New Delhi - October - December 1999
Deepalaya Celebrating 20 years of Philanthropy
As part of the special series to mark two Decades of Deepalaya we have been on a memory lane beginning 1979 when united by a common urge to do something meaningful for marginalised sections fo society seven individuals put their thoughts together to establish Deepalaya, a mission with a quest to serve mankind. Today our intervention reaches to over 22,000 children and their damilies. All this would have remained for short of our vision if we had not got the support and encouragement from people from all walks of life. So, we dedicate this issue and issues to follow to our valued supporters, friends and donors...
Raghu Rai (Eminent Photographer) Friend of Deepalaya had to say...
I feel ashamed for not giving enough time for the cause of children. I wish if I was PM or Minister for Social Welfare I would have ensured free schooling, books and food. I always liked to be actively involved with a cause but in this age of material values we are constrained of time and I willingly admit of being selfish too. You know, if I don't work I won't be able to contribute for such cause. I always believed 'Action should Manifest' NGO's should come together and fight elections.
This will pave way to transform NGO movement as people's movement. In the process NGOs will set up standard for the society. I have a suggestion to make, Deepalaya shouldn't be unnerved to work under limitations, you should work with an eye on possibility, use the very basic and explore the non expensive means. I wish Deepalaya all the best and hope many more successful decades.
Ms.Sharon Lowen Renowned Odissi Dancer has extended her support to Deepalaya by consenting to be a Friend of Deepalaya. Asked about her reason for association with the cause of the underprivileged, Sharon remarked ghat she essentially came from a socially responsible family where she learnt that as a human being she should not only be a taker/consumer but also a giver. Sharon came to India about 15 years ago to be trained in Indian art of dancing and then decided to stay on to have the highest level of training. Today apart from pursuing Indian art, sharon is also the Coordinator of Indian Studies at the American Embassy School.
Sharon first heard about Deepalaya in 1996-97 through the University Exchange Programme when children of Deepalaya put a cultural show at the American Embassy School. Sharon's first impression of Deepalaya "I was impressed by the children's behaviour and personality they were no way different from the children of any good public school of Delhi. At that time I realised the impact of the organisation on the lives of these underprivileged children.
Since then Sharoj kept in touch with Deepalaya facilitating other cultural shows. She readily agreed to join the Friends of Deepalaya group as she was happy to do whatever little she can to further the cause of the organization. She visualises her role as that of a catalyst in brain-storming sessions of the Friends group. She wholeheartedly supports the idea of the Friends group referring Deepalaya to corporates/companies etc. and to make joint presentations & marketing Deepalaya.
Thanks indeed Sharon for your support!
CH Qomoyi, First Secretary (Political), South African High Commission
I still remember the evening when Deepalaya School was Inaugurated on 1st August 98, to see glittering faces of children who live in extremely difficult circumstances. It was an emotional experience. I realised, Deepalaya was a project touching on every one's emotions. Deepalaya, I describe it to be a project of great humanity and very few people to my knowledge on earth have vision like this one. I know, behind this project, people involved are great men and women.
You will always get our support in the days to come and your mission will need the support of every human being. I had a feeling that you need to carry your mission among the common people to generate public support. Before I end, I wish everybody on the earth had vision like founders of Deepalaya which would banish suffering, hunger, poverty... from human race.
Mr.Mohan Chandan, a Sponsor Parent since 1993
Mr.Chandan runs his own establishment. He came to know of Deepalaya through one of his employee. He went on to say I compliment you on your successful completion of two decades. You are doing good work, children are quite smart and well bahaved. I am informed periodically about progress of children academically they are doing well.
You are doing the biggest service to mankind i.e. Educating people. I take personal interest in educating girls, because I look at them as future mothers. If the mother is educated, children would automatically be educated. If today people concentrate in educating the Girl Child we would touch high literacy rate.
Sanjeev Kaura, Founder HOPE 200 said
I came to know about Deepalaya from Ms.Shabana Azmi, during my quest of discovering the new vision of Inida upon my return back to India. Dedication amongst the rank and file of Deepalaya's workers is my recollection of my fist impression of Deepalaya.
He went on to express his views on children, if the new millennium is to be India's, then every child, specially the Girl Child should get knowledge based education which will shape her/his personality thus contributing to nation building. Give the child education, they will change India. I feel Deepalaya and HOPE 2000 share a common belief in the upliftment of the Girl Child. We hope to continue our excellent partnership with Deepalaya in pursuit of this common belief.
Kavita Beat the Trend
"What will a Girl achieve going to school, her proper place is at home, doing domestic work. Anyway, she isn't going to take up a job". This is the popular perception of parents in a traditionally male dominated society.
Deepalaya presents the tale of the success of a Girl Child in Deepalaya to falsify the myth. Kavita Kukreja, 18 years old is the eldest child of Nandlal and Nirmal. Nandlal is a Postman while Nirmal is a maid with Deepalaya pre-school centre. Kavita is presently doing her 1 year B.Com (Hons) from P.G.DAV College of Delhi University. Kavita was recently interviewed after her resounding success in XII std examination, she scored 80.7% in the aggregate of best of four subjects.
Q. congratulations! You have made us all in Deepalaya proud, tell us about the dream moments?
A. I was indeed very anxious toknow thefruit of one full years hardwork, when I entered the school gat. I saw few faces happy and few filled with disappointment which made me more nervous and questions started coming up in my mind as to how much would I score? I remembered God, please! ensure that I get 1 Division score. I saw the list, it was 80.7%, I couldn't believe this! There was no end to my happiness.
Q. What are your future plans and tell us about your choice of career?
A. My good score has ensured admission to college, and my performance in Economics has ensured a career in Chartered Accountancy which I always wanted to persue.
Q. Tell us about your family?
A. My father is wokring as a Postman and my mother is working in Deepalaya pre-school cente as a maid. I am the eldest in my family, I have a sister and a brother. My brother studies in IXth std and my sister in IIIrd. We have settled for the last two decades in Transit Camp slum cluster in Govindpuri and our income varies between Rs.3500-4000. My parents have always stressed on our education and have taken pains raising us together.
Q. Where do you see Deepalaya in your tale of success?
A. I was admitted in Deepalaya in nursery and studied in Deepalaya School till IVth std, thereafter I was admitted in Sri Satya Sai Vidya Vihar where I have studied till XIIth std but my relation of love and affection with my teachers in Deepalaya continues even today.
Deepalaya has been and continue to support me through its sponsorship programme providing support in terms of text books, tuition, uniform etc. I would always be a support to the Deepalaya in the eradication of illiteracy and seeking an exploitation free society. Deepalaya has done a lot for me and family which can't be expressed in words. It has made me realise my capacity and given my mother a source of income. Deepalaya has stood with me and have honoured me on my success in Xth and XIIth std. examinations.
Q. What are your views on the state of Girl Child?
A. The problems the Girl Child face in the urban slums and in rural parts of India is not unknown to me. They are often looked down and doesn't get due respect. But my family share a progressive thought in the up brining of Girl Child.
Awareness Generation on Indigenous Medicine
India has been a land where people have always believed in using ayurved and traditional medicines to cure all kinds of diseases. This ancient usage of indigenous source of curing malady is still practiced by larger sections of the society because these medicines are cheaper than medicines available in the market and more so can be prepared at home and has no side effect.
The community, Deepalaya techers out ot in the lsums, are mostly migrants from villages and use of indigenous surce is very popular and also work out to be much more economicla and affordable.
Keeping these facts in mind, Deepalaya launched a major awareness generatio on usage of indigenous medicines und SOSVA project in Transit Camp with the help of health workers and elders of the community in particular.
The programme reached out to 152 people who took part in the discussions which was focussed on educating today'S generation on usage of such medicines for whom indigenous medicine largely remains an unknown fact.
The programme also concentrated in indentifying the local quacks who are a major threat to the community. These quacks are 30,000 in numbers not qualified enough, despite this, they enjoy popular demand among the community as they charge much less than regular trained practitioners.
Evaluation of these Doctors is not a practical step, as govt. effort to stop these quacks from practising turned out to be futile. So Deepalaya realised that the solution is not in evacuation of these quacks but tain them to be better. In this direction Deepalaya involved services of experts in the field of Ayurved, Unani, Homeopath, Allopathy from govt. and private hospitals to educate these practitioners so that they are able to provide quality services which are safe to the community in the slums.
Inauguration of First Academic Year of Deepalaya School-Kalkaji Extension
The first Academic session of Deepalaya School, Kalkaji Extension, the first of its kind, was inaugurated on 12 July, by Mr.N.K.Ambusht, Chairman-National Open School. To begin with the school has 300 children on its roll and caters exclusively to the children who belong to families who live below poverty line living in slums. The school is upto VIIIth std and follows NCERT curriculum and medium of isntructions is English. Children are exposed to Computer Education, Classical Music, Dance, Physical Training and Competition both at National and International levels.
Speaking on the occasion Mr.Ambusht pointed out that setting up of Deepalaya School is a wonderful effort and stressed on the need for making educational requirements in the school match with problems these children have to undergo at home. He also expressed his resolve to strengthen NOS-Deepalaya partnership. Recognition of this school is the only worrying factor despite meeting the physical requirements of education act and rule. A recent survey points out that if all children were to be in shcool in Inida school buildings, would burst at the seams. The inauguration of the first academic year of Deepalaya School promises to look beyond this apathetic trend-The School meets guidelines of the Directorate of Education norms be it infrastructure, man power, quality of education, reading room, auditorium and provision of play ground.
Phase In Programme Into New Clusters
Deepalaya has always engaged in its crusade for empowring the vulnerable sections of the society. This effort is now expanded tonew areas in South Delhi which includes Muslim Camp, Khori Camp, Sonia Gandhi Camp (Tuglakabad Area), Sansi Samp (Badarpur), Sonia Gandhi Camp, Ambedkar Camp, Majdoor Kalyan Vihar Camp in Okhla Industrial belt, New Sanjay Camp and Nepali Camp near Manav Kalyan Vihar.
Deepalaya will stick to its approach of PCMR while working in these areas. PCMR is a participatory approach where beneficiaries play a major role to decision making in terms of developmental activities and they look at Deepalaya more as a catalyst in the process of social empoerment and sustainability.
The process of indentifying social entrepreneurs have already been initiated in these areas, SEs are a major component of the PCMR approach, the person who are identified from with in the community carries the development activities after forming a clear understanding of Deepalaya's mission/policy and the needs of the community. People living in these areas are mostly migrants from UP, Bihar, Gujrat and Rajasthan and are engated in varied occupations like rag picking, rickshaw pulling, daily wage earning workers, meachanics and driving. Population in these slum pockets are largely illiterates. For their next generation also they have little hope, as the areas have no schools or scholls are located far away. Besides these areas have scarcity of potable water, no pwer supply and no medical facilities. Deepalaya has stepped into all these locations with an objective of imparting basic education largely through non formal and remedial methods, catering to the health needs, empowering the women and most importantly setting up groups in the community who can think together for the well being of themselves. In future we would tell you more about these areas, our work and some of mentionable achievements.
Update on Ruby's Health
Ruby was successfully operated upon on 2nd September at Safdarjung Hospital under the supervision of Dr.Vijayendra and his team. During the operation community workers of Deepalaya and people from community donated blood. Ruby is on her way to full recovery. Deepalaya thanks god Almighty for the recovery and donors for responding to our appeal for donation to the 'surgery and transplantation fund'. It is because of your support Ruby has been gifted with a new lease of life.
Creative Writing Classes in Narang Deepalaya School
With an aim to develop creative writing skill among the children of Narang Deepalaya School special classes have been started for students of IVth under the guidance of a noted short story writer Anupa Lal. These classes are a combination of story telling and writing sessions in which children put their imagination. The classes have contributed in improving listening skills, inspiring them to be better persons through morals and above all helping them to be imaginative. We are publishing one such writ eup 'My Self' by student of class IVth.
