Deepalaya collaborated with NABARD since 2009 for formation of SHGs and promoting self-reliance by encouraging women to save and form microenterprises. Since then the project has expanded to five different areas in Mewat. Our SHG team has been conducting different kind of trainings for women from time to time. Such training sessions are done in the presence of bank officials so that they get to know new schemes etc. A similar training was conducted on 5th December in the presence of Mr. N M Sinha, District General Manager (DGM), NABARD, Mr. Vijay Kumar Nagra, District Development Manager (DDM), NABARD at our Pataudi office. Approximately 40 SHG members from 8 SHGs of different villages participated in this meeting and got a chance to interact with the representatives from NABARD.
During the interaction, they discussed different topics like benefits of SHGs, process of banking in SHGs, documentation and record keeping modules, and socio-economic impact of SHGs in the rural areas. The importance of NABARD Panch Sutra in making village micro-entrepreneurs self-reliant was also discussed.
Be it fiancial matters or social issues, Deepalaya SHG microfinance programme has enabled women to look beyond their households, unite together, and solve socio-economic issues in and around Mewat, a place hitherto known for all the wrong reasons. NABARD officials were satisfied to witness the progress of different projects in the surrounding area Deepalaya has been running in collaboration with NABARD. They asked Mr. Brajesh, Manager programs to find out some notable skill development activities among the SHGs members in the Pataudi and Sohna area, and also assured to review the project proposal of MEDP (Micro Entrepreneur Development Program) for SHGs.
With an aim to prepare students ahead of the job interview season and boost their confidence levels, Deepalaya organized career counseling sessions for its VTC students enrolled at Sanjay Colony and Gole Kuan on 8th December. A total of 110 students including some alumni members attended the session. The counseling sessions were supervised by Mr. Tarun Sharma, Ms. Divya Vij, Mr. Pawan Gogna, and Ms. Priyanka Saxena from NIIT Foundation. Mr. Virender Singh, Project Coordinator, Deepalaya and computer instructors of Deepalaya were also present.
Since many of our students were attending such a session for the first time, they were nervous and wondered if their computer knowledge will be tested. However, experts from NIIT team were successful in engaging the participants throughout the session, while explaining the important aspects involved in a job interview.
The students were made aware various questions that are normally asked by the interviewers and how candidates can answer them impressively. The students were groomed real-time to introduce themselves, present their career goals, answer questions related to their strengths, positively answer or avoid questions regarding their weaknesses, and most importantly, taught how to convince the employer. They were also told that the details mentioned in their CVs should be genuine and there should not be any contradictory statements in their answers.
The sessions at both centers witnessed enthusiastic participation from students. The students were happy to note that the sessions exceeded their expectations and after finishing them, they felt equipped to attend job interviews. They expressed their gratitude to Deepalaya for arranging such a program. For Deepalaya VTC staff also, this was an occasion for meeting the alumni and understanding the progress they have made in their careers.
For the last few years, Deepalaya has been running the three-month basic computer course modules in collaboration with NIIT at its various Learning Centers in and around Delhi. In addition to basic computer hardware and software operating skills, students coming mainly from underprivileged section of the society are given special sessions on verbal communication and personality development.
A two-day awareness session on the theme ‘Good Touch, Bad Touch’ was recently conducted for students at Deepalaya Learning Centre in Adarsh Nagar. The session was conducted by a team of experts from Umeed ki Kiran Clinic, a one-stop clinic for victims of sexual and domestic violence introduced by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the internationally recognized humanitarian organization working in the field of healthcare.
As a part of the programme, separate sessions were curated for boys and girls between the age group 8 to 12. Out of a total 22, 12 Girls and 10 Boys of Deepalaya Learning Centre were a part of this session. In these interactive sessions, students were made aware of the kind of behavior they should watch out for among the adults surrounding them. Notably, these were conducted with prior written permission from the child’s parents.
