Send a Child in India to School for a Year

Sep 26, 2012

Seva Mandir and Right to Education Act.

Children enrolled in our Rural Schools!
Children enrolled in our Rural Schools!

We would like to thank you for your support during the Photo Contest 2012. Our photo came 3rd out of 69 entries and we are truly grateful for all your help. Below this letter, we have attached the annual report for our project so that you are able to see how exactly your donations are creating real change.

This year…

  • 11 new Rural Schools (Shiksha Kendras) opened across Rajasthan. Our total schools now stands at 178, reaching 5,861 children, 43% of which are girls, in the five rural blocks in which Seva Mandir works.
  • 20% of students scored level 3 in their end of year exams, compared to the 10% that achieved this in 2010.
  • 24 newly employed teachers attended 6-day initial training sessions, and 84 existing teachers participated in advanced training.
  • 36 teacher meetings were attended where instructors are able to discuss and find solutions to classroom difficulties.
  • Parent teacher meetings are encouraging local attitudes to turn towards and accept the importance of education for rural children.
  • English Language Teaching is to be brought in all the five blocks. Local teachers have decided that this will strengthen both child and teacher capacity.
  • First Aid Kits have been brought to Shiksha Kendras in one of the blocks.
  • Bal Melas children’s fairs have been reaching hundreds of children across Girwa Block.

Across rural Rajasthan, children attending Shiksha Kendras are achieving higher learning outcomes than those in regular government funded schools. However, their future existence is currently under threat, due to the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE) 2009.

The RTE Act prescribes a set of criteria for all educational institutions in India, aimed to promote qualified teachers and decent learning facilities for children. However, their measures are strictly related to human and physical infrastructure instead of learning outcomes. For example, a school under the RTE Act must have rooms of a specific size, running water, toilets and teachers with certain qualifications and salaries.

Although the act aims to inspire rights, in the context of rural Udaipur, there is an enormous shortage of qualified teachers. Teacher absenteeism is also high in most government schools, but these ground issues are not being tackled by the government. Instead, the act simply outlaws informal education centres such as Rural Schools, essentially limiting and removing people’s choices and ability to advocate their children’s education.

In response to this, Seva Mandir is undergoing great efforts to prove to the government that there is an urgent need for non-formal education, at least until official institutions are capable of delivering quality teaching. The following annual report displays the progress we’ve made this year and hence, the reasons why you should continue to support us in facing this challenge.

We hope you enjoyed reading this feedback. Please do share your thoughts on it.

With warm regards,


Aug 3, 2012

Help us winning the Photo Contest with 3 Clicks

We would like to thank you once again for your continuing support and faith in our work! Your valuable donations have been crucial in helping us make a great difference in people’s lives here in Rajasthan.

We are thrilled to announce that one of our photos has been selected to feature in the Photo Contest 2012 organized by Global Giving.  Voting began on August 1, 2012 and will end on August 15, 2012.

Why we want you to Vote for our Photo:

We believe the photo captures the pure spirit of the project ‘Send a Child in India to School for a Year’, and reflects the possibilities that lie ahead.  With 3 Clicks, you can help us to win the Photo Contest and the Bonus Cash Prize of $1,000!

How 3 Clicks will Help:

  • First Click - to vote for our photo following this link,
  • Second Click- to confirm your vote via an email sent to you in your inbox,
  • Third Click- to share the beautiful image among your friends, family and networks to spread the word. If you share this with just five people, we most definitely have good chance of success!

Why this Project:

Children (6-14 years old) in villages of Udaipur, India lack access to quality education for a number of reasons. In some cases they belong to very poor families whose per capita consumption is a little more than Rs. 500/-. Often these children support their family incomes by either working as laborers or performing household chores or looking after younger siblings.

With your vote to this project, the Bonus Cash Prize will help us fund an entire rural school to provide quality education to 25 out-of-school and working children for a year.  To learn more about one of our schools, please see the enclosed photo story.

With you at our side, our work is made a little less difficult, and our efforts stretch a whole lot further. We therefore, invite you to support us with 3 clicks.  Please share your thoughts on this report.

