New Delhi - April - June 2000
During 1999, the Japanese Bank of Sakura, contributed to Deepalaya to set up a Transit Home for Street and Working Children in Gusbethi (Gurgaon Dist.). And since then the Bank of Sakura has been a supporting partner of Deepalaya.
Explaining the objectives of the Sakura Fund Mr.takehara, Joint General Manager said, the fund extends financial support to voluntary organizations working with children in the Asian countries.
"I believe the fundamental philosophy and any possible future of a country dewpends on children and they should have fair and equal opportunities for quality education", Mr.Takahera added.
"It was through the Japanese Embassy that I came to know of Deepalaya, when I visited Deepalaya I was impressed by the opportunities extended by it to children. When travelling to the Gusbethi Transit Home, I was apprehensive as to how the chilren would travel to such a far flung place. On reaching there I saw that the centre was surrounded by villages so many children were attending the function. I was then assured that our efforts have not gone waste".
Manpreet Brar noted beauty peagant came to know of Deepalaya during a fund raising event. "When I saw the children and their eagerness and enthusiasm in their eyes I was promoted to visit the Deepalaya School nearly three years back. It was then that I decided to become a sponsor parent and support a child tog et educated".
"During my maiden visit I realized students in this school have the urge and desire to come to school probably due to the love and care the teachers given to each child. "I wish to congratulate Deepalaya on completion of two decades, and I am confident you would have many people supporting your project".
Manpreet attributes her success to the education she has received since childhood. At Deepalaya, I found that the children, despite living in adverse conditions, had the motivation to attend school and get educated".
On the condition of the girl child she said, "A marked change has come about during the last 2-3 years when professionally and academically, girls have been rubbing shoulders with their male counterparts. There are many homes in India, where girls are bread winners today".
She assured her support to promote the cause of Deepalaya in the media "I feel we should empower children to take up issues related to their future and allow them to make the choice," Ms.Brar added.
I got to know about Deepalaya in the year 1992 through the father of one of my colleagues, who was doing some voluntary work for the organization. He gave me some material to read and that created the interest. That was the beginning, said Mr.Jyoti Sagar, Managing Partner J.Sagar Associates.
According to him Deepalaya is an excellent organization with a huge commitment to the causes it has chosen to work for. Deepalaya is running programmes which make a difference to the social and economic problems that our country and society face. There is no doubt that lack of primary education and primary health facilities cause a multitude of problems in the long run. By focussing on these areas, Deepalaya addresses the causes and not the symptoms. It has become a role model for others to emulate.
"I have been supporting Deepalaya over the past six year-through a regular monthly contribution as also for specific projects like the Kalkaji Extn. School building. I wish that I could devote more time to Deepalaya's activities-because I feel that more than just monetary contributions, it is the involvement with the activities which is required. I am endeavouring to do that and accepting to be a "Friend of Deepalaya".
On its 20th anniversary, Mr.Sagar's message to Deepalaya, its staff and more importantly its children is to continue the good work with greater vigour, commitment and dedication".
Advisor Director, Khemka Group of Companies came to know about Deepalaya through a distributor during one of the annual distributors meet.
"This was about 12 years back, when we decided to visit Deepalaya. We saw a little thatched place, where 30 children in the age group of 4 to 8 years were being educated. This was enough for us to judge the genuineness of the cause".
"Since then my organization supports the children on a regular basis. I wanted to see these children grow up and confident individuals who could be one day included in our organization".
"I continue to support the quest of my vision that some day one of my sponsored children will find a place in the Unipatch workforce. I wish Deepalaya all the best in day to come".
Sushila Tiwari, storming the traditional citadels
The new millennium is here and if you consider women to be confined within the four walls of their homes, you deserve to retreat back to the last one.
Sushila Devi from Palamu (Bihar) is perhaps the best example of a woman, who despite being prohibited from acquiring education has risen to break the shackles and today she is storming the traditional citadels.
Sushila Devi is a resident of Jagdamba Camp (Khirki), settled happily with her hunsband Sh.Baban Kumar Tiwari, a security guard and four children, Sushila Devi is a loving mother, wife and a successful community worker.
Jagdamba Camp like any other slums in Delhi, is plagued, by problems like overall sanitation, open sewage, unhygienic conditions, water scarcity and a host of social problems.
