Why am I fundraising?
There is a group of families from Gujarat and interior Maharashtra that live under the Kandivli flyover bridge since a few years. Their kids were simply whiling away their time on the streets and were headed for more poverty or worse.
Challenges for the parents: Everyday pound the pavements of Mumbai selling their wares *and* get kids ready for school bathed, uniformed snack by 7:30 am with no running water, gas or electricity and the nearest public toilet a 10 minute walk away
All 24 kids passed their grades (the kids range from 5 to 12 years age), passed with a few of them getting high marks. So school has started in June and we only have a handful of them in the school so far and so most of them are missing school days right now.
Challenges for the kids: Sit in the same class as kids with educated parents and a huge leg-up in life, no lights to study under afer dark, undernourishment and already weeks behind starting school
Challenges for us: Funds to pay for school, boos and uniforms. After-school tutoring, extra-curricular activities
What do I plan to do with the funds?
We will raise about $400/₹25,000 per year per child or about $30k/₹1.8 million for the 71 children of that community. So for a little more than half of what it costs to send a kid to college for a year in the USA, an entore community of children will go to a decent school. The money will go to Annual Admission fees, Monthly fees, Books and Uniforms.
We have raised enough to get 21 children admitted and pay for their first two months of fees (12 children have started school and 9 more will start this week). So 51 to go with the clock ticking and unit tests just around the corner...
1) Aren't there free municipal schools they could go to?Yes there are, but we think children deserve a decent education that will give them a shot at escaping lifelong poverty.
2) Why focus on this set of children, surely there are thousands of children in similar situations in Mumbai and elsewhere?
Yes there are, but we had to start somewhere and some of the volunteers live in the area near the bridge.
3) Can I sponsor a particular child?
If you wish to sponsor a particular child and contribute $400 (₹25,000) and are committed to seeing him/her through school with an annual contribution, we can link your contribution to a specific child and provide their name and progress reports.
PRINCE TIWARI'S STORY: