Sahaara Charitable Society

In November 1994, a group of concerned citizens gathered together and decided to bring about change among the most underprivileged people of Mumbai city where very few people want to go. The group also realized that each one of the underprivileged people also have a dream and that it would be a great privilege to work along with the underprivileged to help them articulate their dream and then equip them to see the fulfillment of their dream. With the above vision in mind, Sahaara Charitable Society was registered as a non-governmental organization in 1994 with a vision of "Gifting Dreams". Vision & Mission Everyone has a dream! The poor and underp...
Sep 30, 2015

21 children benefitting from Computer Literacy

Sahaara believes that every person has a dream, and our work centres around ensuring that marginalized persons are able to articulate and work towards achieving their dream. Children living in Mumbai juvenile homes are one of the most marginalized children in Mumbai. Institutionalized, these children are most often from highly poverty stricken families.

As a part of the holistic intervention therein, Sahaara imparts computer education to the children between fourteen to eighteen years of age in the juvenile homes. Sahaara’s in-house computer course delivers a fitting foundation to the children preparing their skills for the technology-driven world outside the homes. The children attending the computer training get a start that will help them break out of the poverty cycle and fulfil their dreams of a stable future.

Below is the story of a child who has benefited with the help of the computer training carried out by Sahaara personnel.

Dhiraj* gains confidence!

Dhiraj* woke up as the train ground to a halt. Outside he could hear the hustle and bustle of the station. Stretching, he clambered out of the train, expecting to see the familiar Allahabad station, a sign he was almost at his uncle’s house. But even as he got out of the train, he was struck with the sudden realisation that this was not where he was supposed to be.

We’ve all been there, that heart-rending moment when you lose sight of your parents and the world seems like a huge scary place. This is what happened to Dhiraj.

He used to live in Rirwa, a small village in Uttar Pradesh. One day in 2013, thirteen-year-old Dhiraj decided he wanted to visit his uncle in Allahabad. Without telling his parents, he caught a train that he thought was heading in the right direction. Unfortunately, that train led him straight to Mumbai!

As Dhiraj sat down in the Tilak station crying, a concerned woman came over to check on him. He told her the whole story and she took him to New Observation Home in Mankhurd. He stayed there for one year while the authorities searched for his parents. However, the search was fruitless. He was then shifted to David Sassoon Industrial School (DSIS) in 2014.

DSIS is a government home in Matunga that houses juvenile children, semi-orphaned and orphaned children until they reach the age of 18. It is a restful place filled with greenery and surrounded by trees. Sahaara has been conducting coaching classes in computer skills in DSIS since 2005.

Dhiraj joined Sahaara’s computer classes in DSIS when he moved to the home. Sahaara staff noticed that he found it difficult to understand the computer, especially the formulas and functions of Microsoft Excel.

Sahaara staff realised that he needed personal attention and started to focus on teaching him how to use the computer with charts and photos. We also gave him practical examples of how to use Excel using bills and mark sheets.

As he kept attending the classes, Dhiraj began to get excited about using the computer.

Today he feels confident! Dhiraj is very good at using Microsoft Excel, using formulas and building bills and mark sheets with ease. In fact, he wants to pursue an advanced course in Desktop Publishing (DTP). Sahaara also hopes to track Dhiraj’s parents and reunite him with his family. We are so excited to have walked this journey along with Dhiraj and we hope that this confidence will translate to all the other areas of his life!

We look forward to helping many young children like Dhiraj equip themselves for their future and the life that lies ahead.

*Name changed

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Jul 9, 2015

156 children prevented from dropping out of school

Sahaara believes that every person has a dream, and our work centers around ensuring that marginalized persons are able to articulate and work towards achieving their dream. Children in observation homes are one of the most marginalized populations in Mumbai.

The children who live in these Homes come from different states of India and are educated in a Marathi medium school run by the Home. The language difference makes it difficult for them to learn. Remedial education helps in coaching the children in the Marathi language as well as their school subjects thereby helping them understand what they are learning and maintaining their interest to continue education once discharged from the Home.

Sahaara staff procures addresses of discharged children from the home authorities. The social workers then traverse through labyrinthine gullies of Mumbai slums searching for the children’s residences. Through such home visits, networking with local schools, facilitating assistance in books and materials, the child is facilitated entry into formal education paving the way to a bright future.