For Sushila Devi this was a challenge of sorts and a life beyond her husband, family and the kitchen. She took up the crusade to clean up the slums, thus creating healthy surroundings conducive for the growing children.
When asked what motivated her to take up this challenge, her prompt reply was, "I have been seeing Deepalaya and its social workers work in our slums, but I felt unless we reciprocate it is going to be difficult task for them. Soon on our own me and my husband started motivating the community to keep the surroundings clean, dump waste in the garbage bin placed outside the slums, send children to school and stay united".
Each day after finishing her household chores, she moves across the community, interacting with the women enquiring about problems, organizing cleanliness drives, makes representations at the corporation office, hospitals, police station etc. addresses group meetings, organize jathas and poster campaigns. She has formed an action squad in the community and exhorts the community to keep the surroundings clean and explains the need for cleanliness, overall health and how lack of cleanliness can be the source of various illnesses. Most importantly she explains how illnesses can upset their budget.
Sushila Devi today attributes her success to her immense confidence and a very supportive husband. But, she still has "miles to go" and hopes that one dya the entire community joins in her efforts and moves forward unitedly to carve a better india.
Deboshree, striving to reach a better life
"while men proceed on their developmental way, building on inherited traditions, women are confined to the cycles of lost and found".
In a country where Information Technology is the catch word and liberalization is happening, where women are on the threshold of reaching a landmark on political resrvation, this very India has dubious truth of at least 4000 infant girls being killed every year.
In the midst of such grim circumstances we present the story of a girl who has succeeded because of the encouragement from her family. Meet deboshree who is doing her Bachelor's Degree from the College of Vocational Studies (Delhi University), a sponsored child of Deepalaya.
We recently met her after the Award function, where she was felicitated for her examplary performance in the Senior Secondary Board Examinations.
What does success mean to you?
My aim in life was always to be a career oriented girl, I knew the present success, is just the first step in my quest to succeed. I know and believe in destiny, and I want every dream to come true, I know my biggest strength is the blessings of my parents. This success has shaped my future, now I am studying in 1st year in college of vocational studies and after finishing graduation I have planned to join YMCA for Secretarial Practices, I am presently learning typing.
Who all do you want to credit for your success?
I want to say that I love God and believe in him. His blessings are definitely behind my success. So are my parents, the staff of Deepalaya and the Principal and teachers of Vinay Nagar Bengali School. Another person I wish to thank, is my sponsor parent who through Deepalaya has supported me in my studies, for over 10 years.
Where do you place Deepalaya's presence in your success?
Deepalaya means 'Deep" in my life. Deepalaya has shown me the light to the future and is making me achieve results, which I could not have even dreamt of".
What I am today is because of the teachers in Deepalaya School. Now I am in a new world, full of challenges. Initially I was scared, but I realized I was not alone, there is always a caring hand of Deepalaya above me to show me the right path. The love and affection which Deepalaya and Mr.Mathew have given me is very precious to me!
Deepalaya is a great institute and works for a vital cause, the cause of children, who are tomorrow's citizens. Deepalaya's work has become even more important as half of India's population is illiterate. When I grow up as a useful citizen I would work for this great mission which gives quality education to children in the slums.
Tell us about your family?
We are from Bengal, my father is a tailor, my mother a housewife. I have two sisters. They both are studying. We are a united family and face all stress together. My family is my first priority.
Describe about memorable moments in your life?
When I heard that I ahve cleared my XIIth std examinations, I was on top of the world! This remains in the priority list of memorable happenings.
Second one was when I went to Holland on Deepalaya Sponsored Cultural Exchange Programme, it was an exciting twist to a new country. Prior to our visit we were interviewed by many Newspapers and Television Channels. I participated in folk dance, I was proud to be a cultural messenger. I met people of Holland, learnt about their culture and their country.
What are your favourite pastimes and hobbies?
I like to paint and act, I have participated in drama workshop conducted by National School of Drama at Y.M.C.A. My hobbies include coin collection, singing and dancing but above all my favourite pastime is to sleep.
Spreading the light of literacy
Sansi Samp in Badarpur, where 125 families are living is an area deprived of basic needs like shelter, water and food. Stark poverty and illiteracy are prevalent in the camp.
Most of the inhabitants have found employment in form of cobblers, earning barely enough to make both ends meet. After carrying out surveys of the needs and requirements of the area, Deepalaya has set up a Non Formal Education Unit, entirely with community participation, be it the space, construction or black board. The response has been good with the attendance in the NFE classes having increased from 07 to 70. The classes run in two shifts.
