New Delhi, Volume XV No. 2, April - June 2007

Children Pledge To Make Delhi Green

Delhi Chief’s Minister, Smt. Sheila Dikshit, joins our children

on Environment Day



In June ‘07 Deepalaya children participated in the World Environment Day exhibition inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dikshit at ITC Maurya, New Delhi. The inaugural of ‘Welcome Environ Expo’ also marked the plantation of saplings by the children of Deepalaya along the ridge in the heart of the city.

Children undertook a 3 km trek, with the objective of telling Delhites that it was their responsibility to treasure the city’s natural resources and promote forestation as the forest cover across theglobe is fast depleting. The Exhibition displayed stalls of various organizations working for the cause of environment and allied subjects. The rainwater-harvesting plan by ITC Maurya in its vicinity was also displayed. Smt. Sheila Dikshit appreciated the concern shown by the children of Deepalya about the environmental issues and posed for a picture with them. Needless to add, the children learnt much through this hands-on experience.

Girls find safe haven at Gusbethi

On 30th April’07, the Deepalaya Girls Hostel located at Deepalaya Gram Haryana) was formally inaugurated. Present on the occasion were Ms. Fazia Tewarie (Foundation India Run, Netherlands) and family, Shri C R Rana, District Commissioner (Gurgaon), Mr. Hardeep Singh Doon, Superintendent of Police, 82 representatives from Edukans, a Netherlands based funding partner, Mr. Sukhbir Jaunapuria, local MLA, friends and well wishers, Board members and staff of Deepalaya.

The Hostel has been constructed with the financial support of the Japanese Embassy (Ground Floor) and the Foundation India Run (Ist Floor). Ms. Tewarie and a group of ladies from Hilversum (Netherlands) completed a challenging relay cycling over a distance of 2500 km, crossing Sweden, Denmark and Germany. The Run raised a whooping 80000 Euros, which supported the construction. The Hostel reaches to girl children off the streets, of drug addicts, HIV +ve parents and from other vulnerable conditions. The age group catered to is 04-14 years. Apart from the emotional and social rehabilitation, the focus is also on the academic and vocational rehabilitation. With the facility available many girl children can be weaned away from falling into their parents footsteps.

Mr. A.J. Philip, President of Deepalaya, lights the lamp

Speaking on the occasion Mr.Rana, appreciated Deepalaya’s work. According to him,”Mewat is still living in 1981, which is almost 25 years back from other developed parts of our country. Schemes are no doubt formulated but either are partially executed or never at times’. He added, “There was a strong need for organizations like Deepalaya and wanted others to replicate Deepalaya moves in order to foster a self reliant and legitimate society”. He later announced a grant of Rs. 51,000 from Child Welfare Fund. Ms. Fazia was happy that the situation has changed now and the girls could feel safe with the opening of the hostel.

On this occasion, Deepalaya launched its Merit cum Means Scholarship program. This program shall award scholarship to meritorious students who are unable to pursue higher education because of financial constraints. Mr. Anand Swaroop Yadav, who is pursuing Bachelors Degree in IT from Madhav Institute of Science and Technology, Gwalior is the first recipient of the merit cum means loan. The gathering was oblivious to the soaring temperatures as the Deepalaya children presented a colorful cultural program.

Booking the Right Places

During a recent visit to New Delhi Mr. Thomas S. Shilen, SVP Global Reporting and Deputy Controller, Keith Cornelius, VP Corporate Controllership and Kevin Grant along with officials of AMEX Financial Centre East inaugurated the library at Deepalaya School, Sanjay Colony. Books worth Rupees 15,000 were donated on this occasion. These books spanned a wide spectrum designed to catch the interest and fancy of the children – there were encyclopedias, general knowledge books, story books like the tales of Panchatantra and picture books.

Mr. Thomas distinguished the efforts of Deepalaya as a ‘wonderful experience’. Mrs. Monideepa, Principal, said “We are very thankful to AMEX for their courtesy. The need of a library was long felt and now when it’s there children seem so eager and excited about it that it cannot be expressed.”. She further adds, “Such steps by corporates benefit the children largely.”

The AMEX team has been consistently supporting Deepalaya through various ways – it has built a playground for the children, donated warm clothes, taken the children on trips among other things.

Devouring diverse information

American Embassy Elementary School also has donated 200 books worth Rs. 84,000. The students found the books fascinating as they deal with a wide variety of interesting subjects. The above picture show our students lapping up the contents of the books.

Learning Before Teaching

Unless one is a good student, he or she can never hope to be a good teacher. And the more diverse the training of a teacher is, the better his or her teaching is bound to be. Keeping this in view the second Edukans Education program was organized for 72 teacher trainees from Netherlands in April 2007. The trainees and 12 teachers were teamed with students of Delhi’s three Teacher Training Institutes. The program began with a presentation of our education system right from historical times with special emphasis on marginalized children. The guests developed lesson plans and taught at five Deepalaya formal schools using teaching aids and play way method. Keen to learn the Indian living, they attended the wedding of a student’s elder sister. The group stayed at Transit Home, Gusbethi and experienced the rural way of life. They also visited the Taj Mahal. One of the trainees, Liehe Cohen, had this to say, "The exchange program was more than I ever expected. Thank You very much for making us feel so welcome. I enjoyed it very much and I am impressed with everything you do.”


Recent Projects

Being a leader in the field of education for the deprived children, Deepalaya also dons the mantle of capacity builder for the other NGOs. The UTI Foundation has extended support to the tune of Rs.1.26 crores to Deepalaya’s project on capacity building of smaller NGOs. This will be operational from July 2007 in the slums, resettlement colonies of West Delhi for a period of three years.

Art Venture, a Singapore based organization, financially supporting development initiatives through the arts, has approved a grant of USD 21,267 for implementing the program “Education on wheels restoring childhood to educating street and working children in Delhi – an alternative”. The project will involve a number of areas of learning ranging from art & craft to soft skill development. The project will be implemented in the North and North West Delhi.

Lending a helping hand

Deepalaya has been receiving appeals from various quarters for providing emergency medical aid. Two such cases in which we intervened are detailed below.

The Handicapped Childrens’ Rehabiliatation Association had sent an appeal for helping baby Anna Maria Wilson (10 ½ months) who had to undergo a heart operation. Deepalaya responded by donating Rs. 10,000/-. After a successful operation the child is doing fine now.

Sixteen-year-old Sanya Singh of Kanpur met with an accident that rendered her immobile. Her mother, Mrs. Tripti Singh, sold most of her belongings to save Sanya. In desperation she offered her organs for sale. The story was picked up by Aaj Tak, a leading news channel. Rtn T K Mathew, who was part of the panel which discussed possible ways to save Sanya, committed a sum of Rs. One lakh which has since been disbursed. Deepalaya wishes to place on record its gratitude to donors who responded to its appeal for funds.


Sharpening Speaking Skills

Is being articulate and expressive an important requirement of modern world? The answer is definitely YES and it was demonstrated by Deepalaya students in a recently held Declamation Contest sponsored by Accenture, Corporate Partner. Open to students from middle and senior school, the contest provided a platform to enable students master the art of public speaking. 14 students participated. The topics for the contest were (i) School is more fun than working for money (ii) Teachers prepare us better for life (iii) Life is fun with education.

The students were judged on the basis of depth of knowledge, style of delivery and the logic of arguement. All the participants did well and according to the judges it was difficult selecting the winners. In the Senior Group, Rajni, Neha and Renuka (all from Kalkaji Extension) and in the middle group, Neelam, Mukesh (DSKE) and Mamta (DSSC) won the first, second and third prizes respectively.

Advocating against Child Labour

Deepalaya organized a meeting advocating the Prevention of Child Labour on May 25th, 2007. Representatives from various NGOs participated and shared their views. Four children who were rescued by Deepalaya narrated their experiences. The meeting ended on an optimistic note that more can be done by all concerned to prevent child labour.

Vrooming for a good cause

On 24th June ‘07, xBhp, an Indian Bikers’ Association celebrated its fourth birthday anniversary by taking out a rally in New Delhi. Each member decided to donate to Deepalaya an amount equivalent to the braking horse power of their bikes. Thus 40 xBhpians collected a sum of Rs. 8,600. With this money eight-year-old Ritika’s education is being sponsored. Ritika who is studying in Class IV at Deepalaya School, Kalkaji Extn. aspires to become a nurse so that she can take care of the health needs of the members of xBhp.

The members are happy that they contributed to a cause which is socially relevant. They hope that this will set an example for others to follow.

Letter to the Editor

This is what the judges of the recently held Declamation Contest sponsored by Accenture had to say:

Mrs. Ruma Sharma (Artist and a donor)

It was a wonderful feeling to be with Deepalaya family. I wish to come frequently to your school so that I can develop a strong bond between you and me. My heartiest gratitude to all the teachers, Principal, organisers and well-wishers whose efforts turned this virgin place into a heaven.

Your commitment and faith towards your study and further upliftment of society is unconventional. May Almighty bless you and nurture your

Taroona Sharma

Visiting Deepalaya has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. The talented children along with the teachers are praiseworthy. They evoke in you a positive emotion of never to give up your dreams in life despite of the most adverse circumstances you might encounter. The activities carried at the institute were great fun. Some great minds and orators are getting prepared to make their mark in world.

Alumni in the Spotlight

I am Vikas Chander, born in a slum cluster in Sanjay Colony. My father was a low ranking employee in the Railways. Hence his income was insufficient to make both ends meet. However, my parents were keen to give my sister and me good education that would ultimately make us selfreliant. Till Class III, I studied in a private school. I had to leave it as the fees were high and my parents found it unaffordable.

Around this time my father came to know about Deepalaya and enrolled us in Deepalaya School, Sanjay Colony. I studied there till Class VIII after which I moved to Deepalaya School, Kalkaji Extension to complete my XII.

While Deepalaya taught me many things among which I pride selfconfidence, fluency in English and cultivation of good manners. The qualities, which I had learnt from my school, helped me get a job in Ebony, South Extension. I am pursuing my final year of graduation and also doing a computer course from NIIT. Currently, I am working in Van Heusen in Noida as customer care associate. I am the team leader there. I would like to thank Deepalaya and the teachers who instilled confidence in me and gave meaning to my life.



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