2001-1

New Delhi - January - March 2001

Heart Speak

Mr. Krishnan Shivram is Vice President, Schlumberger - an international technical services company ; also dedicated to the educational rehabilitation of the under- privileged children worldwide. Mr. Shivram, has been instrumental in selecting Deepalaya as a partner in developing a computer training programme for slum children. To know how, read on.

Mr. Shivram, can you tell us more about the SEED programme?

SEED is an attempt to encourage a healthy curiosity among children about the world in which they live. The programme was launched in 1998 with educational institutions, helping the learners to access the Internet through a grant given by the Schlumberger SEED Connectivity Grant. Technical expertise is provided by our volunteers through the educational website . This site (http://www.slb.com/seed) is a public place where Schlumberger scientists / engineers share their knowledge / experience with learners around the world. Students can read articles in 'Science Watch', written by Schlumberger experts, they can carry out related experiments in science lab, meet the people behind the articles who we call SEED people and converse with them about science and careers in science and engineering. It is an online science education, any one can ask any question and can have access to answers.

Why did Schlumberger think of such an unique educational initiative ?

I feel the age has come when corporates should show a greater social responsibility. Of course, the initiative should have a relevance to one's business and stakeholders. The SEED programme is born from the vision to develop human resources in 100 countries including Schlumberger employees ,and their families. Purely a non profit initiative that fosters worldwide communities to participate in a world of ideas as inter- dependent citizens of the world. SEED selects educational organizations like Deepalaya as partners in developing a computer learning culture .Our preference is for organizations working with underprivileged sections of the society.

How do you see partnership between Deepalaya & Schlumberger ?

I must congratulate Deepalaya for its novel vision . My expectations prior to my visit to the school exceeded by all limits. Wonderful committed faculty and children who are bright and focused. Our partnership is little over a year and I can see our relation turning out into a meaningful partnership. It's not always the cash support

Which makes meaningful partnership,even innovative initiative like ours can build the same relationship based on true sharing . I must acknowledge, that Corporate Philanthropy can largely contribute to human resource development of any corporate. It certainly helps in improving employee retention and commitment besides giving the right signals to its stakeholders, like share holders, customers and Govt. Our endeavour has been able to link skilled software professionals, scientists, engineers with the global community at large. I hope Deepalaya would be supported by many more corporates. Believe me it is a deserving cause to be supported.

Kid's Concern

Adwaith Krishnan, second class student in Tagore International School, is in every way a little kid. But his concern and seriousness are comparable to any concerned elder citizen. You can yourself have a look.

To
Children, Deepalaya
Hello my dear friends,

I am Adwaith Krishnan. I study in Tagore International School. I am in class IIA. Today is my 8th birthday. I don't celebrate my birthdays. I want to donate my birthday gift to your welfare fund as I find happiness in helping others. I am very keen to know more about you all, Keep writing to me.

With all best wishes and lot of love to all. Yours loving friend,

Adwaith Krishnan

The Story Of Meena Karakoti (SE With The East Delhi Project) !

Deepalaya has always endeavoured to promote the programmes for capacity building, social transformation and empowerment .The result of our efforts is a committed cadre of Social Entrepreneurs who are now shaping their own future and community.

In this issue, we share with our readers, the experience, the story of Mrs. Meena Karakoti,( SE with the East Delhi Project) who overcame all the hardships & hurdles to successfully carry forward Deepalaya's efforts 'to enable the child look beyond slums.'

Meena, tell us something about yourself.?

I belong to Nainital and have completed my postgraduation (in Hindi) from Garhwal University. I have also completed my B.Ed (through correspondence from Rohtak University). My husband is a petty trader and we have two children.

How did you come in contact with Deepalaya and decide to become a SE?

In my endless search for a job, I met Mr. Pant from the organization. He briefed me about Deepalaya and also about SE's. He suggested me to take up educational activities/ community mobilization activities in the areas nearby. I visited the locations, met with the people and decided to help others to improve their condition.

