What do we think are IDRF’s greatest impact areas?
As one of the renowned US non-profits supporting India, IDRF disburses grants to India for development works. With over 35 years of its existence, IDRF has made contributions in different areas such as, education and skill development, health, woman/community empowerment, good governance and innovation, , environment sustainability, and disaster relief/rehabilitation.
Education and the health of poor people in the rural parts of the country has been a very significant part of IDRF’s agenda.
When talking with Dr. Prakash about the IDRF’s greatest impact areas, he shared some interesting incidents about his journey in helping charities in India.
Soon after the establishment of IDRF, one NRI met Dr. Prakash regarding the building of a school in his native village in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. His family donated a piece of land for initiating the project of building a school for the children of the village on it.
Initially the school building had just two rooms. There was no electricity and only a hand pump for water. The school provided free education to the village children. Initially, IDRF faced several challenges, like the lack of basic amenities, availability of teachers, and strong opposition of people from the same village, who believed that once the children received education, they will leave the village and move to cities in search of livelihood.
Finally, IDRF was able to convince the villagers that education is very necessary for the better of their children and the development of their village. Today, the school offers education up to 12th standard with C.B.S.E. accreditation. Approximately 1200 students from around 30 villages now attend this school. In addition to several modern amenities, IDRF has also provided five school buses to transport children from the nearby villages.
From just two rooms to a multi-storied building, the school has amenities like a state‐of‐the‐art auditorium, science and computer laboratories, and residences for school faculty. Thus, the dream of the NRI and Dr. Prakash to have a school in their home village came true.
In the second incident, Dr. Prakash discussed the tribal girls’ hostel project started in 2001.
With an aim to educate poor girls in India, the purpose of IDRF in this project is to motivate the underprivileged tribal girls for education. IDRF financially supported the construction
of a hostel building to accommodate 108 girls in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh. The girls residing in the hostel come from states like Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Ladakh and the Northeast region.
Along with Shiksha Bharati, IDRF provides free boarding, lodging, and travel to girls residing in this hostel. They also arranged field trips to nearby cities once a year for the hostel girls. The girls are also provided several vocational training options, mentorship and financial help to pursue higher education once they complete their schooling.
You will find many interesting talks from Dr. Prakash on this journey of IDRF. You can give your feedback or express your interest to know more about IDRF.