Shiksha Bharati is an institution that is devoted to the cause of the empowerment of girls through education. Shiksha Bharati runs and operates a Central Board of Secondary Education (C.B.S.E.) accredited senior secondary school (up to Grade 12th) on a 20-acre education campus, some 65 kilometers east of New Delhi. The school provides innovative and holistic education by utilizing a rigorous curriculum. The program combines academics with physical, moral, spiritual, and cultural development to empower girls and prepare them to become financially independent to lead a life of dignity.
Project Title: Skill development and vocational training for IDRF Hostel girls
Girls from tribal villages of the Northeast region are selected by Vidya Bharati and sent to Shiksha Bharati for schooling. These tribal girls were often unable to access basic education—let alone quality education—in their home states. With IDRF’s guidance and financial support, Shiksha Bharati constructed a well‐equipped hostel to house 100 tribal girls within the campus of their C.B.S.E. accredited senior secondary school. IDRF and Shiksha Bharati together provide completely free boarding, lodging, and travel to all girls residing here.
To improve the girls’ employability skills IDRF and Shiksha Bharati wanted to start a vocational training center on the campus. The family of Late Monica Gautam donated money from a trust fund in her memory to start this center. The Monica Gautam Vocational Training Center was set up on the campus in February 2021 and offers cutting and tailoring courses spanning over six months. The classes are held in two batches, one for the IDRF Hostel girls (12 per batch) and the other for the local marginalized women (15 per batch).
Shiksha Bharati has applied for getting affiliation from the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for the center and once that has been granted, the participants will be awarded diplomas that will greatly enhance their employability options. The equipment and accessories used for the classes are as per the NIOS guidelines.
Monica Gautam Vocational Training Center was set up in February 2021
IDRF Hostel girls receiving skill development training at the center
Women from nearby areas also receive training at the vocational center
Shiksha Bharati is an educational institution that is devoted to the cause of the empowerment of girls. The education complex comprises a senior secondary school for girls, an IDRF hostel for tribal girls, a B. Ed college, herbal garden, and gaushala (animal shelter) on a 20-acre campus, some 65 kilometers east of New Delhi. IDRF provides free value-based education, board, and lodging to underprivileged tribal girls from northeast India. The IDRF-supported hostel can accommodate 100 students and is attached to the C.B.S.E. accredited senior secondary school.
Project Title: Biogas plant at IDRF Tribal Girls’ Hostel
IDRF with the help of an expert team -Dr. Emmanuel D’Silva (a World Bank retiree) and Mr. Narendra Jindal, who have set up more than 70 biogas units across India on a pro bono basis, set up two, new biogas units: a-20 cubic meter digester close to the gaushala run on cow dung and an-8 cubic meter unit run on human waste from the girls’ toilets. The biogas generated from the units meets most of the kitchen fuel needs of the girls’ hostel
The Shiksha Bharati management is happy with the new biogas unit that employs the latest technology. Unlike traditional dome-shaped cow-dung biogas plants made of bricks and cement, this one is made of synthetic material that looks like a balloon and rolls on the ground. The technology is sourced from Mexico but fabricated in India. The new unit saves about four cylinders of LPG gas per month in winters and five cylinders in summers.
The biogas unit has already generated considerable interest locally. The state’s Minister for Panchayats came on a visit to see the biogas plant and showed his appreciation for IDRF’s eco-friendly vision. The project might inspire other semi-rural schools that have student hostels, gardens or cattle sheds to have biogas units too. IDRF is looking ahead to support the spread of this technology to education/health institutions in other states of India as well.
The two-unit biogas plant installed at IDRF-tribal girls’ hostel
The biogas plant meets the fuel needs in the kitchen at the hostel with 66 girls
Clean energy from the biogas plant replaces 57 LPG cylinders per year at the hostel
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A team of dedicated professionals has developed a National System of Education which helps in building a generation of young men and women infused with patriotism, physical, mental, and spiritual development and capable of successfully facing challenges of life. These youth will contribute towards building a harmonious, prosperous, and culturally rich Nation.
IDRF partner since: 2018
Focus Area: Education
Location: Uttar Pradesh
Project Title: Funding request for a school for rural children (especially girls)
In 2018, a team of professionals started a school at a village Kanauja in Ghaziabad, about 25 km north of New Delhi. This new school spans over four floors and 16 classrooms. A team of 25 members works at the school and about 500 children are enrolled from nearby rural areas. The school is not-for-profit and provides quality and affordable education to children from economically weaker families and who are likely to drop out of school for lack of finances or facilities.
