- What is the process of enrolling children in education?
- How many children do you select from a family for sponsorship?
- How do you use the sponsorship amount and what is the parents' responsibility?
- Why is there a difference in the amount of sponsorships of Indians and non-resident Indians / foreigners?
- Do the Sponsored Children correspond with their sponsor parents?
- Will the child come to know that I am sponsoring her/ him?
- Can I correspond with my sponsored child?
- I may sponsor a child. If I stop sponsorship after a few years will the parents of the child approach/ harass me? Do they know that I am the sponsor?
- Will I receive regular information about child's development/ activities?
- Can I send gift/ money to my sponsored children? Can I also send gifts for other children of my sponsored child's class/ school?
- Can a child be visited at school/ home? Can the child be taken to sponsors residence/ hotel?
- Is Deepalaya a Christian Organisation?
- Does Deepalaya in any manner help or other wise lend support of any kind in converting people to Christianity or preach the Christian religion?
- Do you have a record of the future plans/ current status of children who got their education through Deepalaya under the sponsorship scheme?
- I would like to know more about the sponsorship payment schemes. Are there sponsors who pay monthly a fixed amount?
- Does Deepalaya cater to orphans? What about handicapped children? Are they helped or not?
- Can I sponsor an orphan child?
- Do you work in Delhi only or outside in other states also?
- Do you insist the child's family to undertake family planning? What effect does it make in the community?
- Which syllabus is followed in my child's/ Deepalaya School?
- How I am to know that the sponsorship I am making is being extended to my sponsored child?
- What is Project Sponsorship?
- For how long does the Sponsorship under "Primary Education" last and at what age do the children start school?
- Can I extend my support after the tenure of sponsorship under Primary Education?
What is the process of enrolling children in education? Our Social workers visit slums and motivate parents to send their children to Deepalaya education centres. The children are enrolled in the centres in the slum itself or in a nearby centre. The child is selected on the basis of an economic criteria, namely that the family income should be less than Rupees 2,500/- per month; other factors taken into consideration are the family size, number of dependents etc. We first enroll the child and begin its education and monitor the child for regularity of attendance and parents' interest for a while before it is assigned for sponsorship.
How many children do you select from a family for sponsorship? First we consider the annual income of the family. The criteria is that it should be between Rupees 1,500/- to 2,500/- per month. We select one child only from a small family for sponsorship. If in a large family there are more dependents, we give sponsorship to a second child and if the third child is a girl we may sponsor her also as a special case. In order to promote the girl child education we give priority for girl child. "Girl child project", in Deepalaya exclusively takes care of girl children's academic course and vocational training. We also give priority to the single parent child and the handicapped child.
How do you use the sponsorship amount and what is the parents' responsibility? The stipulated amount of annual sponsorship under Integrated Child Sponsorship which is Rupees 9,000/- to Rupees 9,500/- does not suffice. We make good the deficit by asking the parents of the children to contribute around 20% of the cost as we follow the policy "Nothing is for free". This leads to their participation and ensures serious involvement; ultimately, they emerge as stake holders and tend to have a strong sense of commitment.
Why is there a difference in the amount of sponsorships of Indians and Non-Resident Indians/ foreigners? First of all we want to point out that the sponsorship amount we receive from sponsors is inadequate to meet the total expenditures like tuition, health check-ups, study tours etc. To make good the deficit of funds, the project funds of Deepalaya are used. To meet the increase in the cost of postage for overseas correspondence to our sponsors, we were compelled to increase the amount of annual sponsorship payments to the extent of Rupees 500/- for foreign sponsors. We mail four Newsletters, two communications from the child, one annual report from the social worker, one Deepalaya annual report, greetings and wishes. Further every time there is a query from the sponsor to the child, it is replied to. Each mail costs Rupees 20/- to Rupees 25/-. Only after a detailed calculation, we arrived at this increase in sponsorship payments for NRIs/ foreign sponsors/ donors.
