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Samarthya: Support us to Help Children Access their Right to Education

What is Samarthya?
Samarthya means enabler. Samarthya is an initiative to help children have better and complete access to their Right To Education. The initiative, which is aimed at enforcing Section 21 of the Right To Education, is being run by IIT, BITS, Teach For India Alumni and fellows in Delhi. Samarthya is actively working to empower parent leaders to work towards improving the school and subsequently the future children.

We believe that active parental participation has the potential to improve the efficiency of a school as parents have the highest incentive to demand a better quality of education for their children.

RTE Section 21 mandates the constitution of a School Management Committee (SMC) consisting of parents, a social worker, a representative of the local authority, the principal and a teacher. 75% of this committee comprises of parents. Currently we educate and support the parents by: 
1. Conducting informational sessions with them about RTE, roles and responsibilities as an SMC member.
2. Equipping them with necessary skills like accessing grievance redressal mechanisms, filing complaints, working with principals and local bodies.
3. Working on their mindset to engage with the system with care and empathy, to work in tandem with school authorities and to take greater interest in the life of their children.

The Problem:

What is the problem we are trying to address in the next 15 years?
  • High incidence of illiteracy, lack of awareness of rights, roles and responsibilities and prevailing power structures often interfere with the proper functioning of SMCs
  • Approximately 40% of SMCs in India don't receive any kind of training 
  • 25.9% of the schools at the primary level and 13.4% of the schools at the secondary level violate the RTE norm on student teacher ratio
  • 38% schools don’t have a playground
  • 44% boys and 43% girls passed 8th grade with less than 60% marks in 2015-16.


Who are we?
Samarthya comprises of of 8 youngsters who simply want to do good for the society. With respect to our work, 4 members of this team are themselves working as social workers in SMCs of government schools of Delhi. All the members are or have been a teacher, teacher trainer or parent coach for a duration ranging from few months to a couple of years. Previous professional experience of the members include work with Samsung, Infosys and MMRC.

Who do we currently work with?
Samarthya currently works with 238 parents, from low income communities, who are SMC members in 14 government schools in West and North-East Delhi.

How was the project running in 2016?
Samarthya is a not for profit initiative. All the members were doing pro bono work and in fact contributing from their personal salaries. Most of the costs were on travel, food and resources for training sessions. But this approach is leading to fund constraint and affecting the quality of the program.

What will the funds be used for?

To sustain the quality and work and continue with these parents and school, we have realized two key things:
a) We need to stay with these parents and schools for the long run. Think a couple of years to a decade because deep, sustainable change takes time.
b) We need to take this up full time, so members working on this would need salaries and enough funds to focus all the attention on the problem, solution and impact model in 2017.

Please donate to the project if you connect to the cause or share our belief that informed and equipped parents are going to change the education landscape for the better. In the interest of transparency, the budget of Samarthya is attached below. The session plans, grievance redressal analysis and more details about the organization can be found here.
Program Budget (2018-19): Delhi
Program Budget (2018-19): Delhi
Brochure_Samarthya
Brochure_Samarthya
Ask for an update
30th April 2018
Dear Supporters,

Thank you so much for your donation. Your hard earned money has gone into enabling parents in Delhi NCR region. Your support has meant a lot to us. We are proud to have you as our partner. With every passing day, I am more and more hopeful that quality education for all is going to be a reality very soon.

Please find below a few key updates from the last few months:

Partnership with the Government of Haryana:


We are delighted to inform you that Samarthya has secured its first official partnership with any government. Samarthya will 15 SMCs in partnership with the Government of Haryana.

New Year New Sessions:


In Delhi, new SMCs were constituted in January 2018. We conducted 10 training sessions and 6 support sessions in the last 3 months.

Parents were given circulars about duties and responsibilities of the SMCs. In the support, we facilitated a discussion among parents to prioritize the problems they want to solve in schools.  

Sessions with TFI SMC Social Workers:


We have also conducted 2 sessions in the last 2 months with Teach For India Delhi fellows and staff who are working in SMCs as social workers. We will be working with them throughout the year, supporting them in leveraging SMCs as a
structure to create meaningful impact in their respective schools.

