Amidst South Delhi’s posh bungalows and crowded malls there lies a cluster of slums mostly ignored by the general population. As the area is mostly populated by rag-pickers it is aptly named as Kabaadi basti (Garbage village). In such a setting, it is not hard to imagine the kind of lifestyle that these slum dwellers might have and the kind of education, if any, they would be able to offer to their children. Hence, the need for establishing a center that would offer different services to the poor. It was in the year 1995 when a well-wisher of Deepalaya introduced us to philanthropist and great businessman the late SP Narang. The Narangs had a huge building close to Kabadi basti and the family wanted to do something for the poor living in the locaility. The family established a trust in the fond memory of their parents in the name of Ramditti J R Narang Trust. When the late S P Narang was introduced to Deepalaya, it was perfect union as both the parties had similar ideologies for the poor. Soon, an understanding was signed and both agreed to work together for the poor and a school was established in the name of Ramditti J R Narang Deepalaya School.
Set-up in 1995 in Panchsheel Enclave, an area adjacent to the Kabaadi basti, with five girl children as students, the school provided education to more than four hundred students till 2013. Almost all of them came from nearby slum dwellers and refugees. During 2010, the school became the first Deepalaya School to adopt E-learning with installation of projectors and smart boards in all class rooms. The teachers were given special training to make full use of these teaching aids. The students and the teachers had access to reference material from the internet to further complement their coursework.
However, the right to education act was a big blow to the school. As we could not comply with most of the stipulations, we had to convert it into a learning center, where children get formal education from LKG to Class II. After class II, they are mainstreamed into government schools and given remedial classes in the afternoon. Despite restrictions, the center is able to reach out to around 300 students through non formal education and remedial education.
Collaboration with ASHA Minnesota – ASHA for education
During 2014-15, Deepalaya collaborated with ASHA Minnesota- ASHA for education, a US based secular organization, for educating 30 out-of school girls. It was one of a kind project through the number we intended to enroll was quite a few. Door to door surveys were conducted in Jagdamba Camp, Panchsheel enclave and nearby Khirki Village. Students who never went to school or who left midway were enrolled. Around 45 students got identified and were given this life changing opportunity. At the end of the year, 17 students were mainstreamed to government schools. The program has been functioning since then and has been able to reach out to around 150 girls over these years. There were girls, who had a very bad experience in their respective schools, they were motivated, counseled and enrolled into the schools. No one had imagined that these girls would again be in school one day and would be able to overcome their earlier experiences.
Apart from learning center, there are a number of activities like community library, computer center, sewing center and a health program, described in more detail in other pages.
To know more about the project please contact:
Contact Person – Ms. Sangita Sen
Email – email@example.com
Phone no. – 011-29541137