With many thanks,

Your friends at Seva Mandir

Jun 12, 2012

Your support is creating demand for quality education in India

Child studying in school
Child studying in school

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your overwhelming support to our project ‘Send a Child in India to School for a Year’.  With your help, this year we reached out to 5,861 rural, tribal and out of school children through our 178 schools. The main objectives behind running these schools are:

  1. To ensure quality education to children of marginalized communities, in the age group of 6 to 14 years, deprived of education. A focused effort is made to help these children to read comprehensively and write independently.
  2. Provide these children with a strong educational foundation, in order to prepare them for enrollment in regular government schools and also improve retention rates.
  3. Through these interventions on quality education, we enable communities to experience and demand an alternative and meaningful education.

We would like to share that on June 13, 2012 - Bonus Day, all your donations made to our project ‘Send a child to School for a year’ will be matched by 40%. We hope you will join us this Wednesday and support the education of children by donating and spreading the word among friends groups and network.

Below this letter, I share a story from Ranakhera fala, which illustrates a newfound appreciation and demand for quality education at the community level.  

Your contribution will help in sustaining the education of rural, tribal and out of school children of India.  We look forward to fostering this relationship in the future.

Warm Regards,



Ranakhera fala is a small hamlet of Talai Village located in the Jhadol block. In 2007-08, the village was divided into two parts by a man made pond created as a result of a government project, ‘Mansi Wakal.”  As a result of this new division, the only remaining path to reach Ranakhera fala involved crossing the dangerous pond.  Also, this division isolated this hamlet from both schools and shops.

Villagers of Ranakhara hamlet became concerned about the education of their children. Hence, they conducted a meeting and approached Seva Mandir to start a school (Shiksha Kendra) in their hamlet.

Sensing a critical demand for a school from villagers, Seva Mandir responded by opening a school in June 2009. A rural teacher recommended by the villagers was appointed and during the first year, 35 students were enrolled. After graduating from this school, 20 students were admitted in government schools to continue their higher studies. Currently, 28 students are enrolled in this school.

In addition to regular classroom activities, events like Makar Sakranti, Independence Day, and Republic Day are celebrated in school with enthusiasm. Such events inspire villagers to send their children to school, as they want them to experience both cultural and educational activities.

Mr. Feroz, the education in-charge of Jhadol block said, ‘this centre became so famous for its quality of education that children from other parts of villages started coming to this centre by crossing the water pool. We intervened in this practice, as there were higher chances of water accident and requested parents to send their children to near-by schools only’.


Apr 9, 2012

Hariram is very happy to see improvement in his son

Rural child painting in his drawing book
Rural child painting in his drawing book

Dear Friends,

Hope you are well and had a great Easter this year. I am writing to share with you a story of a rural school which inspires faith in investing in more into education in our area.

As you know with your support we run 180 rural schools reaching out to more than 5,500 children for their education. Seva Mandir started running Shiksha Kendra (formerly known as Non Formal Education Centres) in 1970s with 10 schools. The aim of running Shiksha Kendras (SKs/ rural schools) is to ensure quality education to tribal children of 6-14 years old in remote rural areas of Udaipur District who have no access to education for social or economic reasons. Most of our Rural Schools are located in impoverished and remotest villages where Government schools are either located very far or not functional. These single teacher rural schools enable children to read and write with comprehension and promote them for higher schooling.

In addition, these schools also enable the communities to experience an alternative and meaningful quality education. The hope is that working with the communities through these schools, the communities will be able to demand quality education from the Government in the longer run.

Being able to read and write and the joy that results from comprehension is a great feeling for these children attending the rural school as well as for the teacher who works hard with his/her children at these schools. The story depicted below my letter is one of such story.

Having you as our partner in this journey makes our struggle a little less harder. Your steady support and faith helps us to create thousands of stories Thank you for adding to these children’s happiness and empowering them.

Please do share your thoughts and comments on this program if any. Thank you again and with warm regards,





Story of Transformation


Shiksha Kendra located at Dhana Fala in Kham village stands one of the best example for enabling children with quality education and community participation. The village has two primary government schools however for several reasons children don’t attend these schools or drop out very early. Since a large number of children had been out of the schools the parents discussed the issue in village meetings several times. They requested Seva Mandir to set up a school for their children. Hence a school was set up in July, 2006.

Currently 95 children are enrolled in the school which is unusual. On an average in any rural school we have 25-30 children. Of these 95 children currently enrolled in Dhana Fala rural school, most of them commute every day a distance of 5 to 10 kms to attend this school. There are four instructors to cater to these 95 children. The village fully supports the school. During festivals, they distribute sweets and gifts to children at the school and also contribute towards the maintenance of the small school building. 

