Karuna Trust

Our vision is of a world without prejudice, in which every human being has the opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of their background or beliefs. We aim to do this by challenging the ignorance and prejudice that trap people in poverty.
Aug 11, 2014

Project Annual Report

New Playgrounds in Schools
New Playgrounds in Schools

Here is an extract from the last 3 months of activities, and some pictures of what has been done in the schools. 

Thanks so much for your continued generosity.


  1. Increased Enrolment of school age children:


  • This year NISD adopted number of ideas while increasing enrolment of the school age children.  This year we organised rallies, put catchy phrases on the prominent places, organised street play, exhibited posters and through this program we could reach upto 8550 village people ( male 4701, female 3849).


  • NISD  collected information of 777  school age children ( 412 male, 365 female) and wrote an appealing letter to their parents requesting them to enrol their child in the school.  We also took help of eminent people to encourage  villagers to send their children in the school so that all the school going age children will be in school.  Not only that we linked this program with the local education department and worked out a detail plan how we can jointly do the “First Day School Program” and what they will do and what NISD will do during the program.  This program was very successful as the District Education Officer also attend program in few villages and appreciated NISD’s efforts in this field. 


  • The biggest thing is that in the first day program, the village SMC members, SHG leaders, local leaders, parents, NISD staff all were present in every village  school and welcomed the new children.  The SMC and village level people brought some eatables, NISD distributed sweets, caps, balloons, whistle, drawing book, drawing pencils, roses to the new comers. The Govt. distributed books, uniforms etc.  This year it was not a school program but it became a village program. Thus NISD succeeded to increase people’s involvement in the program, involved education department that was working earlier lonely.  This program received a grand success in every village and the new comers enjoyed their first day in the school differently.  This  helped to  increase their attraction towards schooling.  This programme was organised in all 25 villages and 36 Govt. schools.


  • During this year  for the first standard  365 boys,   332  girls = 697 total enrolled in standard 1st.


Apart from above 697 children, enrolled in first standard, additional 230 children enrolled in other classes i.e. 2nd to 7th standards.  Thus total 927 children enrolled in schools.


  1. Higher Completion Rate at Primary Level:  


  • Because the efforts taken in the last two years, this year there is lot of awareness among local people and made good use of the same.  We conducted survey of poor children of 25 project villages.  During this we involved school teacher, SHG members, SMC members, Ministers of Child Parliament and members, NISD staff etc and by making home visits etc. identified 1490 poor children ( 793 boys and 697 girls) who need the educational material.  NISD, like earlier year, printed notebooks, stitched school bags, purchased other educational material and when the school started distributed this material by involving local leaders, SMC members, SHG members, Education Officer, Govt. officers and the Block Development Officer.  Thus NISD tried to involve all the stakeholders and gave wide publicity to this activity in the project villages. The material like notbooks, geometry boxes, school bags, uniform, slate, etc. are distributed to needy children whose parents otherwise would have found difficulty in buying the same. 


  • In April to June schools are having summer vacation.  NISD made good use of Mobile Library activity and provided books to the village children.  525 children ( 290 boys and 235 girls) made use of this activity  and 21 Child Parliament children were actively involved  and helped this activity.


  • Under Reading Improvement Program, in RIP II 624 slow learners were supported with the skills and this helped in improving their status in school final examination, conducted in April, 2014.  335 boys and 289 girls ( total 624) means all children received good mark.  The statistics shows that, out of these 624,  earlier  no child was in A1 or A2 grade.  337 children ( M-181, F-156) were in B1, 204 (M-106, F-98) were in B-2 grade, 66 ( M39, F-27) in C1 grade and 17 children (M-09, F-08) were in the C-2 grade.    After conducting RIP classes the situation is changed drastically.  323 children (M-181, F-156) received A1 grade, 222 (M-119, F-103) passed in A-2 grade, 56 ( M-37, F-19) children are in B-1 grade and 23 children ( M-14 and F-09) received Grade-B-2.   There is no child is C grade and that is success of RIP classes.


  • NISD has been started survey of additional children, who are behind in their studies  and conducted a training program for the RIP teachers to equip them with new skills.


  • During this quarter, trainings were organised for members of  14 Child Parliament groups.  PRA, village study, social mapping, village mapping, cyclical climatic changes of the village etc. subjects are taught to these children. Total 150 members of Child Parliament groups ( boys 90 and girls 60) took part in these trainings.


  • As school were having holiday but the health volunteers helped NISD in school enrolment program by identifying children, visiting their homes and bringing them school on first day program and distribution of material for them.  The Education Ministers of Child Parliament groups actively participated in this.



  1. To improve health and improve positive hygienic practices,  NISD organised variety of activities to create awareness among poor families of this area.


  • In Hygiene Education Program all school health volunteers created awareness among local people of 25 project villages.  3000 health pamphlets are stick on the doors of  3000 families who have not yet constructed toilets and going for open defecation. Thus  in this 3000 families total 11,870 members male 6132 and female 5738 are aware to stop open defecation and construct toilets. 


  • NISD also organised Street plays, with the help of heath volunteers at common places, organised meetings, exhibited posters, provided information about problems of open defecation etc.  In these  31 meetings conducted NISD staff made  aware 1827 people ( male 957 and female 870)


  • In every village slogans about health and hygiene are painted on the walls at common places by making use of attractive phrases etc.. 


  • Under this project, so far, toilet material was distributed to 1996 families.  Out of that 1260 toilets are constructed and work of  368 toilet work is in progress.  Remaining 368 toilets work will start soon.


