2004-4

New Delhi - October - December 2004

REACHing Further

In September 2004, another feather was added to Deepalaya’s cap. REACH India/USAID approved a project to build the cpacity of non-governmental organisations educating children. Under the programme, Deepalaya will work with six NGOs in different parts of Delhi. Our role will be to facilitate the identification, enrolment and mainstreaming of ‘out-of-school children’ in their respective locations.

According to a survey conducted by the Directorate of Education, Delhi (August 2003), there are over one lakh (100,000) children in the age group of 6 to 14 years who are out of school. The goal is to mainstream at least three thousand of them by August 2007.

In March 2004, REACH India called in applications from NGO’s in Delhi. Over the past 25 years, Deepalaya has gained considerable grassroots expertise in educating under- privileged children. Hence we thought it fit to bid for being a capacity building as opposed to an implementing NGO. Deepalaya underwent a rigorous selection process, involving participation in several meetings and several revisions of its proposal. Thanks to the credentials and commitment of Deepalaya, we have been selected out of about 30 NGOs which were being considered by REACH India.

The proposal involves a budget of Rs.1.72 crores for a period of 35 months from October 2004 to August 2007. 77% of this amount is for supporting the NGO’s identified by Deepalaya and approved by REACH India. The rest is to meet the cost of the various capacity building programmes and the costs of monitoring, guiding and evaluating the programmes run by the identified NGO’s.

 

Deepalaya has short-listed six NGOs currently under consideration by REACH India. Once selected, each of these organisations will be expected to identify, enroll and mainstream at least 500 out-of- school children by August 2007. In order to enable them to accomplish this, Deepalaya will not only administer the required financial support but also render assistance through various capacity building programmes designed to impart or enhance skills in identifying, educating and mainstreaming underprivileged children as well as ensure sustainability of such a programme. Constant counseling and guidance will be an important component of the capacity building support. Deepalaya will, no doubt, be the “friend, philosopher and guide” to these NGOs. In this process, we will reach even those children who are beyond our reach.

 

Bitten by the Bug

Preventive health is one of Deepalaya’s major concerns. But THIS was one fever we were not able to save our children from. And the attack was quite severe. It did not confine them to bed, it sent them running to the field…. the cricket field!! Yes, it was the CRICKET FEVER which had them in their grip.

In November, the Charities Aid Foundation coordinated a cricket match aptly named ‘A Different Pitch’. The event was sponsored by Hughes Escorts Communications, Coca Cola and Domino’s Pizza in collaboration with indianngos.com. and the agenda was fundraising in a funfilled atmosphere.

The teams involved representatives from the corporate world and the media. Indianngos.com recommended Deepalaya as one of the beneficiary NGO’s. The audience comprising children and staff from the organiations left no stone unturned in cheering their respective teams.

Deepalaya’s team, Media XI, won and raised Rs. 21,000/- .
Thank you indianngos.com and CAF for this innovative and exciting opportunity.

In December, the Deepalaya team from the Gole Kuan project played against Ballarpur Industries Ltd. The match was coordinated by Youthreach. We did not win this match but we bowled the opponents over with our team spirit and enthusiasm! According to Mr Chiranjeev Singh, General Manager BILT “the cricket match represented a platform for the Deepalaya children to showcase their playing skills and prowess. Matches like these will challenge our employees to do more for society in many other areas they can contribute to”.

Alumni In The Spotlight

I am Rajesh (20), working as a sales executive with Times Multimedia. I am also pursuing a degree through correspondence at Delhi University. My father works as a gardener and my mother is a housewife. My elder brother works in a callcentre and my younger sister is in college.

We have all studied at Deepalaya, which is what has helped us get to where we are today. It is the guidance and encouragement that my teachers gave me which led me to take up this job. I remember how my principal and teachers pushed us to speak in English. The equal stress on extra-curricular activities is perhaps what I enjoyed the most. And it helped build our confidence.

And the most treasured moment of my life happened thanks to Deepalaya - a meeting with the President of India H.E. Dr. A.P.J. Kalam!

I am thankful to Deepalaya and my sponsor parent Mr M. L. Dewan for giving me a firm foundation in life. May many more needy children benefit from your support.

The Foundation Children of Tommorrow, Netherlands made a very generous contribution of a 22-seater bus, specially designed for our very special children. Fitted with a manual lift, the bus is easy for children with physical disabilities to board. With access to this facility, many of our disabled children are now much more mobile and enjoy an easier ride to school and many other places. An easy-to-board bus means an easy-to-go-places lifestyle!

A Pat on the Back

In November 2004, Goyela village (in the Mewat district of rural Haryana) was declared an 'Ideal Village'. The selection was based on a wide range of criteria including the functioning of the panchayat, (local administration unit) the provision of water and electricity, the condition of roads, the level of sanitation in the village, the state of agriculture, and income and cooperation levels of villagers. Deepalaya has been recognised for contributing to the development of the village and its inhabitants.

An eight year long project focussing on training women's self-help groups in Mewat also came to an end in December 2004. When officials of the Haryana Government, the sponsors of the project, visited the villages to see the activities undertaken by Deepalaya, their representatives said they "were simply impressed". They were happy to see that the project had reached sustainability and added: "the Commissioner has worked with a number of NGOs, but none like Deepalaya"! These recognitions further boost our spirits to reach out to many more such areas. It gives us much satisfaction to note that our efforts in Mewat are paying off. And the villages in which we have been working are indeed developing in the right direction.