My name is Dilip Kumar, I live in Jagdamba camp, In my house there live my father, mother and sisters, I am 9 years old, I study in class IV, I want to be a CBI officer so that I can catch the enemies of my country. I play football, Kabadi and cficket I don't like hockey, ginger and karela. I pray to God because God is very nice, I asked God to help me pass in my papers.
Mr.T.K.Mathew, Chief Executive and Secretary of Deepalaya was conferred with 'Man of Achievement Award' in recognition of his exceptional calibre and outstanding performance in the service of mankind. Mr.Mathew has also received a certifiage of Honour for Red & White Bravery Award-1998-99 in recognition of his remarkable contribution in the field of social services.
Maitree-shree, an annual event was held on 21 August '99 at Deepalaya School in Kalkaji Extension. This year, the event was also used as an opportunity to felicitate 22 sponsored children for their meritorious and exemplary performance in Secondary and Senior Secondary Certificate Examination.
The function also marked "Two decades" of Deepalaya's service for the well being of deprived children in the slums and streets and an appropriate occasion to launch "Deepalaya Alumni Association", an association of Deepalaya ex students. Hon'ble Minister of Educaiton, NCT-Delhi, Dr.Narendra Nath was the Chief Guest for the function, many well-wishers, some of our sponsors and dignitaries were present to grace the occasion. The programme started with an invocation by Deepalaya children and lighting of the lamp by one of the meritorious children and visiting dignitaries. Mr.A.J.Philip, President of Deepalaya made the welcome address and briefed about Deepalaya's accomplishments in philanthropy during two decades. The Hon'ble Education Minister, in his speech touched upon issues related to underprivileged children from slums and felicitated Deepalaya for strengthening its endeavour for the noble cause. Mr.T.K.Mathew, Secretary & Chief Executive congratulated all th 22 sponsored children for their exemplary performance in class Xth and XIIth Examinations. He formally launched "Deepalaya Alumni Association" in the presence of 72 ex-Deepalaya children and urged all sponsored Deepalaya ex-children to join the Alumni Association. Mr.Mathew wished them to go high in future and contribute in making India a strong and progressive nation.
The Hon'ble Education Minister gave away awards consisting of mementos, certifiates and cash awards of Rs.501/- each to 5 sponsored children for their exemplary performance in Secondary/Higher Secondary Board exams during the year 1998-99. (Names with class and percentage) Xth std Examination-Mamta-78%, Chiranjeev Mandal-57%, XIIth std Examination-Kavita- 80.7%, Neha Khanna-80%, Deboshree Jana-64%). Deepalaya children proved their talents in classical music and english drama "The sleeping Beauty" directed by a friend of Deepalaya from U.K, Mr.Nick Martin & folk dances. The renowned melody queen of Deepalaya Ms.Aparna Biswas, a sponsored child and ex Deepalaya student made the audience joyous by singing two melodious songs with Mamta Joshi matching the tunes with her Bharatanatyam recital. Dr.Poonam Khattar, Principal, Deepalaya School, delivered vote of thanks to all who were present and pointed out the sincere efforts of teachers in preparing these children in developing their latent talents. With the National Anthem by Deepalaya children, the event came to a close.
Mr.T.K.Mathew, Chief Executive and Secretary and Mrs.Mary Mathew, Sponsorship Officer have returned after a successfull trip to Finland,Holland, Germany and U.K. During their trip Mr.Mathew attended the session at Executive Institute on Communication. Deepalaya was represented at World Forum '99 in Helsinki. The thesee of the conference was Empowring Children and it was for those working in the field of child welfare (including childcare, policy and research).
During the trip Mr.Mathew and the Sponsorship Officer held discussions with Save the Children (Finland), ICCO (Holland) and FCE (Holland) the on future of partnership in next millennium. Three schools were identified in Plymouth to explore possibilities of school to school exchange. A significant success was, Deepalaya could add 31 new sponsors from Finland and Germany through Deepalaya Friends Forums. Thanks to Mr.Mathew and Sponsorship Officer for taking Deepalaya across the globe!