  • Heath check of pre-school center children was done 546 children ( male 268 and female 278) are screened. Out of this 13 boys and 12 girls ( total 25) refered to specialist doctors by motivating their mothers and follow-up of these children was done on regular basis.


  1. Improved  Livelihoods within the community through youth skill development and women’s self-help groups: 


  • During this quarter, employable training courses completed/ going on in Sales Promoter, Electrical wireman, Florist ( making garland and flowers buckeye and curtain cushion making , in which 93 youth ( M-58, F-35) took/taking benefits.  From this sales promoter course is completed and 6 youth ( M-4, F-2) got employment.
  • Earlier we organised tailoring classes from which we identified few youth who are financial/socially backward.  We put their proposals to Block Development Department from which 8 youth received sewing machines, under Govt. schemes.  As we processed another 13 youths proposal,  It is  expected  that they will also get the benefit shortly.
  • 50 uniforms, of the school children,   stitched by the youth who took  sewing training, under our project  earlier and got income out of that.
  • 150 school bags are stitched by the youth who had taken training under Karuna-DFID program.  Thus efforts are taken to provide income source from the existing project activities. 
  • Microm course trainees also made  120 different decorative articles and efforts are going on to sale them in the local market.
  • During this period, 144 women taken loan for various purposes i.e for goatry/dairy-29,  shops-3, tailoring units-2,  small business-36 and for agriculture purposes or other  work-74.   Out of these 144, 142 women received loans from their SHGs or Federation and two from nationalised banks.
  • A training program organised, on bank linkages for SHG leaders, jointly with the Block  Development Department in which 231 women leader were present.  Motivation and information on different business, information on banking procedure and required documentation etc. was done through Bank Managers, Block Development Officer, District Rural  Development Officer etc.  In this training itself 19 SHGs linked with different banks ( State Bank of India-3, Indian overseas-2, Ahmednagar Dist. Co-operative Bank-6, Union Bank-4, AXIX bank-1, Central Bank-3 groups). This program helped bringing women, Bank Officer and Govt. Officer together, guiding women about banking procedure, establishing better understanding among women and Banks etc.
  • Three meetings of SHG federation members were organised and 79 women leaders were present in this program.  Emphasis was given on bank linkages, paper work needed, how to build capacity of SHGs, etc. subjects are covered in the meetings. 
New taps in schools
New taps in schools
New toilets in schools
New toilets in schools
New roof in a school
New roof in a school
Aug 8, 2014

Renuka: Stitching, Writing and Reading

Renuka outside her house
Renuka outside her house

Renuka, pictured here, is an eighteen-year-old girl who has benefitted from the activities and programmes offered by the project. Her family includes herself, her parents, three siblings and one sister-in-law. Her parents work as labourers at construction sites, where they carry cement bags. Due to the severe drought in their village, they had to relocate to the city in search of a livelihood. Renuka was forced to discontinue her education to take care of her three siblings who are in the 11th, 9th and 7th standards respectively. However, Renuka was reluctant to return to school to study with children who are much younger than her.

The project team met Renuka when conducting a survey in her community. She was offered help to re-join school, however upon voicing her hesitation, she was instead offered the option of joining the tailoring course which she accepted. Renuka has been using these new tailoring skills to find paid work for the last seven months, stitching clothes for neighbours and earning respect of her family and community whilst doing so. She also learned to read and write with the other children in the organisation.

“I learnt a lot from other girls who were learning with me,” Renuka explains. “I learnt the way to talk and behave and this changed my personality. Now I dress up neatly and properly and I tend my hair properly too. In the past I was not very tidy about it. Staying back at my house, I could have never been able to speak so well. I feel that a lot of my aspirations have been fulfilled. I have a feeling that I can do something and today I am able to earn on my own. This helps me to live life happily.”

Today Renuka thinks that she will not have to endure the arduous work her mother had to. She says “thanks to the tailoring course, I will be able to earn by putting in less efforts than my mother.  Now that I can read and write, I will not face problems travelling places. My family includes me in the decision-making process and when getting me married, they will surely take my views into consideration.”  She is pictured here, demonstrating her newfound tailoring and designing skills, and is wearing a dress she made herself in the first photograph.

Renuka Tailoring
Renuka Tailoring
May 12, 2014

Rohan - health volunteer


Rohan is 9 and lives in a village 20km from Sangamner. Rohan is in class 3 and his younger brother of 7 is in class 2. Rohan’s father is a farmer but rainfall here is now much more irregular, and so they face many hardships through not being able to produce enough.They come from a low-caste background so getting employment or finding other sources of income is difficult. 

Rohan and his brother were almost as if neglected in many ways, because their parents would be so busy. They were not bathing, in dirty clothes, with uncut nails and unkept hair.

He was selected for the School Health Volunteer Programme, that the may change his habits and encourage other children to do the same. He attended all the lessons abotu good health and personal hygiene. Continuous follow up by the social worker motivated Rohan to imporve his personal hygiene. 

He has now started wearing clean clothes, wears shoes, bathes and cuts his nails regularly. He encourages his friends to do the same at school. This position has brought Rohan a new self-confidence. He has introduced basic hygienic practices to his younger brother and family.  

Thank you for supporting this project and changing the lives and health of Rohan and all in his school and community. It means they will be healthier, less at risk from certain diseases, and more able to integrate into society without facing the stigma of looking 'poor' and 'low-caste'.

Your generosity is contributing to massive change for these individuals and the future of these villages.

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