Every cloud has a silver lining, all we have to do is trust in ourselves. This story is about a boy named Rajendra who comes from a very poor family which relies on begging to make two square meals. Rajendra used to spend his day begging on streets and roaming here and there to kill his time. When we started our work in his slum, it was a herculean task for us to transform his ragbag to school bag. Our Sarthak educators fought tooth and nail to drag him to our centre. However, after persistent efforts we were finally successful in developing his inclination towards education. After seeing his dedication, we have finally enrolled him into a government school. Once a drug abuser, Rajendra is now all set to make a difference. Initially, he wanted to rely on begging to earn his bread and butter, but now he aspires to become a police officer to serve the society. He is now one of our most regular students at our Chinhat centre in Lucknow. Though we have a long way to go with him, but we believe his dedication coupled with our persistent efforts will help him have a better tomorrow.
About our work-
It is wonderful how some events completely change the way you live life. Sarthak Foundation, an organisation that works for education of slum children, was also born out of such a life changing event. This work was started by a Professor from a private University in Lucknow. She saw that there were a lot of children around her University who did not go to schools and would loiter around aimlessly. One day, she gathered a couple of friends and started teaching the children living near the slum of her University. She was soon joined by a lot of other people who also wanted to do something meaningful for the society. After working for a month with these children, the group realised that the problem in hand was magnanimous. The issue was not only financial but also situational. There was learning issue at school level, lack of home education, low rate of learning among kids and a lot more and that is how the After School Model came into place.
The group started teaching six children under a tree shade and in the last three and a half years have been able to touch the lives of more than 500 children with five centres in and around Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
We work for improving the quality of life of children living in urban slums. Our focus is on providing quality education to the children who are deprived of it due to financial constraints. Our vision is to free the current generation of children from poverty. The only way to do so is to empower them through education and employability skills. Once they get employed, they will be able to take their families out of this vicious cycle of poverty and that is what we wish for.
Our After School model handles issues that children face at school level, home front and also focusses on children who do not go to schools. We set up centres within the hearts of the slums and conduct classes (Open Study Centre) six days a week for the children and cover their primary education. We teach them English, Mathematics, General Awareness and Etiquette. We also conduct sports, arts and cultural classes for them on regular basis. Our focus is on the holistic development of the children and on improving their learning levels.
The team engages a lot of volunteer services. The average age of the team is 28. Most of the members work without remuneration and dream of a day when each one will be able to work for Sarthak in a full time capacity. The core team has management professionals, teachers and engineers. The team is motivated, driven, confident and focused.
Total amount of funds to be raised -
Having established four centres, we now plan to open up four more centres. Our cost per year per child comes out to be lesser than Rs.3000/- per year, which means merely Rs.250/-per child per month. The total amount incurred in one centre which caters to around 80 children per year is Rs. 239860/-.
For four centres for the entire year the cost comes out to be Rs.959440/-. This is the amount that we wish to raise now.