Vishal is excelling in his studies!

Vishal thinks he was born in 2002 and has no idea as to where his parents live. He knows that, when he was at home, he had a younger brother and sister.

In 2007 his parents were having a huge misunderstanding and, in fear, Vishal ran away from home and got lost. The police found him loitering near a railway station and put him in the Dongri Home for protection.

The following year he was shifted to another Home and in early 2011 he was moved to the Chembur Children’s Home where we met with him for the first time.

In this Home, Sahaara conducts supplementary education for the 1st to the 6th grade and basic computer literacy classes for the 8th and 9th grade, along with counseling the children.

Vishal was a very reserved boy who kept to himself. When questions were asked during the coaching classes, he was never one to raise his hand and offer an answer. Whenever he was included and asked to say something – he would invariably add a disclaimer and say that the answer may be wrong. He rarely participated in any of the games that we conducted.

He did well in his exams, and in any written work he would be above average – but hesitated and struggled when he had to interact one on one. He was very low in confidence.

The teachers, noticing this issue, involved him in group activities and made him take a lead role in managing a group of children and generally kept encouraging him.

In a short while he began to open up to the teachers in the class and poured out his life to them.

He was beaten up at home very often and used to think that he would die one day with the beating – that was a fear that made him run away at that tender age.

As the teachers began to walk alongside him – noticeable changes began to appear in Vishal’s life.

He began to get prizes for cleanliness and attendance, and by the year end, had won the best overall student prize as well as stood second in academics! A huge shift from being a reserved child to one that was able to play alongside and work with his peers!

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Jul 2, 2015

22 new children enrolled for Computer Literacy

Sahaara believes that every person has a dream, and our work centres around ensuring that marginalized persons are able to articulate and work towards achieving their dream. Children living in Mumbai juvenile homes are one of the most marginalized children in Mumbai. Institutionalized, these children are most often from highly poverty stricken families.

As a part of the holistic intervention therein, Sahaara imparts computer education to the children between fourteen to eighteen years of age in the juvenile homes. Sahaara’s in-house computer course delivers a fitting foundation to the children preparing their skills for the technology-driven world outside the homes. The children attending the computer training get a start that will help them break out of the poverty cycle and fulfil their dreams of a stable future.

Below is the story of a child who has benefited with the help of the computer training carried out by Sahaara personnel.

Rajendra* finally receives acceptance and loving care.

Rajendra is a 15-year-old boy who was brought up by his parents in Diva in a remote area of Thane district located close to Mumbai. He came from a poor family that barely managed their expenses. In 2011, when he was 11, his mother passed away. While he was still recovering from the trauma of losing his mother, his father too deserted him and went away, leaving him to be alone.

Having pity on Rajendra, his mother’s brother decided to look after him. But finding it difficult, he decided to admit Rajendra in a Hostel in 2011. Rajendra, eager to be with someone he knew, ran away from the home and came back to his uncle. In 2012, his uncle again tried admitting him in another home, but he ran away from there too. Rajendra was going through a tough time. He was missing his parents and the only person he knew was not able to take care of him due to financial constraints. However, for the sake of receiving an education, it was best that Rajendra be admitted in a Home where his needs would be taken care of.

Finally in 2013, he willingly got admitted in the Umerkhadi Observation Home from where he was transferred in 2014 to David Sassoon Industrial School in Mumbai. This is a government Home where children receive basic accommodation, nutrition and education. Here Rajendra met many other children who face similar situations like his own. It is a quiet place surrounded by many green trees.

Sahaara Charitable Society runs a computer centre in David Sassoon Industrial School and this is where we got in touch with him. He was listed by the Home authorities to be enrolled for the Basic Computer Literacy Program. Our staff met with Rajendra and came to know about his situation. Initially Rajendra found it difficult to understand the lessons as he was weak in English. Our computer instructor noticed this and began coaching him in the English language. As time progressed, Rajendra not only improved in the English language but was also able to understand the computer lessons. He grew in excitement and eagerness. Rajendra has now learnt to use MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Paint. He is keen to continue learning.

Rajendra thanks Sahaara for teaching him English and basic computer literacy. Above all, he thanks Sahaara for showing personal interest in his life. He desires to continue learning computers once he is discharged from the Home and hopes to pursue a career where he has to use a computer.

*Name changed to protect identity.

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