Over the past one and a half years , how have you grown in your role as a SE?

Tremendously in self-confidence and knowledge. Talking to people and convincing them about the importance of education was a big challenge. But I persisted, conducted group meetings, took out rallies and organized various awareness programmes. Today as they see their children improving, getting good marks in school, they have realized the importance. I have also motivated other people to join in the these efforts. Today, I have 4 more SEs working with me, and they too come from the same community. I have approx. 260 children enrolled into the programme. who participate in all activities..

What is your family's reaction to your "job"?

They are happy and help me in discharging my responsibilities as an SE. My children (9 yrs. & 6 yrs. Old) are proud of me . Though they miss me around the house , they don't complain. They know whatever I am doing is for the family welfare.

What are your future plans?

I have realized that the Govt. alone is not responsible for improving civic conditions. NGO's like Deepalaya have a role to play but more importantly people - the common man - has to realize his / her individual responsibility and I am one of them. I have identified a few communities to which the education activities have to be spread out without the financial support of Deepalaya. I have immediate plans of starting a primary school and a network of Education Centers in this part of East Delhi. Through these, I want to reach out quality education to the underprivileged. I will emphasize on the involvement of the parents in their children's education.

How do you coordinate with your staff ?

Regular interaction,where sharing of experience and feedback takes place. Weekly formal meetings are also held. We believe in planning out our schedule to ensure maximum utilization of our time.

Any word of advice to others?

Yes, dedication, persistence, self-confidence. these help a person to achieve the impossible. Believe in yourself and you will reach excellence.

Yes Meena, with dedication and motivation like yours, Deepalaya sincerely believes it will reach greater heights "to enable the child look beyond slums”.

She would utilize the cash amount for creating an Endowment Fund from the interest of which she proposes to sponsor the education of underprivileged children in the name of her mother- in- law and father who have both struggled a lot to ensure a better future for their children.

Meena, tell us something about yourself.?

I belong to Nainital and have completed my postgraduation (in Hindi) from Garhwal University. I have also completed my B.Ed (through correspondence from Rohtak University). My husband is a petty trader and we have two children.

How did you come in contact with Deepalaya and decide to become a SE?

In my endless search for a job, I met Mr. Pant from the organization. He briefed me about Deepalaya and also about SE's. He suggested me to take up educational activities/ community mobilization activities in the areas nearby. I visited the locations, met with the people and decided to help others to improve their condition.

Over the past one and a half years , how have you grown in your role as a SE?

Tremendously in self-confidence and knowledge. Talking to people and convincing them about the importance of education was a big challenge. But I persisted, conducted group meetings, took out rallies and organized various awareness programmes. Today as they see their children improving, getting good marks in school, they have realized the importance. I have also motivated other people to join in the these efforts. Today, I have 4 more SEs working with me, and they too come from the same community. I have approx. 260 children enrolled into the programme. who participate in all activities..

What is your family's reaction to your "job"?

They are happy and help me in discharging my responsibilities as an SE. My children (9 yrs. & 6 yrs. Old) are proud of me . Though they miss me around the house , they don't complain. They know whatever I am doing is for the family welfare.

What are your future plans?

I have realized that the Govt. alone is not responsible for improving civic conditions. NGO's like Deepalaya have a role to play but more importantly people - the common man - has to realize his / her individual responsibility and I am one of them. I have identified a few communities to which the education activities have to be spread out without the financial support of Deepalaya. I have immediate plans of starting a primary school and a network of Education Centers in this part of East Delhi. Through these, I want to reach out quality education to the underprivileged. I will emphasize on the involvement of the parents in their children's education.

How do you coordinate with your staff ?

Regular interaction,where sharing of experience and feedback takes place. Weekly formal meetings are also held. We believe in planning out our schedule to ensure maximum utilization of our time.

Any word of advice to others?

Yes, dedication, persistence, self-confidence. these help a person to achieve the impossible. Believe in yourself and you will reach excellence.