The school is funded by donations from individuals and does not get any financial assistance from the government. The school is governed by Vidhya Bharati Akhil Bhartiya Shiksha Sansthan. To achieve the goal of providing quality education to rural children, the school needs to create more facilities such as smart classrooms, improved computer lab, activity rooms, security, and CCTV system, and a sports complex. Donations are being sought to provide facilities at the school as well as to meet the annual educational and other essential expenses of the students.
Besides academics, the students are also engaged in vocational training, field trips, cleanliness drives, environmental camps, and evening coaching classes to help with the homework, etc. To encourage the children to attend school, they are also given toys, books, and other school supplies. Dedicated school teachers regularly visit the children at home to meet up with their parents and get them to be involved in their child’s education.
At present, the school has limited facilities and has initiated Phase-II of their building construction. A block of four floors with a covered area of 1,400 sq. meters will be added for which there is a dire need of funds.
Even during these challenging times, our hard-working and dedicated NGO-partners in India have been working hard to continue or modify their programs to help the poor and needy!
COVID-19 Awareness and Relief Efforts in the slums of Aurangabad
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Vaidyakiya Pratishthan Trust, Maharashtra
Even during the complete lockdown, IDRF-supported Mobile Medical Clinic in partnership withDr. Ambedkar Vaidyakiya Pratishthan was actively involved in providing OPD services, COVID awareness, and relief to the needy at their doorsteps. In 13 locations around the slums of Aurangabad food packets and grocery, kits were distributed and COVID-19 awareness and relief programs were conducted benefitting thousands of slum-dwellers. The doctors and health staff of the mobile clinic take the utmost precautions like wearing PPEs and following all safety measures while rendering the services.
Providing nutritious meals to severely malnourished children during the Pandemic Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari, Arunachal Pradesh
Even during the pandemic lockdown, IDRF and partner-Vivekananda Kendra are working hard to continue providing nutritious meals to severely malnourished children in the remote hilly areas. During the complete lockdown, our partner team was unable to operate the centers where they prepare the meals for distribution to the children. However, the team determined to provide meals to these children, started supplying dry (uncooked) food items on foot to the hamlets where these children lived so that their parents could feed them the meals during the lockdown. The local transporters also extended their help to the team for this noble cause! More than 510 severely malnourished children living in the remote hilly areas are benefitting as a result.
Medical Center providing OPD and Pathological Laboratory services to the rural poor
Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari, Assam
To provide quality health care at a very affordable cost to the poor patients, in 2019, we established a charitable Medical Center with an OPD and Pathological Laboratory in partnership with-Vivekananda Kendra in Laipuli village of Tinsukia district, Assam. IDRF funded the completion of the first phase of construction in June 2019. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the medical and other staff at the medical center follow all mandatory safety guidelines and continue to serve the medical needs of the poor patients from the nearby villages. In June 2020, after one year of the inauguration of this medical center, 5110 patients were treated and 1008 pathological tests conducted.
Women’s Self-Help Groups Spread Awareness and Relief during the Pandemic
Arpana Research and Charities Trust, Haryana
As soon as the lockdown started, IDRF’s partner-Arpana’s workers started conducting telephone sessions to inform over 12,000 women members of 100 Self-Help Groups about COVID-19: symptoms and precautions such as social distancing, hand washing, wearing masks, etc. These Self-Help Group members in turn started spreading the awareness in their respective villages. These members encouraged and helped in the sanitization of their villages along with their Panchayats. The women also made sure that the poor migrant laborer families in their villages got food and groceries during the lockdown. 500 women from 100 villages volunteered to become the liaison between the government officials and the villagers in the fight against coronavirus.
COVID-19 Awareness Training of Mahila Sangathan Members
SM Sehgal Foundation, Rajasthan
During the pandemic, training programs for women’s groups were organized in 47 villages in Ajmer. The objective of the program supported by IDRF was to create awareness about Coronavirus among the participants, DIY mask making, and distribution of masks to all the group members. Apart from the women trained in the Mahila Sangathan groups, other women from the villages were also encouraged to participate in the training. About 1,023 face masks were distributed among the members and banners were also used in the villages to spread awareness about the safety measures.
IDRF Hostel Girls’ “Art of Survival” during the pandemic lockdown
Shiksha Bharati, Uttar Pradesh
IDRF provides free education, board, and lodging to underprivileged tribal girls from North-east India at the IDRF-supported hostel on the campus of Shiksha Bharati’s accredited High School in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh. At present 88 girls are residing at IDRF-Hostel (Grade-6th to 12th).
