NGO: Computer Shiksha

Background:

Computer Shiksha is a non-profit organization that was founded by corporate leaders in 2012 to bridge digital divide in India. The skills and experience of the founders has led the NGO to provide free but quality computer literacy programs spread over 55 weeks curriculum to underserved children attending the government and municipality schools.    

IDRF Partner Since: 2018 

Focus Area: Education

Location: Learning centers in 14 states

Project Title: Computer literacy and digital skills for the underprivileged children

Details:

In today’s world of rapid developments in technology, there are still hundreds and thousands of marginalized in India that neither have access nor afford computer literacy and skills to better their lives. The government schemes are mostly available online, which people from under-served communities are unable to access. IDRF is funding to continue a unique program in partnership with Computer Shiksha to impart free and quality computer knowledge and skills to the underprivileged children, who can use technology for the betterment of their lives in every possible way.

The computer literacy program began in April 2013, with just 15 laptops-taken in a vehicle to 60 poor school-going children to train them in the beginners level course (31 to 62 weeks), followed by advanced level course (24 weeks).

The success and popularity of this program led to the implementation of Stage-2 in April 2016. The partner schools are provided with refurbished computers to conduct classes using course content (in multiple languages), self-learning videos, teachers’ manuals, hardware and upkeep. The classes are monitored live on internet and students are evaluated periodically for certification. The NGO also delivers computer education to poor students pursuing higher education. Currently 94,300+ students in 14 states of India are availing of these computer classes at 485 schools. Another great benefit of the program is that the IT infrastructure laid can be used by multiple organizations to impart various kinds of learning modules in future.

IDRF partner provides lifetime maintenance support for all hardware and software through trained manpower and a helpline. The success of this program has led to requests for the expansion of this model to other countries like: Ghana, Nigeria and Barbados, etc.

Please click on the link to learn more about Computer Shiksha

http://www.computershiksha.org/


Students attending a computer class at Gyanodaya Bal Adarsh Patshala
Young kids enjoy learning computers

Donor Spotlight: A unique way to give-back- Prema and Anil Gogate

Donor Spotlight: A unique way to give-back- Prema and Anil Gogate

Gogates’ dream of giving back to their motherland came true through IDRF’s donor-advised program!

Prema and Anil Gogate are highly successful and respected members of the Indian-American community in California. They have always had a profound connection with India and a strong desire to give-back to their motherland. They came to know about IDRF’s donor-advised programs to make their dream of giving back to the needy.

The Gogates were able to send funds through IDRF to help the Maharashtra Girls’ Education Society, Huzurpaga, Pune towards the construction of a ladies’ hostel on their campus. The new hostel building constructed at Laxmi Road, Huzurpaga has 96 furnished dormitory rooms and is named in honor of ‘Srimati Nirmala Laxman Vaidya’, viz. the mother of Mrs. Prema Gogate.

Srimati Nirmala Laxman Vaidya Ladies Hostel with 96 furnished rooms

You can also partner with IDRF for our donor-advised and donor-preference programs and make your dream come true!

We maintain a close collaboration with the Indian-American community and offer a platform in the United States to ‘give back to our motherland or land of our ancestors’ and create lasting legacies. We offer you the privilege of choosing your dream project on any auspicious event, or in the memory of a loved one- by designating any non-profit organization in any part of India as your beneficiary under ‘Donor Advised’ program. If not sure what cause/NGO to support, donate to IDRF to avail of tax-deductions and your money will be saved under ‘Donor Preference’ till you have decided upon a cause dear to your heart!

Please contact us on info@idrf.org or 301-704-0032 for more details.

NGO: Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society (SVRDS)

Background:

Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society (SVRDS) was set up to empower the rural poor, by providing them educational, social development and humanitarian services. SVRDS works in the rural parts of Tamil Nadu, where people are extremely poor, and also suffer from high rates of malnutrition, illiteracy, unemployment and perpetual cycle of poverty.

IDRF Partner Since: 1996

Focus Area(s): Eco-friendly Development, Health, and Disaster Rehabilitation

Location: Tamil Nadu

Project Title: Village Ponds Desilting Program and Village Energy Program

Details:

IDRF has started a project in partnership with Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society (SVRDS) to desilt ponds(removal of bed-sand, weeds, and debris) in the villages of Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur districts. These ponds have been choked with silt and weeds as a result of annual flooding over the years. This has contaminated the water and made it unsuitable for human consumption and other household needs. The thick layers of silt have also reduced the storage capacity of these ponds.

These village ponds are about 0.4 to 0.8 acres in size and benefit about 5,000 to 9,000 people each. The villagers help in the desilting process by providing manual labor and it takes about 7 to 18 days to desilt one pond. The mud and debris removed from the ponds are used to strengthen the pond-bunds and plant tree saplings. Once desilted the ponds collect water through Rainwater Harvesting during the rainy season.

Please click on the links below to know more about Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society. http://www.singleteacherschools.org

A pond has been desilted in Maduramangalam village in Kancheepuram, where the entire community participated and the work took only 8 days to complete. 5,500+ people from this village and other nearby villages have benefited from this pond as water starts to collect in it.

Villagers participated enthusiastically by offering manual labor

Pond desilting program information session with villagers in Ramalingapuram

Bihar Floods 2019

Tens of millions of people in India’s northern state of Bihar were badly affected by the storms and floods caused by heavy monsoon rains. Thousands of villages were flooded and people rendered homeless. Several people lost their lives, thousands of animals swept away and croplands submerged due to floodwaters. IDRF promptly launched the disaster relief and rehabilitation programs through its reputable partner-NGO: Manav Seva Sansthan (MSS) and decided to send 100% of the donations received for flood victims.

NGO: Manav Seva Sansthan

IDRF’s partner-NGO Manav Seva Sansthan has past experience and extensive knowledge of the Madhubani district, where several villages faced the worst impacts. MSS targeted three blocks of the district that were severely affected due to heavier rains and remote locations in the foothills of the Himalayas. Even though the local government agencies sent help, there were several remote areas where it took longer for their teams to get to the victims. With the help of generous donors, IDRF was able to raise funds and provide Relief Kits to 150 poor families. These Relief Kits included: personal hygiene items, candles, non-perishable food items like lentils, flour, rice, oil, spices, etc.

NGO team packing 150 Relief Kits for flood victims

Distribution of Relief Kits to 150 poor families

People taking the Relief Kits back to their villages

Due to stagnant waters for several weeks, the water-bodies in the area got contaminated and people were using that water to drink and cook, thus, resulting in skin and gastrointestinal diseases. Access to health centers was disrupted due to damage to roads and the situation was particularly serious for children and pregnant women. In order to provide urgent health-care services, IDRF supported five Mobile Health Camps in the worst affected areas. Free medical checkups and distribution of medicines were done for the poor flood victims. In addition, 75 hand pumps were repaired and the water supply was restored in them for use by the local people. These low-depth hand pumps were also chlorinated to provide water for drinking and other household uses.

Free checkups and medicines for poor flood victims

IDRF also started a program to rehabilitate 150 families in Madhubani district whose only means of livelihood is small scale agriculture. These families were provided high-quality seeds of high yielding crops like wheat and potatoes, etc. to start over again.

In addition, the following items were also provided to 150 poor families who have lost all their belongings due to the floods:

Item Quantity (per household)
Quilts (for winter uses) 2
Water filters (manually operated) 1
Emergency lights (solar-powered) 1
Mosquito nets 2

Rehabilitation and livelihood support provided to 150 poor households

Quilts, water filters, solar emergency lights, and mosquito nets, etc. for 150 flood-affected families