Yes Meena, with dedication and motivation like yours, Deepalaya sincerely believes it will reach greater heights "to enable the child look beyond slums”.

She would utilize the cash amount for creating an Endowment Fund from the interest of which she proposes to sponsor the education of underprivileged children in the name of her mother- in- law and father who have both struggled a lot to ensure a better future for their children.

President meets Raj Kumar

Raj Kumar, a Deepalaya student, found a rare chance to interact with the President of India, Mr.K.R. Narayanan and speak to him on issues concerning Child Rights. The occasion was the presentation of 'The State of the World's Report-2001' by UNICEF.

Thrilled and excited, Raj Kumar, who got the first chance to speak to the President, thanked everybody who made this meeting possible. "It was really a dream come true", he exclaimed . Today he has a Dream to become a pilot and also to Establish a Transit Home like Deepalaya for street and working children so that they can become good contributing members of society.

Good luck Raj .

May all your dreams come true. We are with you.

Rang Arpan

"Colours, Canvass, Chitrakar (Painters) and Children, all came together to paint the images of "Delhi and its people". The occasion was a painting workshop Rang Arpan organized by Deepalaya (in collaboration with NDMC, National Foundation for India and Punjab National Bank.) at the Srijan Art Gallery, in Chanakayapuri, on 6th January 2001.

Rang Arpan was an opportunity to highlight the plight of underprivileged children and to promote the feelings of oneness. This event was inaugurated by Mr. B. P. Mishra, Chairman, NDMC, in the presence of eminent participating artists and children of Deepalaya. Mr. Naresh Kapuria, eminent artist, was the Guest of Honour. Participating artists were : Suhash Nimbalkar, Shamshad Husain, Niladari Paul, Avni Kant, Ratnavali Kant, Subroto Kundu, Veer Munshi, Gayatri, Atul Bhalla, and Shobha Broota. Besides, Ms. Bulbul Sharma, Mr. Pramod Ganapatra, Ms. Nupur Kundu & Mr. Sanjay Bhattacharyya though could not participate but lend their masterpices for the cause. Mr. Avinash Pasricha, eminent photographer, documented the entire event. Theme was "Artists at their work". This was a great opportunity for underprivileged children to work with these eminent artists.

Mr. Mishra said that NDMC is fortunate to be associated with Deepalaya and artists of such stature. Mr. T.K. Mathew said that this event marked a great occasion of coming together of classes and masses. He further added that this would surely help develop the artists among children. The artists who came to participate in the event were astonished to see the hidden talent among the children. Expressing her feelings, Ms. Shobha Broota commented,''It's great to work with the underprivileged Children. There is a great painter within all these Children, it is only that they need opportunities to knock at their doors. I feel honored to be associated with such a mission."

"I have learnt a lot by watching the work of so many big artists today. I want to be like them one day", said Preeti, a young girl of Deepalaya who painted the Red Fort. The children of Deepalaya also presented a cultural programe, that won tremendous appreciation from the august gathering.The artworks created by artists and students were donated to Deepalaya and will be later on exhibited and auctioned in the second phase of the event i.e. Rang Darpan. The proceeds will be utilized for the welfare of underprivileged children.

Seminar On Making Schools Disabled Friendly

Deepalaya organized a seminar on "Making Schools Disabled Friendly" on 20th Dec. 2000, at Deepalaya Human Resource Centre . Principals from reputed public and government schools,representatives from National Council for Education & Training(NCERT),State Council For Education Research & Training ( SCERT), District Institute Of Education Technology (DIET) , NGO leaders and parents participated in this seminar and presented their view- points. They agreed to the fact that our schools are not friendly to the disabled, in fact, they discourage disabled children to join or continue their education. The buildings are so ill designed that they cannot even go to bathrooms on their own or visit the library. Children with crutches, and wheel chairs are the worst victims of this scenario.