When a complete lockdown in India was implemented on March 24, 2020, the girls residing at the hostel in partner Shiksha Bharati’s school in Hapur decided to not travel to their homes but rather stay together and quarantine at the hostel itself. These girls showcased discipline, and motivation and utilized this time as an opportunity to develop extra-curricular skills. They created a schedule that would allow them to not only function during the quarantine but also thrive. Yoga and meditation became a mandatory part of their daily routine. The older girls took care of the younger girls and helped them with their online classes and homework. All the girls were engaged in a lot of activities such as playing sports, learning languages, singing, learning to play instruments, folk-dancing, painting, cooking, and gardening, etc.
Excellent Performance by the IDRF hostel girls in the Annual Board Exams 2020!
The school classes and annual board exams were postponed due to the lockdown in the country. However, the IDRF-Hostel girls were still able to pass the Board exams for classes 10th and 12th with flying colors! While the girls studied hard for the exams, they would not have been able to attend the school and unlock the tremendous potential without our donors’ unstinting financial support.
IDRF is continuing to provide financial support for the higher education of the students which will help make these girls financially independent and lead a life of dignity and self-respect. Six of the class XII girls have started graduate programs at Banasthali University (Rajasthan) and one is studying Nursing in her hometown.
Online fun learning activities for children during the lockdown
IDRF supports Swa-Roopwardhini in running 16 Integrated Child Development Centers in various parts of Pune, wherein 800+ academically bright students from deprived sections of the society participate for 3 hours each day. To keep children motivated and engaged during the COVID-19 lockdown, the volunteers developed many interesting online programs like early morning yoga, word puzzles, study sessions, competitions to encourage children to help parents in keeping the house clean, teaching cooking skills, daily diary, arts and crafts actives, elocution and storytelling competitions, etc.
IDRF and partner Vidya Bharati support a school for poor rural children in rural Ghaziabad about 15 miles from Delhi. The school provides affordable modern education to 417 children from poor families and about 20% of them are from extremely poor families who can’t even afford the nominal fees and school supplies. The hardworking and dedicated staff of SKKS Saraswati Vidya Mandir have been conducting online classes during the lockdown for the students through the Whatsapp platform.
Online training programs for teachers to provide computer literacy to underserved children
Computer Shiksha, Operating in over 15 states of India Computer Shiksha, our partner who provides free computer literacy to underprivileged students in over 15 states of India, has been able to complete the online training programs with School Leaderships through Zoom in 34 schools in Pune (Maharashtra) and 49 schools in Sikar (Rajasthan). Computers for these new participating schools are refurbished and prepared and will be shipped to them once they open up!
Safe Drinking Water and Employment to villagers during the pandemic
Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society, Tamil Nadu
IDRF and partner Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society (SVRDS) de-silted 7 ponds over May and June 2020 in the villages of Ranipet, Thiruvallur, and Chengalpattu districts to provide safe water for drinking and household consumption through Rain Water Harvesting to 18,500 villagers. These ponds were choked with silt and weed and water was unsuitable for human consumption. During the desilting process, the debris was dug up and pond bunds were strengthened by planting tree saplings in them. SVRDS was also able to employ some of the needy villagers during these difficult times in helping with the de-siltation process. During monsoons, it is expected that the pond will be filled with water.
Generating MANERGA work demand and providing sustainable water resources
Samerth Charitable Trust, Gujarat
120 families of Davri village in Kutch district, can access safe and clean drinking water even in the summer months. During the pandemic, the Indian government announced that people could access MGNREGA work for creating livelihoods in the rural areas. The dug well and the pond was restored by our partner-Samerth Trust with IDRF’s help under MGNREGA and provided livelihood to local struggling families.
Learning and livelihood training centers for migrant worker families
Samerth Charitable Trust, Chhattisgarh
At the beginning of the lockdown, Samerth collaborated with the District Administration of Raipur in setting up a shelter house for migrant worker families. These people were suddenly left with meager sources of income and were struggling for survival. With support from IDRF and other partners, Samerth arranged for meals for the struggling families and also set up a learning center for children along with offering livelihood training to the resident migrants at the shelter home.
Putting “smiles” on the faces during the pandemic!
Manav Seva Sansthan “Seva”, Kerala
Amid Covid-19 lockdown, IDRF and our partner-Manav Seva Sansthan helped provide new houses to 10 poor families whose houses were destroyed due to floods and landslides in Wayanad, Kerala due to heavy monsoon rains last year.