Special Networking

Deepalaya is currently taking the initiative to form a grassroots level advocacy network for the ‘Rights of Disabled’. Although the Indian government has made legal provisions for equal opportunities through the PWD Act-95, the reality for people with disabilities remains dismal.

Far less than half of this population are participating in the labour force, much fewer when it comes to women. And accessibility to public places is nearly unheard of. Fortunately India has good advocacy networks at the national level, but is lacking the same at the grassroots level. This is where Deepalaya hopes to make a difference by building a network of grassroots NGOs working on these issues which can formulate joint plans of actions, generate resources and share expertise.

For the past seven years, Deepalaya has been actively participating in advocacy networks with community involvement in Delhi. We have now initiated similar actions in the states of Jharkand, Chattisgarh and Uttaranchal. This is happening in collaboration with NGO’s in the area. Over the next few years we shall be focussing on these efforts.

Talents Galore

In December ’04, students from Deepalaya School, Sanjay Colony participated in an NGO mela, organised by the YMCA.

They participated in many competitions and came out with flying colours! The first prize in Group Dance and the first and second prizes in Solo Dance,went to Deepalaya. The dance performances were highly appreciated for the maturity of their presentation and high standard.

The children also bagged the second and third prizes in the drawing competition. Well done dear children. We are proud of you!

Together in Grief

In light of the disaster which recently struck South Asia, Deepalaya employees have contributed a day's salary towards the tsunami relief work. The annual staff picnic was also called off and the funds earmarked for the same were pitched in. The most important contribution however came from the children who together raised Rs. 4,060/-!

In all Deepalaya made a total collection of Rs.1,12,156/-. Along with the cheque went a prayer to the Lord Almighty to give the afflicted all courage to bear with the loss and reconstruct their shattered lives.

Continued Support

The Associated Merchandising Corporation has been supporting Deepalaya’s girl child education programme over the last year. Initially committed for a year, they have now decided to continue their support for another year. Last year Deepalaya was one of the nine applicants selected for AMC’s first international grant. In response to our achievements and accountability, they are standing by us for another year.

Going, going GONE!

General Electronics (GE) Countrywide recently produced a calendar with the drawings of children from various NGOs. July and December pictures are by Deepalaya children - Meena and Komal from Sanjay Colony. Not only were the pictures selected for the calendar, but they were also auctioned at the launch of the calendar and sold for an astronomical sum of Rs. 1.5 lakh to the benefit of Deepalaya's projects. THANK YOU GE...we look forward to your encouraging support.

Facts of Life

"Kuch Khathi Meethi Baatein", a book on adolescent concerns, has been brought out by Deepalaya. The sixteen pager covers issues related to adolescence such as menstruation, masturbation, responsible sexual behaviour, RTI's and STI's. It also gives information on NGO's providing counselling services on reproductive health.

The book has been produced with the support of Positive Steps, an organisation committed to promoting adolescent wellbeing. This is a 'must read' for all passing through this crucial phase of life. To get a copy, please see contact details overleaf.

Successfully Placed!

For Dolly and Rabiya in South Delhi, the New Year rang in with hope. The two 18-year old students of the Special Unit have recently secured employment in the garment industry at a monthly salary of Rs. 2,000/-. Both girls received primary education as well as vocational training at Deepalaya.

Dolly who is hearing impaired has also been given hearing aids as well as a contribution of Rs. 20,000/- for the reconstruction of her home and family shop after a gas leak that occurred in June 2004. Rabiya is physically disabled. Now both the girls have a different future to look towards. Our best wishes continue to be with them. Deepalaya extends its sincere gratitude to IMC Garments for giving them this opportunity.

On the Run

16th January 2005 was a relaxing Sunday for most of us. But not for Mr T.K. Mathew, Secretary and CEO of Deepalaya. For on that day he participated in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon.

Registered as a 'Dream Team', Deepalaya had committed to raise at least one lakh to participate in the marathon. Mr Mathew, a dream fundraiser as well as a dream runner it turns out, raised a whopping eight lakh. And this will of course go towards rehabilitating many more street children. Three cheers for Mr Mathew and all the supporters who made this possible!

Did You Know...

Childline is a 24-hour phone service for children in need. Runaway children, children in difficulties or anyone who is witnessing a chid's abuse or harassment can call 1098 to receive help. If you see any child in distress don't hesitate to call. All calls will be connected to one of the nearest 5 NGO's each situated in North, West, South, Central and East Delhi who run Childline. This service is also available in other cities.

Letter To The Editor

In October 2004, I came to India to volunteer at Deepalaya. I started to teach English and Mathematics at the Deepalaya School in Kalkaji Extension. Through my ineractions with the children, I learnt Hindi and came to know about their backgrounds, needs and wishes. Despite their deprived backgrounds, they are eager to learn and are full of aspirations. I also support the older students in the school choir. Whenever there is time I teach the children songs as all of them yearn for unknown things to discover and learn.

Besides my work with the children I am involved in various other projects at Deepalaya. And the environment is so encouraging…even though I am just 19 years old, all staff members help me to make use of all my skills and listen to my ideas. And this is the same encouragement that the children are receiving. Their future is definitely in safe hands.

Through this association, I am also gaining precious experience for my studies at university. The feedback from the children and the people working in Deepalaya are always pushing me to do more. And that I will till I leave in a few months’ time.

Anna Mirjam auf dem Brinke- a student volunteer from Germany

 

 

Award

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