- A New Horizon in Education
- Wings Wide Spread
- Strengthening the Bond
- Annual Day Celebrations
- Alumni in the Spotlight
- Letter to the Editor
A New Horizon in Education
Children enjoying the ride on the bus. Also seen are Ms. Liana Hoornweg and Rtn. T. K Mathew
May 29th, 2006 ushered in a new beginning at Deepalaya - a beginning with which education will reach working children who may otherwise not have access to school. With the support of the Edukans Foundation, Netherlands, a Mobile School was dedicated to the children residing in the slums around Shalimar Bagh and working in the industrial establishments around.
Present on the occasion were Ms. Liana Hoornweg from Edukans Foundation, Ms. Veronica George ( Sesame Street), Mr. Mukesh Sharma, the designer of the bus, members of Shalimar Bagh Welfare Society, children from the nearby slums, staff and Board members of Deepalaya. Appreciating the initiative Ms.Hoornweg said that the Mobile School will take education to the doorsteps of the children who are forced to work.
The forty-two seater bus has been specially fabricated and converted into a classroom, equipped with folding seats, a TV, a computer, a library and facilities for storing water. The bus can cater to forty children at a time.
Commencing July 2006 the bus will travel to four locations - Mongolpuri, Wazirpur, Azadpur and Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar in N.W. Delhi– areas with a high incidence of working children. The children will be enrolled in the Open Basic Certification Program and classes imparted twice a week. The curriculum will focus on the overall development of the child - emotional, social, academic and vocational (at the Deepalaya Technical Institute). Interaction with employers will also be encouraged to enable them to participate in this rehabilitation process.
`Going to school in a bus will be great fun. There will be TV shows too!` said a visibly excited Brijesh. The children enjoyed a short ride on the bus. They also presented a skit entitled `Jadu Ka Brush` (Magical Brush). This was based on a Chinese story in which the main character achieves his dreams with the help of a magical brush. The play compared `Education` to that magical brush and put across the message that education is essential for children to fulfill all their goals. The performance was appreciated by all.
What could be a better utilization of the Modern Information Technology than to make it a resource and means of education for the underprivileged?
With the support of Motorola Inc, Deepalaya is all set to add this innovating method of teaching through establishing E-Learning Centres, at its four formal schools in Delhi (located at Okhla Phase I and II, Kalkaji Extension and Khirkee Village).
Deepalaya School, Kalkaji Extension will be the Nodal Centre where the set-up is established. The other three schools, the recipients will be linked to the Nodal Centre with a unique broadband wireless technology. Thus, the teachings of the Nodal School will reach students at the recipient schools. Thanks to the sophisticated multimedia system, students will see and hear what the teacher at the Nodal school is lecturing on and writing on the board and vice-a-versa.
Charity begins at home..at Deepalaya
`Be the change you want to see`, said Mahatma Gandhi. Deepalaya envisions seeing love, compassion and respect for the marginalized. And so, our employees have taken one more initiative to re-enforce their dedication to the cause - in the form of Pay Role Giving (PRG).
Starting April 2006, our employees can now donate regularly direct from their monthly pay cheque. Already, a total amount of Rs. 8467/pm- has been pledged by 187 employees from all the project locations. Such ever-growing commitment within the organization has strengthened Deepalaya’s belief in its vision and made it even more confident of realising its mission. For sure, charity begins at home. And we are proud of it indeed.
Nothing but a glass of chilled water can do the magic in summers. Thanks to British School, New Delhi, girls of Transit Home at Deepalaya Gram (Haryana) can enjoy glasses of refreshing water to relieve the scorching heat. In June’06 the school donated a 260 litre Samsung Refrigerator worth Rs. 14,850 to the Transit Home, with money collected by their students.
American Embassy School, New Delhi, also strengthened the bond of support when recently the Parents School Association (PSA) of the School donated a sum of Rs. 30,000/- to Deepalaya. The money will be used to purchase twenty four blackboards for the Deepalaya Schools.
We would like to thank our young friends from the British School and PSA for their inspiring contributions.
Jackey, Captain Red House receiving the trophy from Mr. Y Chackochan, Deepalaya Board Member
Deepalaya School Gusbethi (Haryana) celebrated its 7th Annual Day in April’06. The function was presided over by Mr. Vijay Kr. Aggarwal, Manager, Syndicate Bank, Tavru Block. Other guests included parents, well wishers, donors/sponsors and NGO partners apart from Deepalaya staff and Board Members. The School caters to the villages in rural Mewat as well as to the children who have been rehabilitated off the streets and other vulnerable conditions.
The program commenced with a Saraswati Vandana and included traditional as well as western dances, songs, a mimicry performance by Hostel warden Rajesh Babu and a skit - ‘Curses of Unemployment’. The main attraction of the day was the play `Kanha and Yashodha` based on Lord Krishna’s Bal Lila (childish pranks).
On this occasion, various trophies and awards were also given away to children for their outstanding performances. The Ever Rolling Trophies instituted for top performance in cultural and sports events were bagged by the various Houses. The Red House bagged the first prize instituted by Mr. Y. Chackochan in the memory of late Ms. & Mr. C. Yohannan Kutty. The Yellow House won the second prize instituted by Ms. Reshmi Verma in the memory of late Ms. Rajni Verma. The Green House stood third and won the trophy instituted by Ms. Praveen Horo Singh in the memory of late
Mr. Samuel Horo.
