New Delhi - July - September 2001
Deepalaya Introduces 'Adopt-a-School'
Deepalaya introduces a new scheme to support its schools: 'Adopt-a-School'. This will bring more continuity in the support of children that attend our schools. Until now we only had individual sponsorships, but these do not cover all the children. Besides that, the turnover of children is quite large because their families often move in search of better job opportunities. Adopt-a-School secures that Deepalaya Schools become more self-reliant.
Deepalaya is working for children of migrant parents who have settled in Delhi slums. These migrants usually work on daily wages and live near places where they have job opportunities: factories, small industries, godowns, etc. If job opportunities decrease, they move to other areas where there are more chances of work.
If parents move, their children have to move as well. It happens regularly that a child attending one of our schools or educational projects, quits because its family moves out of the slum. Our supporters that have taken up the sponsorship of that particular child are confronted with the fact that 'their' child is no longer in Deepalaya's care. That causes disappointment because they had built up an affectionate relationship with the child.
Adopt-a-School prevents disappointment. It brings about joy and support for many children. Many of our sponsor parents have already changed to the new scheme.
Adopt-a-School starts in 5 schools in South Delhi: Gole Kuan School, Sanjay Colony School (the formal school and the non-formal educational projects), Kalkaji Extension School and Ramditti JR Narang Deepalaya School. For more information, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deepalaya Cooperates With Sterlite
On Friday 6th of July, the Sterlite computer education centre at Deepalaya's office in Tavru (Haryana) was inaugurated. Dr. Jagdish Mukhi, Opposition Leader of the Delhi Assembly, was the guest of honour. The education centre aims at youths from lower income groups. They can take part in a computer course for only 100 rupees a month.
Tavru is one of the main towns of the Mewat region, a backward area just across the state border of Haryana, at 60 kilometers from Delhi. The central office of Deepalaya's Mewat Rural Development Project is based in Tavru. From here, 53 villages in the surrounding area are targeted with different projects to improve living conditions of the rural communities.
Sterlite Foundation is a Mumbai based non-profit organisation. The aim of the foundation is to provide quality computer education to underprivileged youth, thus enhancing their employment opportunities. Today, there are some 300 Sterlite education centres all over India. Over 50,000 students have been trained in the nine years of the foundation's existence.
Sterlite is more and more co-operating with NGOs, because they often work for the same target group and know exactly where the needs are. That's why Sterlite has come to Deepalaya.
Film Festival Benefits Deepalaya
Thousands of school children from all over Delhi visited the free film festival "HT PACE Movie Bytes 2001". The Hindustan Times' foundation Partnerships for Action in Education (PACE) initiated the festival. From 16 to 31 July, children from dozens of Delhi schools could watch famous films in five film theatres.
The festival was not all fun and games - the event also spread awareness about Deepalaya among the young Delhiites. At the close of the festival, the organising company IMS gave a generous donation to Deepalaya worth Rs 1.75 lakh (approximately $ 3,700).
Performance For Medics
On the 7th of September, Deepalaya got the opportunity to reach out to the community of scientists and academics of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the premier medical institute of the country. The Society of Young Scientists from AIIMS celebrated its 27th Annual Day and children of Deepalaya schools presented a colourful cultural programme.
Abhinaya Samuh, one of Deepalaya's street theatre groups which is comprised of youths from our project areas, staged the play "Lautke Budhu Gharko Aaye" (When the Fool Returns Home). This play was a warning against the various distractions the youth of today face. The audience remained spellbound throughout the performances, and then the auditorium thundered with applause.
"The young actors were so very spontaneous and bright; it was hard to believe that they were not professionals", says Ms. Shalini Mukherjee, secretary of the Society of Young Scientists. "Requesting Deepalaya to perform was the right choice. The programme put up by the children was definitely the main attraction of the evening. We wish all of them the best in their academic and creative pursuits and also look forward to more such interactions with them!"
On August 15, 1947 India gained Independence. All over the country this occasion is celebrated every year. The Deepalaya Schools celebrated Independence Day on 14th August. They organised special cultural programmes to commemorate the 54th anniversary of Independence.
Many children who live in the slums do not go on summer holiday like their privileged counterparts. They either go to their native village to help their relatives with harvesting, or they stay at home.