Special achievement on the part of the Social Worker in the areas has been integrating 13 girls who used to learn a living supporting their families by selling picture charts outside schools or selling watches. These girls apart from learning basic education are taught sewing and tailoring.
Sometimes learning comes without textbooks. It is alos true that the best education comes to children by experimenting and exploring things around them.
The science fair was an attempt to make education fun. Along with the enjoyment was the opportunity to do things which they would not have been able to do otherwise, in normal circumstances.
Children from Narang Deepalaya School and children from the South Delhi Project locations came together to explore the World of Science at Triveni commercial Complex located near Khirki. The programme was part of the Primary Education Enhancement Programme (PEEP), supported by UNICEF.
Displays included a camera prepared by the children from the Gole Kuan Project, Electrical Quiz & Magnetic Puzzles created by the Street & Working Chidlren Programme in Khirki beside games stalls and, display charts on various scientific concepts.
Birbal and Muslim, both studying in Kabadi Basti, spoke about their experience in creating a model which they have named "How to light long tunnels/corridors". They felt science cannot be taught entirely in the classroom but that students should experience it by experimenting and exploring.
The participating children were provided with raw materials by the project offices, and were facilitated by instructors and teachers. According to Mrs.Ghate, the Principal of the Narang Deepalaya School, "The main aim of holding this was to arouse the scientific temperament and creativity and allow children to develop curiosity and the spirit of enqquiry".
Mr.T.K.Mathew, Secretary and Chief Executive, Deepalaya inaugurated the fair. In his address he underlined the need for education to be a creative process and emphasises that there is no place for learning by rote. He also added that childhood is the best time to explore the Universe and the concepts taught in the classroom. He thanked the Shopping Complext Traders Association (Triveni) for coming forward to help Deepalaya, to hold the event in their premises.
In a true sense this was an attempt to take education out of the confines of the classroom.
Computer Learning for Children from Slums
"Deepalaya is doing a wonderful job of educating children who have the desire to learn and helping them build their future. I'm happy to be a part of an organization that is sincere and dedicated to its mission".
With these words, Manpreet Brar, former Miss india, inaugurated the Computer Centre for children and youth from slums at the Deepalaya School in Kalkaji Extn. Mr.T.K.Mathew, Secretary and C.E, Deepalaya and Mr.Vikram Kapoor, C.E of ET&T (Malviya Nagar) presided over the function. Mr.T.K.Mathew spoke of providing quality computer education through the collaboration with ET & T to help the children from Deepalaya strive for a better future. Mr.Vikram Kapoor thanked Deepalaya for enabling him take computer education to children who could never have afforded such a quality course. He also said this course would prepare these children for better jobs matching with the technically advancing times.
Fun filled but career oriented computer learning would be a reality now for hundred of children from slums linked to Deepalaya.
Deepalaya believes that the underprivileged children can improve their living standards if more employment opportunities are created through the development of entreprenual skills. ET & T supported Computer Education is a step towards helping these children move towards self sufficiency.
The programme is designed for children and the youth in the age group of 14-18 years. The certificate course will include operating systems like, DOS, Windows, 9x, Linux and other packages like MS Office, Internet Browsing, E-mail etc. Initially 45 students would be trained on 10 computers in three batches. Shyam, who was among the first to get enrolled said "I have seen a computer from a distance, never touched it, but heard that it is the life line of the modern age. Today I can actually touch it and learn the operations".
For the young chirpy "balikas" of Deepalaya, it was a dream come tru-interacting with Femina Miss India Gul Panag in their very own premises at the Deepalaya School in Kalkaji Extn. The occasion was 'Balika Utsav' organized to give these children a platform to display their talents and creativity and prove to the world.... they too are individuals and can make a difference to society.
The saying goes 'Educate Woman.... You Educate a Family'. For it is the empowered woman who gives better direction to her family - a woman empowered with knowledge. This is precisely what Deepalaya has been focussing on in its effort to 'enable the child look beyond slums'.
Speaking on the occasion Ms.gul Panag reiterated that at no cost should society discriminate on the basis of gender. "the cultural programmes put up by these children definitely proves to the world that this is a group which has a lot of latent/creativity and skills". She appreciated the efforts Deepalaya has made in bringing these girls out of the confines of their homes and enthused the girls to make the most of this wonderful opening in their lives.