Children from different schools also participated and shared their experiences. They were in tears while describing the ill-treatments they got in their schools. They suggested certain ways by which improvement in the overall environment can be achieved like sensitization of the other children, training of the teachers and taking necessary care while building a school. Echoes of the same opinion were heard in the presentations made by the principals, teachers and parents. A consensus emerged that some small steps can make a tremendous improvement in the existing situation so that these children can enjoy self-respect and join in and continue in the mainstream education with confidence. While concluding , Rtn. T.K. Mathew said that we have our process of change in schools so that each child of our society gets his due and the right kind of will is the only investment we have to make to achieve success.

Inauguration Of The Electronic & Electrical Centre

The concept of vocationalization of education found yet another expression with the inauguration of the Electronic and Electrical (repair and maintenance) Centre on Dec. 14, at Deepalaya School, Kalkaji Ext. The centres would be run in collaboration with Shramik Vidyapeeth. The centres were equipped with financial support from the German Embassy. The opening of these centres marks a milestone in Deepalaya's effort to reach vocational education to the underprivileged sections.

Dr. Jagdish Mukhi, MLA, Janakpuri who inaugurated these Centres, congratulated Deepalaya for giving a practical shape to child's future. He emphasized that government schools are as good as private schools and whatever deficiencies they have should be compensated by organizations like Deepalaya. He also distributed the certificates to the first batch of students who have successfully completed the basic course in computer education through the ET&T and Deepalaya collaboration. The occasion was also graced by Mr. Mehlig, Second Secretary, Economic Cooperation, German Embassy, Dr. Chabra, Director, Shramik Vidyapeeth, and Mr. .Vikram Kapur, Director, ET&T.

Juniper's Support to Deepalaya

Juniper Networks Foundation Fund (JNFF), the charity arm of the fast-growing Juniper Networks Inc., USA, gave its first international donation of US$75,000 to Deepalaya on December 21, 2000.

Jacqueline Lundquist, wife of the US Ambassador, handed over the cheque to Deepalaya on behalf of JNFF. Out of the $ 75,000 donated by JNFF, $ 25,000 will go towards subsidizing education for 20 underprivileged children studying at the school and $ 50,000 towards the Deepalaya School building project enabling us to complete the school structure. Speaking on the occasion, Madam Lundquist recalled her reaction when she heard that the Juniper Foundation had selected Deepalaya for its first international donation. "I had tears in my eyes out of sheer joy. I had been to the Deepalaya School earlier and had spent a wonderful time there." Also present on the occasion were Mr.Wayne Merrick, Regional Director Sales, Juniper Networks Inc. (Asia Pacific), and Ms.Hali Tsang, the Asia Representative for JNFF."This is the first donation Juniper Network Foundation Fund has made outside the United States", said Mr.Merrick.

Deepalaya Award For Child Rights

Ms. Sakuntala Narasimhan, a freelance journalist from Bangalore has become the second recipient of the Deepalaya Award for Child Rights on 14th November 2000. The award was presented by Mr Arun Jaitley, Hon'ble Minister for Law & Justice. The Award consists of a cash prize of Rs 21,000, a citation and the Deepalaya Trophy. Ms. Narasimhan has been selected for her consistent effort in promoting Child Rights, especially the issues of Girl Child through her writings.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Arun Jaitley said that legislation now requires translation into action for the ambit of Child Rights. He asked journalists to write more on sexual crimes against children, specially the girl child. He congratulated Ms. Narsimhan for bringing the real facts into her writing. He praised Deepalaya for its programme and activities and also expressed a keen desire to be associated with Deepalaya. Mr. Jaitley also released the Souvenir marking the 21 years of Deepalaya's existence.

Mr. T. K. Mathew, Secretary & Chief Executive of Deepalaya, in his welcome address said that the 1973 Education Act actually has been dampening the efforts of Deepalaya. He added that this law is discriminatory and anti-poor. He requested the government to be more flexible in its laws so that organizations like Deepalaya can benefit.

The first Deepalaya Best Worker Award was also given away on this occasion to Ms.Sunita Raj , a grassroot- level worker working with Deepalaya For 11 years. The award is a step forward to strengthen the Human Resource in Deepalaya.