What are body parts no one should touch? In case somebody tries to touch them inappropriately, what should they do? All this and more questioned were answered during the sessions, generating curiosity and awareness among the little ones in a simple and somewhat hilarious manner. Youngsters were also advised to reach out for help whenever they sense any danger. They were made to list out names that they trust the most. These names generally included their mother, teacher, father, and less commonly, somebody from neighborhood or relatives.
Some other activities were also conducted both with boys and girls to convey the concepts of sexual harassment in an easy to understand way. The session also focused on helping children shed the inhibitions linked with sexual abuse, and build confidence to make them vocal in case the unfortunate situation and need arises.
At the end of the second day, feedbacks from the students were taken and their queries were discussed openly, followed by refreshment for all the participants.
Mr. Jonathan White, Executive Vice President-Destination Management, Abercrombie & Kent recently paid a visit to our Ramditti J. R. Narang Deepalaya Learning Centre (RJRND). He was accompanied by Ms. Sukeerti Raikwar, India Program Coordinator, and Mr. Seshadri, General Manager HR, Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy.
Mr. A. J. Philip, Secretary and CE, Deepalaya welcomed the international guests alongside the students and teaching staff at this Learning Centre. He informed them about Deepalaya, its legacy of enabling self-reliance through education, and contribution to the society in the last 38 years of existence. The headmistress of RJRND Learning Centre Dr. Sangita Sen explained them about the activities of different units. An outline of the schedule followed throughout the day was briefed to the guests hereafter.
Mr. White personally observed all the displays on notice board with great interest. He also took a round of the community library and interacted with the staff. Mrs. Mridula Koshy, librarian and community organizer at Deepalaya Community Library explained him the importance of the ‘hundred book club program’ of Deepalaya libraries, providing free membership facilities for underprivileged children and adult readers.
Mr. White and others further interacted with the children during their classes at Deepalaya Learning Centre and enjoyed poem recitations by the kids. Overall, they were delighted to see the motivational activities and meet the girls of ASHA NFE unit, which is working towards mainstreaming out of school teenage girls into formal education. On the other hand, the boys of our morning remedial unit excitedly told them what they wanted to become in future–policemen, doctors, engineers, and so on.
Abercrombie & Kent, one of the world’s largest travel companies, has been associated with Deepalaya since 2005 and sponsors educational expenses of 60 students in Deepalaya’s school in Delhi.
At the time of departure, Mr. Jonathan White wrote in the visitor’s book— “I always love seeing our projects in action, and this place is no exception. Education is the future and great to see it embraced here!”
Children’s Day (Bal Divas) is celebrated every year on 14th of November as this day marks the birthday of the first Indian Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (Chacha Nehru) and his love for the children. The day was celebrated across all schools and learning centers. Here are a few snippets:
Deepalaya Learning Centre, Sanjay Colony: For the children of Deepalaya Learning Centre at Sanjay Colony, Amway proved to be their Genie who fulfilled their wishes.
Each of the students was asked to express his or her wish. Someone said, he wanted a watch. Another said, a particular toy. Some others said they needed school bags and water bottles.
Whatever be their wish, the employees of Amway, a company which has been supporting Deepalaya for the last eight years, fulfilled them today.
The occasion was the celebration of Children’s Day. The cafeteria of the plush Amway office at Gurugram was profusely decorated with hundreds of colourful balloons.
It might have been the first time that the children entered an air-conditioned building but they were so confident that nothing prevented them from presenting a beautiful, little programme that consisted of three dances and three songs.
A huge cake was cut on the occasion to celebrate the birthday of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, whose birthday is celebrated as Children’s Day.
It was a thrilling experience for the children to be encouraged with clapping and wows as they performed.
The children and yours truly had a sumptuous lunch that had elements of Chinese dishes.
They were taken round the Amway campus.. For the students, who could not come to the Amway office, the company had given special gifts. Some got bags, some were given toys and some even got electronic toys. We are sure the children will never forget the VIP treatment they received from Amway.