Ruqsar and Rekha of class III won the Smt. Rajni Verma Memorial Award for all round academic excellence. The criteria for selecting the awardees are based on their academic performance, participation in extra curricular activities, personal hygiene, regularity and punctuality. The girls received a cash prize of Rs. 250 each and also gifts worth Rs. 250.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Aggarwal, compared the children to the drops in the ocean. “My wish is that Deepalaya should become the largest ocean, that is home and alma-mater to all those children deprived of their rights.”
Children of Deepalaya are now pen-friends with the students from Castor Primary School, Peterborough, UK. Ms. Sian Higgins, a parent at Castor brought the two groups in touch (see Letter to Editor).
Students of Grade III to VI at Castor would be interacting with their peers at Deepalaya. Exchange of letters, photographs, etc. would help the two groups learn more about each others country and cultures and will open up a new world to discover. In addition, the school faculty will also share and learn innovative teaching methodologies. For Deepalaya, it means another leap in merging the marginalized with the mainstream.
The first batch of introductory letters has been sent from Castor School. Our students are enthusiastically writing to their friends across the seas…breaking all boundaries and creating new hopes.
Five students from Deepalaya School, Kalkaji Extension, have secured admission in the Nursing Training Program at various institutions.
Chandni and Suman (both Xth pass) have enrolled in the one and half year long Multi Purpose Health Worker training programme of SOS Nursing School at Anangpur (Haryana). Sumanlata, Asha and Mamta (who have completed their XIIth grade) have been selected for the two-year certificate course in Auxiliary Nurse Midwifery (ANM) at Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
The training is being sponsored by the Dewan Foundation UK. We thank Mr. Ramesh Dewan for this support and also congratulate the young Florence Nightingales.
Jute bags, beaded necklaces, embroidered cushion covers and table cloth, attractive painted pots, wall hangings, greetings cards..... the list is endless. Deepalays students have made the most of the summer vacations - producing these beautiful artifacts. “We look forward to the summer vacations as we learn various crafts as well as music and dance,” says fourteen year old Komal from Sanjay Colony. Please do visit the schools to see the talent our children have.
In April `06, students from the Deepalaya Special Education Centres participated in various competitions.
Prerna Niketan Sangh, an NGO working with the physically challenged, organized a special Residential Camp at their Dwarka Centre. The camp was full of fun, adventure, new experiences and friendships.
Rinku, Rashida, Tikaram and Rajkumar (all polio-affected children) attended the eleven day camp. It was a joyous experience indeed. They also made friends with participants from other organizations. Various activities and games were included in the camp apart from special classes on painting, craft work, music and theatre. Religious discourses on the Bhagavad Gita, meditation were some of the other activities.
On 21st April, Keshav, Saral, Babita and Vinod participated in the Spelling Bee Competition, organized by Very Special Arts. Keshav stood first in the Middle Age Group category. The other participants were also felicitated with a certificate.
Eleven children took part in the Annual Day celebrations of Akshay Pratisthan, a Delhi based partner NGO. They performed to the title track from the famous movie Rang-De-Basanti. Their dynamic performance in the patriotic dance number received a thundering applause from the audience.
In all the above the children proved that “where there is a will, there is a way.”
Forty Deepalaya students participated in the International Museum Day celebrations organised by UNICEF. On this occasion a Painting competition was organized at the Red Fort in New Delhi.
The theme for the competition was based on their observations around the Fort.
Four students from Deepalaya School Sanjay Colony, bagged prizes in the Senior and Junior categories. Mamta of Class VI won the First prize for her lively scenery showing river, mountain, trees and hut. Komal, Vishwa and Bandana got the consolation prizes.
. “I am Mithu Roy, working as a teacher at Deepalaya School, Sanjay Colony. I have been able to explore my identity as an independent woman only because of the support from Deepalaya, where I studied till the eighth standard and then completed my education from a Government School. After graduating from Delhi University, I am now pursuing a PG Diploma in Nursery Primary Teacher Training (NPTT).
I come from a family of five. My father sells fish and my mother is a housewife. My elder sister is married and is working. My elder brother works in a computer firm. Overcoming the financial constraints, today we are independent and established due to help from Deepalaya. My parents always wanted to provide us good English Medium education but financial constraints prevented them from pursuing their dreams. At this juncture Deepalaya stepped in, where we received affordable, quality education.
Student days at Deepalaya meant fun – there was a stress on academics along with encouragement to take part in all kinds of extra curricular activities, which gave me a lot of confidence. I shall always cherish the loving care and guidance I received from everyone. Now as a teacher I try to extend the same to all my students.
I had always wanted to be a teacher and when Deepalaya gave me the chance, I did not miss it. Deepalaya built my foundation and today I can use my skill to motivate more and more children to explore themselves. I thank Deepalaya for giving me this chance.
`It was a pleasure visiting the Deepalaya School, Sanjay Colony, in March`06. It has been a wonderful experience to meet the school staff and the children.
Your school successfully brings hope and meaning to the lives of economically and socially deprived, the physically and mentally challenged children and their families and communities. We are really impressed by the dedication and hard work of the teachers. It will be our honor if we can develop a partnership between Deepalaya and Castor Primary School in the United Kingdom. We are looking forward to be a part of Deepalaya’s mission of creating a society in which all are self-reliant.`
Sian Higgins and Lause Timmins
The Leprosy Mission,
England and Wales