Do the Sponsored Children correspond with their sponsor parents? Yes. The sponsored child writes to the sponsor parent and also sends a New Year Greeting Card with his/ her activity photograph in the month of December/ January of every year. As and when the sponsor parent send special letters/ queries/ greetings the sponsored child is encouraged to respond appropriately. In case the child is not able to write, the teacher responds on his/ her behalf along with a drawing made by the child.
Will the child come to know that I am sponsoring her/ him? The child knows that she/ he is a sponsored child. She/ He comes to know about the name of the sponsor parent once they receive Letters/ Greetings from the sponsor routed through the Sponsorship Division. As a matter of policy we do not hand out the address of the sponsor.
Can I correspond with my sponsored child? Yes, you can. If your sponsored child is capable of writing well, she/ he will respond or the concerned teacher will respond on the child's behalf. This will be coordinated by the Marketing Department.
I may sponsor a child. If I stop sponsorship after a few years will the parents of the child approach/ harass me? Do they know that I am the sponsor? The parents or the child are aware that the child is sponsored but the address of the sponsor is not given to them as a matter of policy. In the event of continuous communication between the sponsor parent and the sponsored child, the child comes to know of the sponsor. Hence, we suggest that communication be routed through Deepalaya, which will avoid any undue demand from the sponsor. It is at your discretion that the sponsorship support is continued or stopped. Hence nobody except Deepalaya will correspond with you as your address is not passed on to any one.
Will I receive regular information about child's development/ activities? We will keep you informed of the child's progress from time to time. In the month of December/ January the sponsored child writes to his/ her sponsor parent a term letter regarding all development and also sends New Year Greeting Card along with activity photograph. In the month of May/ June we send a Progress Report of the child showing class promoted to, marks obtained, activities attended, hobbies etc. Any special queries by the sponsor will also be replied to by the child/ Deepalaya as the case may be.
Can I send gift/ money to my sponsored children? Can I also send gifts for other children of my sponsored child's class/ school? As a matter of policy we do not encourage sponsors to send gifts/gift money to their sponsored children as it creates envy and disappointment for those who may not receive something similar from their sponsor parents. However, if you are desirous of sending a gift, you are welcome to do so. Gifts in kind may undergo pilferage in transit. In case gift money is sent in the name of Deepalaya we shall purchase gifts as per your directives/ child's desire and present to the child on your behalf. If you want to send gifts to the sponsored child's class/ school we will get the sponsored child to distribute the gifts on your behalf. Photographs taken on the occasion of gifts presentation will be sent to you with details of expenditure.
Can a child be visited at school/ home? Can the child be taken to sponsors residence/ hotel? As a matter of policy, sponsor parents visit the schools for meeting their wards with the knowledge of Deepalaya. In the light of our experience it is not desirable to take the children to the place of sponsor parents or hotels where they stay. In case you desire to visit, kindly intimate the schedule of your proposed visit in advance so that you can meet your sponsored children and witness the project activities. We shall confirm the same by co-ordinating with the school authorities so that any inconvenience this may cause can be avoided.
Is Deepalaya a Christian Organisation? Deepalaya is not a Christian Organization. The founding members were prompted by the Christian Spirit and conviction of being of services to others. All the Board members are Christians and they have volunteered and organized/ managed Deepalaya since its inception in 1979. Deepalaya believes in a secular agenda and has not used religion in any partisan manner. The communities we work in are predominantly Non-Christians.
Does Deepalaya in any manner help or other wise lend support of any kind in converting people to Christianity or preach the Christian religion? Deepalaya neither converts people to Christianity nor preaches the Christian religion as that is not its objective. Since its inception Deepalaya's principal focus has been on the child and Deepalaya serves families and communities to secure the future of children. Deepalaya is a grantee of Govt. of India Human Resource Development, Urban Ministry and local self government. We are funded by International Funding agencies. We also obtain support from corporate houses, both electronic and print media, professionals and individuals through donation, work contribution and professional inputs. Religious work is not on our agenda. This has been the case for the last 28 years and shall remain so for the future.