Ramditti J R Narang Deepalaya Learning Centre:
A special assembly was conducted in the morning and all the teachers as well as the headmistress expressed their love and affection for the children. Prior to this special day, the weekly topic for the morning assembly was focused on healthy food habits as children eat a lot of junk food these days. They were encouraged to follow a healthy diet and to minimize the junk food intake. Toffees were distributed among the children of all units. Home work copies were distributed in remedial unit for students studying in class V to VIII
Educational tour to National Science Centre
At around 9 am, girls of ASHA and FADA remedial units visited National Science Centre by bus. In order to promote awareness on Science, the place was an ideal place to explore. The chidren and the teachers spent a quality time together. They were given light refreshment during their return to the learning centre.
The special surprise for the ASHA NFE unit was the distribution of some stationary items and a pack of refreshment in the morning by the volunteer Ms. Divija Bhatter on the occasion of Children’s Day. In the afternoon, Mrs. P. Santha Devi of Soubhagya Nirmalam Foundation along with Mrs. M. Akhilandeswari and Dr. Faye Farmer, distributed some items like tooth paste & brush, bath-soap, handkerchiefs etc among the girls of FADA unit in order to make them aware about the personal hygiene. It was a fun filled and memorable day overall for the underprivileged children of RJRND.
Deepalaya Learning Center, Gole Kuan: Students delivered speeches on the life of Pandit Nehruji, his struggle, contribution towards our Nation and our freedom movement; they showed respect to him & paid tribute by reciting poems, his famous slogans. Different colorful charts were prepared and funnel boards were decorated. Small kids sang – Nanha munna rahi hoon”. It was a wonderful programme where students learnt many things through a fun-learning process. Senior students presented 3 songs – “Aa chalke tujhe”, “Jai se surajkigarmi se” and “Gyan daan hai sab se bada”. To make the day meaningful & memorable, to appreciate their enthusiasm, efforts teachers recited poems, presented songs & dance. Toffees were distributed among students; one of the teachers presented them small gifts to inspire them. Afternoon shift tuition class girls also celebrated the day with pomp and joy. An inspirational song was sung by one of our teachers to make the program more interesting.
Deepalaya SQEP Project: A special assembly was conducted on 14th November at the SDMC School, Okhla Water Sewage treatment plant. The students participated in a drawing and painting competition. Students drew posters showing Chacha Nehru and his contribution towards society. The day was celebrated with a number of activities on 16th November in the presence of Mr. Sakhi John, Board member, Mr.A J Philip Secretary and Chief Executive, Deepalaya. Ms. Jaswant Kaur, Director CRM, Mr. C P Davis, Principal, Deepalaya School Kalkaji Extension, and Ms. Shikha Pal, Manager (Education) were also present on the occasion. Ms. Abha Kapila, academic coordinator welcomed the guests. The programme started with the tiny tots reciting different poems that they learnt alongwith props. Mr. Himanshu Anand, music teacher helped the kids to stay tuned. The students from different classes spoke on Chacha Nehru and the importance of his life for the country. They also presented group dance and songs. A special solo dance from a class 3 child enthused the children as he danced on the “baby ko bass pasand hai”. We could see the visible change that has happened in the lives of children due to our intervention. Their confidence has increased mani-fold. To add more spice, our teachers presented a group dance and a song. The function ended with the vote of thanks.
Deepalaya Special unit: Pepsico has been conducting some events for the special unit for the last few years. This year, they had planned an activity on15th November 2017 for special children in view of the Children’s day. Thirty nine students from the unit went along with five special educators and two helpers went to their office. The event started with registration process. Thereafter, the students were divided into four groups and then the students started with the drawing and painting activity. The students were very excited and showcased their hidden talent.
Towards the end of the event, a cake cutting ceremony was organized along with gift distribution for our children. The moments were to be cherished forever.