On this occasion, some of the Deepalaya sponsored children who had successfully passed their Xth std exams through the NOS were felicitated by Ms.Panag, with a certificate, a cash award and a memento from Deepalaya. Certificates were also given to all the girls who had successfully attended a training programme organized by the Food and Nutrition Board, Govt. of India. This involved teaching the girls healthy and nutritious cooking practices.
Aids Awareness Celebrations
AIDS, is a dreaded disease and the need of the hour is not to a create scare but educate the masses about AIDS.
India has an estimated 4 million AIDS infected people. It is estimated that Delhi alone has 10,000 to 15,000 AIDS patients.
With an objective of educating the slum community and workers employed in surrounding industries on AIDS, Deepalaya organized an AIDS Jagriti Abhiyan on 30th March at Golekuan Project in Okhla Industrial Area Phase-I.
The main attraction of the Abhiyan was a Nukkad Natap presented by the 'Abhinay Samuha Group' of Gole Kuan. They presented an informative but entertaining play on the spread of AIDS. Nukkad Nataks are an effective way to spread the word about AIDS in the slums where a majority of the population are illiterate.
Ms.Nafisa Ali, the Chief Guest spoke on how AIDS endangers the youth, who are gullible to inducements. She emphasized the need for generating mass awareness about the disease. Also present on the occasion were Mr.T.K.Mathew, representatives from other NGO's etc.
Displays to educate the community, a film show at the venue beside free distribution of condoms were part of the effort. According to the social workers in the area, this abhiyan is just a beginning to conquering this dreadful disease. They vowed to continue with Jathas, rallies and Nukkad Nataks in the day to come.
Annual Day Celebration at Narang Deepalaya School
In a display of wisdom that belied their age, children of the Narang Deepalaya School made an appeal to the gathering to save the environment, plant trees and resolved to campaign against pollution.
The occasion was the Annual Day celebration of Narang Deepalaya School on the 8th April, 2000. The school, run with the support of the Ramditti J.R.Narang Trust, has 350 children, out of which 42% are girl children and 70% children enrolled are from families living below the poverty line.
Mrs.Vimla Gujral, Managing Trustee of the Vijaya Gujral Memorial Trust was the Chief Guest. She exhorted children to become worthy citizens as it is they who would shoulder tomorrow's India.
Mrs.Asha Narang of the R.J.R.Narang Trust congratulated the school for successful completion fo three years, and remarked that each year she could see a marked improvement in children studying in this school.
Children recited poems and songs on environment. They also presented a Bharat Natyam recital and a skit in English on the harmful effects of using adulterated colours during Holi.
This event also coincided with Maitree Shree, the annual sponsor child-parent meet. It was a memorable occasion for a bunch of chirpy little children meeting their sponsor parents who have contributed to make their life joyful and have added sunshine in their lives.
World President Organization (WPO)
World President's Organization (WPO) organizes a WPO University event every year. Here CEO's of most of the leading multinational companies get together informally, accompanied by their spouses. They call it a University as during the event they learn about the host country, the tradition, culture art and art forms, commerce, art of living, cuisine etc. discuss the finances of each other's companies and share the opinions regarding successes and failures. In the process they learn from each other's experiences and enrich their knowledge base. In order to make this event more interesting, they participate in thos
activities which are specific to the culture where it is being held. One of the other important tasks during the event is that they learn about the development aspect of the city & country where the event is held.
This year, the organization assembled in Delhi in February. The organizing committee for the event had members from FICCI - Ms.Krantpriya Mitra & Mr.P.D.Gupta. Apart from other NGOs in the city, they visited Deepalaya for a live demonstration of work in the field of integrated Development, with children residing in urban slums of Delhi.
The members visited Sanjay Colony School. Mr.T.K.Mathew gave a presentation on activities and achievements of Deepalaya and addressed their queries. They were amazed to see such a set up right at the doorstep of an urban slum. After the presentation they were sub divided into five groups. Each group, facilitated by the staff member from Deepalaya went round the school visiting the various units. The Special Needs Chilren Unit won the most attention.
Finally the alumni children of Deepalaya presented a short cultural programme which won the appreciation of visiting WPO's.
They were also given a glimpse of Deepalaya Kalkaji Extn. School, where they interacted with children working on computers. They were astonished at the tasks undertaken and efforts make by Deepalaya.