The annual event, Abhinaya, making friends through drama, was also held on this occasion. Children from Akshay Pratishthan, The Enabling Centre-Lady Irwin College, Somerville Viklang Prathmik Shiksha Kendra, National Association for the Blind and Deepalaya, presented a touching cultural programme proving to the world That they are not disabled but differently abled.

The occasion also registered the presence of Mr. Pawan K. Verma, Diplomat & Author, Ms. Rashmi Paliwal, Coordinator, Disha, Mr. George Abraham, Director, SCORE & Mr. Simon Bell, Principal, A. T. Kearney.

14th November, a day of events for Deepalaya registered one more great occasion when the team of Flying Socks, of Explore 21, a group essentially comprising employees of Lufthansa Airlines and partners, extended its donation support of Rs, 133,731 to Deepalaya. This amount is to be used for the upliftment and education and would go toward perpetual sponsorship of five students of Deepalaya School. This group believes that the amount will help these children to grow up as sincere and successful persons as lotus grows in the ponds.

Health Camps In West Delhi

Health Camps sponsored by Punjab National Bank were held in the month of December, 2000. Mr. V. K. Gupta Manager, PNB (Kirti Nagar Branch), inaugurated these camps. Residents of Chunabhati and Nehru Camps in Kirti Nagar and Sonia Camp in Naraina Industrial Area benefited from the camps.Apart from catering to the health needs of the residents, the camps organized by Deepalaya also initiated a health awareness drive to ensure personal health and hygiene. A total of 778 patients received advice and medication.

For Ishwari Devi, a 16- year old working as a domestic help in Janakpuri, life had not been smooth. Despite suffering from Rheumatic Heart Disease (Mitral Stenosis),she had to help her mother in the daily rounds of work from one house to another. Result she would feel giddy and exhausted. There was not enough blood pumped into the system to help her keep up with the hectic pace. She frequently fell sick and often remained away from work. Many employees withdrew her services, further adding to the problems of the family.

One of her kind employees, Mr. Narula of A-3, Janakpuri, took her to AIIMS for a check up. Doctors suggested a Valve replacement and estimated an expense of Rs, 91,500. It was as if the world came crashing on Ishwari and her family. They knew they could not manage this amount ever in her life. The young girl often thought of ending her life........ and the misery the family faced.A chance meeting with a Deepalaya employee brought a ray of hope. Her case was considered by the organization, valuable support was received from donors and Ishwari was successfully operated upon 2nd Aug. 2000.

Deepalaya wishes all the best to Ishwari and her family.

Opportunities With New Friend

Noida based franchises unit of Mighty Mouse, a well known Computer Training Institute, has agreed to extend its training support in computers to Deepalaya. At present two Deepalaya SE's Rajkumar Sharma and Rajiv Kumar Shamra, working in the East Delhi Project, are getting the training for elementary course in computers such as DOS, Window, MS Office, Internet, etc. This training is for two months that includes 20 classes.

This friendship promises to explore more opportunities for supporting the cause of the underprivileged.

Thank you Mighty Mouse.

Congratulations!

In a recently held painting competition at India Habitat Centre organized by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Deepalaya students brought cheers to the organization by winning prizes. Renu of class 7th won the second prize, and Amit of class 8th won the consolation prize. In another Painting Competition at Nehru Bal Samiti, Deepalaya students showed there mightBy winning the second and third prizes. Meera of class 3rd won the second prize, and Ashish of class won the third prize. Supporters of Newspaper Collection Project, another effort in mobilizing indigenous fund, is now a reality. Thanks to Alstom Power India Limited, American Embassy School, Contract Advertising India Ltd., Summer fields School, Sumermal Jain Public School, Meera Model School, McCann Public Relations, St. Marks School, News and features Assemblage, etc.. This support and cooperation will surely strengthen Deepalaya's commitment to restore childhood.

 

Award

Global CSR Excellence & Leadership award presented by ABP News to Deepalaya