Training of Self Help Groups
Under Restore Childhood Programme, Deepalaya organized a training programme for women in collaboration with Habitat Polytech to train them to run small entreprises.
This workshop was organised on 24th September '99 in which participating women received training in initiating small business groups linkages with financial institutions how to conduct market survey and how to market their products. The workshop concentrated on instilling greater confidence to run self help groups. The workshop was addressed by resource persons who have vast experience in the field of small scale enterprises. The women were trained in pickle making, candle making, papad making, cutting and tailoring etc. The workshop was attended by 25 women from Manav Kalyan Vihar, V.P.Singh Colony, Karpoori Thakur Camp and Indiara Camp. This programme will go a long way in helping the women to contribute to the household income and thereby consolidating their positions in their respective families and societies.
SHALIMAR BAGH PROJECT-AN UPDATE
The project on Integrated Community Development at North West Delhi aims at universalisation of education, providing preventive and curative health care services, skill training and community development. The community belongs to lower socio-economic strata and are inherent with problems such as illiteracy, drug abuse, alcoholism, lower status of women,lack of saging habit, poor health status, high drop out rate at schools etc. The people are primarily migrants from Bihar, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. The total population this project caters to is approx. 25,000 people.
As a follow up of PCMR approach, this project on integrated development was launched in April 1999 in North West Delhi. The project outreach is 10 slum clusters in and around Shalimar Bagh. At the outset it started with setting up of various educational units - Balwadis, Remedial Education Centres, Non Formal Education in the slum locations through SEs identified from within the community. These SEs (Social Entrepreneurs) were given both class room and on the job training in various topics such as concept of teching methodology, community organisation, health and communication skills.
A series of drawing and poster competitions were held for children and youth on topics covering nutritional care, health, hygiene, sanitation and water borne disease. Health camps are a regular feature in the clusters. Commuity meetings, parent-teacher meetings, mobilisation of mahila mandals and yuvak mandals are held regularly in the project with the aim of commujity empowerment as a long term objective. Skill training classes have started for a batch of women in cutting and tailoring.
The project aims at long term sustainability of the programme by establishing and providing support to SEs and community in various area of development.
Activity Round up of Street & Working Children Project
A Hair cutting session was organised in the project for street and working children in collaboration wotu Alps Institute of Hair Dressing and Beauty Culture. 31 children got their hair cuts. The objective was to have a clean and healthy, lice-free maintenance of hair, imperative for overall personal hygiene. The children on the streets now have a very 'near look' and look far more pleasing and confident in presenting themselves to the world!
The working children at Shalimar Bagh were also taken for a picnic to Delhi Zoo. The children learnt the difference between domestic and wild animals and was a break from the monotony, a prime need for every child. A drawing competition was also held for children coming to the centre. This helped the children to rejuvenate their thought process, express their creativity and perhaps make an effort to try how ambition in life can be depicged as the topic for the drawing was 'An ambition in life'.
Independence Day was celebrated at the centre. The children participated in the drawing competition on topics such as National Flag, Our National Leaders and War at Kargil. Cultural programme was presented by the children. Mr.T.K.Mathew, Secretary and Chief Executive was the Chief Guest, in his address, he motivated the children to uplift their spirits by encouraging them to continue with their studies inspite of their work and family condition. He also gave away the prizes to the winners of the drawing competition. The programme ended with the National Anthem.
The DISABILITY 2000 campaign is essentially a 'Celebration of Disability. The logo signifies the moving forward of people with disabilities with confidence, into the new century. The flower in the logo signifies optimism and a positive contribution that disabled people will make in the society in the next millennium!
Deepalaya thanks German Embassy for the valuable support in furnishing the Library in Deepalaya School. The support worth Rs.3,31,800/- has enabled us to purchase book racks, reading tables, book shelves etc. and furnish the library.