Hubli Diaries Deshpande Foundation:
We got a chance to present our work in the grand finale of Sandbox Samvidha. Samarthya was one of the 6-8 organizations which was invited to run a 3-month pilot in Hubli, Karnataka.



One year of Incorporation: The Retreat
Samarthya was incorporated on 15th February 2017. We celebrated our 1 year of incorporation at the retreat. The team got a chance to reflect, rejuvenate and reconnect in the hills of Naldhera.

___________________________  

If fidelity to freedom of democracy is the code of our civic religion then surely the code of our humanity is faithful service to that unwritten law that says we shall give our children better than we ourselves received.

The parents we work with epitomize this. They exemplify how a dearth of time or resources is too small a barrier compared to the enormity of their will to give their children a life better than they themselves lead.

Finding these parents and enabling them to shine is what Samarthya is in the pursuit of.

We are not aiming for the stars, we are aiming just an inch higher.

Please do reach out to me for any queries. Keep checking our facebook page for regular updates.

I am attaching our impact report for the last year for your reference.
25th September 2017

Dear Supporters,

Apart from our official logo above, today I just wish to share 3 things, 3 of the most incredible updates from the last 4 months. Before I begin, I just want to officially welcome the 34 new donors since the last time we posted an update.
Incredible Update #1: Citizens To The Fore

One Line Summary: An informed parent is central to a good public education system, just like an informed citizen is central to a democracy.

Your support enabled us to launch our SMC (School Management Committee) election campaign. Running on a slim budget, we have covered 70+ schools in the North East District of Delhi.  We intend to cover a total of 126 schools. You can read more about our effort on Youth Ki Awaaz.
(Parents being informed about what role can they play in the upcoming SMC elections during a Parent Teacher Meeting in Kakrola, New Delhi)
(Outgoing SMC members spreading awareness so that more and more parents play an active role in the public education system)

Incredible Update #2: Parent Organized Weekly Reading Camp

One Line Summary: Parents organize a weekly reading camp for all the children in the community.

(Pictures from the weekly reading camp organized in Mohan Garden)

Incredible Update #3: Himachal Pradesh Calling

One Line Summary: We were invited to Himachal Pradesh to conduct SMC training(s) in collaboration with the DIET of District Solan.

We conducted training(s) for more than 15 SMCs in July and August.
(SMC members going through the Himachal Pradesh government circular about duties of the School Management Committee)

Key Facts: In the last 4 months, we have visited the communities we work with over 50 times, we have conducted over 10 sessions and we have been running the SMC election campaign for over 3 weeks now.

The money you donated has made it financially viable to run our operations so far and for at least 3 more months.

If you are ever in Delhi and can spare the time, please let me know, we would love for you to see the work on the ground.

Please do reach out to me for any queries. Keep checking our facebook page for regular updates.

Thank you for your support. It is much needed and much appreciated.
18th June 2017
Dear Supporters,

Saboli is a community in East Delhi. The girls in the Government school of Saboli used to face harassment at the hands of boys while leaving the school. This was because when the morning school for girls ends, the evening school for boys begins. The parents that we work with decided in one of our bi-weekly check ins that in order to prevent this they want a Police van outside the school. They displayed courage and a sense of urgency when they submitted a request letter for a police van to the nearest police station. It is because of their endeavors that a police constable is always present outside the school now.  

Thanks to you and our parent leaders that the girls in Saboli school now feel safe and more parents are encouraged towards sending their daughters to school.
 
 
We at Samarthya, are very grateful for your kind donation towards our cause of building equitable schools. We’d like you to know that your thoughtfulness is truly making a difference in the lives of around 238 parents and 41,430 children. More training sessions have been conducted, more parents have been empowered, many others inspired and more children have better access to their right to education. It is because of your support that we have been able to conduct 14 support sessions and over 50 community visits since February. Your donation has contributed in covering our operational costs for the last 4 months. These parents are now familiar with the systemic tools and are actively using them, taking us closer to our dream of building equitable schools. 
 (A picture from one of our sessions in Gokalpur Village)

Given the magnitude and the complexity of the problem we face, we think Samarthya has just begun its journey.  Knowing that people like you have our back, gives us the courage, energy and the motivation to enable parents to stand up for the right of their children. 

Thank you so much for your support !

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