Do you have a record of the future plans/ current status of children who got their education through Deepalaya under the sponsorship scheme? Yes, we have. Our social workers are in constant touch with sponsored children. In order to follow up with the ex Deepalaya children, Deepalaya has instituted a Deepalaya Alumni Association. We are aware of the current activities and prospects of our Alumni. [You can read about some of our Alumni in the Success Stories section]
I would like to know more about the sponsorship payment schemes. Are there sponsors who pay monthly a fixed amount? It is possible to make the payment at one time. The sponsorship amount can be paid in installments also by means of four post dated cheques spread over a year. It is also possible to pay monthly through your Bank to our Bank A/c through standing instructions to the bankers/ standing instructions on credit card deductions.
Does Deepalaya cater to orphans? What about handicapped children? Are they helped or not? At present we have no orphans in our centres. We have a project for street children and working children as well as for run away children. At present there are nearly 102 children who stay at our facility at Deepalaya Gram, Gusbethi in Haryana. These include children who have been rehabilitated off the streets/ railway platforms. Through networks with partner NGOs, Deepalaya has also under its care, children of drug users, alcoholics, sex workers and negative children of HIV positive parents. Deepalaya takes care of their shelter; food and education. Activities that take place on a regular basis at the home include education, vocational training, health checkup, recreation, sports and games, entertainment, latent talent development, cultural creativity, lessons on life skills, values and counseling. We also take care of the physically and mentally challenged children in our Special Units run exclusively to cater to their rehabilitation at Deepalaya.
Can I sponsor an orphan child? We find it a herculean task to offer sponsorships to orphans, as most of the children in slums are with their parents. We shall try to locate an orphan child but cannot guarantee this. We do not have an orphanage and no normal children are kept in hostels unless they are run away street children. At our Gusbethi School we have a transit home for street working children, children of prostitutes as well children of HIV AIDS patients. These children are abandoned by their families and maybe considered as orphans. We do cater to such children.
Do you work in Delhi only or outside in other states also? We are working for children from 76 slum clusters of Delhi and three railway platforms catering to their educational requirements and overall development. Further, we are also working in 84 villages of Tavru block, two locations in Pataudi block and one location in Rewari block in the neighboring state of Haryana. We have also made considerable impact in the lives of the populace in Almora district in the state of Uttaranchal. Interventions in Uttaranchal are at present restricted to working with the rural communities.
Do you insist the child's family to undertake family planning? What effect does it make in the community? Our social workers visit to the community and create awareness on family size. Awareness programme covers family planning, tuberculosis, pulse polio, AIDS, population and environment. However we do not enforce family planning but educate them to follow the small family norm.
Which syllabus is followed in my child's/Deepalaya School? The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) syllabus is applicable in our formal schools. In Pre-schools, Kindergarten or play way curriculum is followed. For drop outs and late enrollers, non formal curriculum of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is followed.
How I am to know that the sponsorship I am making is being extended to my sponsored child? The communication from the child, report of the social worker, annual report of Deepalaya and news letter will enable you to know that the support goes to your sponsored child.
What is Project Sponsorship? Under project sponsorship the support will be utilised for meeting the expenses of a particular Deepalaya Project/ School to meet the deficit. Though the support is used for the benefit of the Non-sponsored children of the specific project/ school, no specific child will be assigned as in the case of Integrated Child Sponsorship/ Educate a Child/ Primary Education. The sponsor will be apprised of the activities of the concerned project/ school, on the whole.
For how long does the Sponsorship under "Primary Education" last and at what age do the children start school? At the age of four the child is admitted to Pre-school. Thereafter the child gets promoted to class I. The sponsorship under primary education is given to children studying in class I. It lasts for five years or till the time the child reaches class Vth, whichever is earlier. In case the sponsored child drops out before five years another child of the same class will be replaced as the beneficiary to avail of the support.
Can I extend my support after the tenure of sponsorship under Primary Education? Yes. You can. In this case either you can extend your support to the same child on an annual basis or you can take another sponsorship under primary education to support another needy child.