During the break in the hot summer months, there were no curricular lessons at the Deepalaya schools. But all the schools organised summer activities. At the Deepalaya Schools in South Delhi, the children could take part in activities like music, dance, art, special English classes and computer classes. And they enjoyed it!
In the East Delhi Project, 55 children took part in a summer vacation programme organised by Sahitya Kala Parishad, an institute of Delhi Government. They participated in a seven days theatre workshop and produced a play called "Main Duba Jag Duba" (If I Drown, the World Drowns). The play was staged on 22 June at the Shri Ram Centre in New Delhi and later on broadcast by the national TV channel Doordashan.
Children Teach Adults
Class XI Students of Mira Model School Janakpuri (West Delhi) have taken up their role in the Delhi programme of the National Literacy Mission. The slogan of the program is "Each One Teach One" and the students have put this slogan into practice in the slums of Delhi Cantonment (West Delhi), a community where Deepalaya is operating. Each student teaches one illiterate person from this community. The learners go to Mira Model School three times a week and spend 1.5 hour with their young teachers.
"At Deepalaya we are able to get a focused group who can 'learn' from this partnership and be more functionally independent", says Ms Sadhne Bhalla, principal of the school. Ms Santara Devi, one of the learners: "These children take time out to teach us. That means we are very important for them. With their enthusiasm, I and my neighbours are really keen to learn."
Deepalaya's 30 second commercial has been awarded. Mr. T.K. Mathew, Secretary and Chief-Executive of Deepalaya, received the IFCW WorldForum 2001 Award (in the category of advertising) at the International Forum for Child Welfare. This forum was held in Ireland in the first week of September. The jury selected the commercial "in recognition of its engaging, troubling and powerful presentation of a child cleverly adapting to the requirements imposed by the denial of one of the most fundamental child rights - the right to an adequate standard of living".
Tubewell For Gusbethi
Concern India Foundation, an Indian non-profit charitable trust, has funded the tubewell project in Deepalaya's Rural Development Programme. This programme comprises 53 villages in the backward Mewat region of the State of Haryana. One of these villages is Gusbethi.
Deepalaya has initiated a pilot project in Gusbethi to cultivate tapioca and extend it to farmers in the area. Tapioca needs copious watering, which is only possible by boring a tubewell. Deepalaya has introduced tapioca, an important cash crop in South India, for its high carbohydrate value, which could mean an important addition to the local Mewat diet. Besides that, it has a commercial value because of potential markets in Delhi and neighbouring states.
Say Yes To Jute!
The slogan "Say no to plastic bags!" has become well known throughout Delhi. Very gradually, more people decline the plastic bags they are offered in shops and on the bazaar, and take their own cotton bag.
Deepalaya has added a new choice in the environment-friendly bags: jute. With a grant from the Ministry of Environment, Deepalaya has started a jute bag project. It is an income-generation project for women collectives in the slums, who design, stitch and sell the jute bags. Deepalaya will give its assistance in the start-up phase, but eventually the women have to manage the production and marketing of the bags by themselves.
Deepalaya has established a Memorandum of Understanding with Citibank. From now on, donations to Deepalaya can be made through credit card. All Master Cards, Visa Cards and Diners Cards are accepted. For further detail write to email@example.com or call (011) 5512908.
New Greeting Cards
The new range of Greeting Cards for this festive season is available. This year Deepalaya brings you 48 different designs. The designs are reproductions of works by eminent contemporary Indian artists and photographers. Among them are renowned names like Sanjay Bhattacharya, Rajeev Lochan, Avinash Pasricha, Niladri Paul and Bulbul Sharma. On top of that, there are two delightful designs made by children from Deepalaya schools.
The range of cards includes Lord Ganesha in 12 different forms, beautiful landscapes, romantic impressions of medieval forts and temples, typical city scenes, floral and tribal designs. The cards can be used for Diwali, Christmas and New Year. The inside of the cards are either blank or have "Season's Greetings" printed in it. It is also possible to have your own message, company name and logo printed.
The price per card is only 6 rupees. Discounts are possible for bulk purchase. Call Deepalaya for a free catalogue: (011) 5512908, 5590347, 5548263.