Hariram is a farmer and lives in Pawatri village which is 4-5 kms away from this rural school. Last year, he got his son Roshan enrolled in Dhana Fala rural school (Shiksha Kendra). Before Roshan’s enrollment here, he was studying in a primary government school in Pawatri village. He couldn’t read or write anything while all this time. His father was disappointed to see Roshan not learning anything at all. He had heard about the rural school of Dhana Fala village and therefore, he decided to bring his son to this school.

Just in a year, Roshan began to show improvements. Today he can read books and newspapers slowly. Hariram is so happy to see his son making progress. He visits the school regularly to check on his son’s performance. One of the days on his visit to the school, he observed that the instructors are very friendly to their students as compared to the government schools his son was attending in the past. Hariram was so impressed with the hard work of these instructors and appreciate their care with which they deal with their pupils.

Hariram is very proud of this school and has gained confidence of sending Roshan for higher studies, after graduating from Dhana Fala rural school.



Dec 30, 2011

You, Seva Mandir and Happy 2012

Wish you a very Happy New Year 2012!
Wish you a very Happy New Year 2012!

Dear Friend,

I very much hope that you are enjoying the holiday season. From all of us here at Seva Mandir, a very Happy and Prosperous New Year to you. May 2012 brings peace and success to you and to your family. We thank you for your kindness that you gift us always. With this letter, we love to share some key highlights of year 2011.

For Seva Mandir, the year 2011 has been a year of changes and success. Ms. Neelima Khetan stepped down after 12 years of her excellent leadership (total 25 years of association with Seva Mandir) in March. Ms. Priyanka Singh became our new Chief Executive in April 2011. Seva Mandir is ready to see many more years of its successful engagement with rural communities in Southern Rajasthan in her leadership.

In October, Seva Mandir became the implementing agency for the MNREGA projects for 32 sites in rural Udaipur. It is a significant achievement as well as an indicator of the faith of the 74 Panchayats in Seva Mandir’s work. These Panchayats have endorsed us to be their implementing agency for MNREGA. Of these 32 sites that were sanctioned, the work has begun on the 22 sites. Most of these sites of pastureland development and currently the building of boundary wall is going on.

In 2011, Seva Mandir has been included in two working (sub) groups –  {i) Child Survival & Development and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and ii) Girl Child} constituted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development to review the existing priorities, policies, strategies, programs and their implementation for fulfilling the rights of children to survival, development (including early childhood care, early learning, elementary education). Also, to highlight emerging issues and recommendations, resources allocation and utilization for Twelfth Five Year Plan of Government of India.

Several of Seva Mandir's programs have seen a maturing in the last years. For example, in the villages where Seva Mandir organized regular immunization camps, the complete immunization of children is 60%, while in comparison villages it is only 35%.

Similarly, the work on Natural Resources is yielding a lot of benefits to the poor. Every year grass worth Rs. 52 lacs (5.2 million rupees) is being harvested from the common lands developed under this program.

In April 2011, Champa Devi from Vassela village was awarded the "Woman Exemplar Award 2011". It is another reason to look back and feel joyous to see that a community member of Seva Mandir was being recognized by rest of the society for her selfless services.

We are privileged to experience exciting stories of women like Champa Devi. A big credit goes to friends like you for this. Your support has always been the source of our emotional strength. It helps us keep going with our work. It is gratifying that with your support we have been able to create spaces where ordinary people can exercise truth force to bring about social and political transformation.

We hope you will continue to be with us in future too. Your faith and untiring support is very critical to us at the moment. Especially, when national and international scenario is changing rapidly for civil societies and the definitions of ‘development’ are being re-explored.

We believe that the full and deep impact of Seva Mandir's work lies not so much in the tangible development activities that it promotes, but more in bringing the poor and rich together and enabling them to  work for the commons of building more just  and oppression free communities.

We look forward to your continuing contribution in the year 2012 too. Wish you a very bright and successful New Year.


With warm regards,


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Seva Mandir

Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

Project Leader

Priyanka Singh

Executive Director
Udaipur, Rajasthan (INDIA) India

Where is this project located?

Map of Send a Child in India to School for a Year