. How to muiltiply it by thousands.
Mr.David G Tinkler
I am most impressed by the way the chilren are motivated in classes here. Their smiling faces indicate how happy they are & their learning here will lead to a much better start to their shcool life.
Thanks once again to your hospitality. The work that is being done here is showing many ways what is possible.
A New Beginning
Deepalaya in association with Pathfinders International launched an ambitious programme to improve reproductive health in five slums clusters Chander Nager, Dhouli Piao, Transit Camp (Kakrola More), Possangipur and Virender Nagar situated in Janakpuri Area.
The programme is as a step to improve reproductive health among the slum dwellers through a cadre of self supported social entrepreneurs. The cadre is chosen from the community who are a motivated lot and willing to help fellow slum dwellers to become empowered.
Pathfinders International, an agency which is working in the field of family planning and reproductive health worldwide identified Deepalaya as its partner to spread quality education, basic health with family planning, reproductive health and adolescent health as priority areas.
Experts view that in the slums young women and men suffer a disproportionate share of unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and other serious reproductive health problems.
This partnership is a step towards endorsing reproductive rights; declaring women's rights as human rights, endorsing the individual's right to reproductive decison making, condemning violence against women and offering the right to access reproductive healht services including family planning, maternal and child health care and STD prevention.