In 2013, six year old Kajal used to live with her family of 5 in a 2 m x 2 m room in the slum area of Chinhat in Lucknow. She used to work in homes with her mother. Kajal had never been to a school. Today, Kajal still lives in the same home, but she doesn't work or abuse drugs. And most importantly, she goes to an English medium school where she is studying in class III. She is doing surprisingly well, which reinforces our faith in what a little help can do toradically change livesof children living in poverty. Should the accident of birth decide which end of the pyramid you get? What's the one tool that can level the playing field? Knowledge is the new power. Education is the new r... read more In 2013, six year old Kajal used to live with her family of 5 in a 2 m x 2 m room in the slum area of Chinhat in Lucknow. She used to work in homes with her mother. Kajal had never been to a school. Today, Kajal still lives in the same home, but she doesn't work or abuse drugs. And most importantly, she goes to an English medium school where she is studying in class III. She is doing surprisingly well, which reinforces our faith in what a little help can do toradically change livesof children living in poverty. Should the accident of birth decide which end of the pyramid you get? What's the one tool that can level the playing field? Knowledge is the new power. Education is the new revolution. And we will do everything in our power to bring this to our children. Let us make each child happy and empowered!! EXECUTIVE SUMMARY "We want a world full of laughter and joy for its children. We want a world that is kind to its children." With a vision and mission to have Happy Empowered Children in slums, Sarthak Foundation reaches out to the least served children and changes their lives through education and skills. These are children who face dire financial and situational constraints in urban slums, villages and on construction sites. We work in the largest state of India - Uttar Pradesh. The issue that we are trying to address is removal of abject poverty in slums through education and skilling of children. We become a part of the community by setting up permanent Yellow Rooms and create a sustainable transformational environment for all the children in that vicinity. We ensure that while growing they become happy, confident, ethical and sensitive individuals and get full access to quality education and empowerment. We embarked on the mission with a handful of children with no resources to our disposal. The will was to disseminate education even if that meant teaching under the shade of a tree in a playground. What began with six children has expanded to more than 900 on the present day. We are a team who strongly believes that the answer lies in providing transformational and transformative learning coupled with development of linguistic, aptitude and scientific abilities to children. Merely sending the children to schools is not the solution. What is important is to come up with a solution that takes care of the children in: Providing a safe and progressive environment Providing good quality education that enhances their confidence and skills too Creating an awareness of social and civic issues like gender and equipping them to tackle it Training them for skills that make them employable in future Making them know their SELF and teaching them to be sensitive towards others Our model encapsulates the five critical areas mentioned above. We work with children in urban slums, construction sites and villages. Our projects are: Sarthak Yellow Room - children in urban slums, construction sites and villages. Sarthak Gurukul - formal school for children in villages. Sarthak Yellow Room - Our vision is 'Happy Empowered Children'. Yellow is a colour that exhibits happiness and hope. Yellow is a favourite with children and adds vibrancy to a place. We set up permanent transformational study centres in the heart of communities. They are painted yellow to add life to the place and thus we call them Yellow Rooms. They aim at providing free of cost education and empowerment to all the children living in that community. The Yellow Rooms are operational six days of the week, six hours everyday. Our method of operation is: Survey: Conduct a formal survey of the slum/construction site/village and assess the number of children who do not have access to education. Analyse: Conduct a baseline test to assess their levels of learning. Classify: Depending on the level of children's learning, divide them into: Tenderfeet (age3-6), Learners (age 7-11) and Advancers (age 12 +). Check School Enrolment: Make a list of all non-school going children. Set Up Yellow Rooms: Take up rooms on rent inside the community and paint them yellow in colour. We display four themes - gender, animal, cleanliness and abuse on the walls. Each room has a library, science posters and a creative corner. Run Programmes: The programmes that run in Sarthak Yellow Rooms are : Sarthak Happy Transformation Sarthak Holistic Education Sarthak School Inclusion Sarthak Skill and Empower Sarthak Educator Training Sarthak Happy Transformation : Human beings have taken birth to be happy and peaceful and to love, share and care. It is essential that we experience all this since childhood so that it becomes a part of us. Our Happy Transformation programme focusses on - Empathy, Peace and Happiness Sharing and Caring (Pay It Forward /Mentor-Mentee /Padho Padhao - Learn and Teach) Ethics and Value Building Becoming Gender Sensitive Life Skills (Formation of 'Bachon Ki Panchayat' - Children Government) Kindness to Animals Awareness of Civic Sense and Social Issues Sarthak Holistic Education : Children in these communities have almost negligible exposure to education. In order to bring them at par with children studying in formal schools, a lot of emphasis has to be given to subject learning. All our classes are digitally equipped. We do this by creating an interactive and creative learning environment for the children. We use 'learning by understanding and doing' approach and focus on developing - Linguistic Skills (Special focus on oral communication - Using British Council ) Aptitude Skills (On the lines of Olympiad) Analytical Skills and Awareness (Using newspapers) Scientific Skills (Vikram Sarabhai Science Modules) Sports, Arts, Craft, Dance and Music Digital Classes in all Yellow Rooms Corporate Exposure (Hospitality, Telecom, Banking, FMCG to name a few) Sarthak School Inclusion : After children complete first year with us, we - Conduct an entrance test to shortlist children who are eligible for Sarthak School Scholarship. For all children enrolled at Yellow Rooms since one year. Admission to private English medium schools and sponsor their entire education through Sarthak School Scholarship Use Right to Education Act for eligible children For all the remaining, enrol them to the nearest government school Ensure that no child drops out of school. Monitor the progress and attendance of every child every month by actively interacting with school management. Our rate of making children from non-school going to school going is 95% within first two years of setting up a Yellow Room. Sarthak Skill and Empower : One of our objectives is to make children self-sustainable. We want that they come employable so that they are empowered to take care of themselves and their families. In 2019, we initiated our Skill and Empower programme where we are tying up with corporates to run modules for our children which will give an exposure about that industry. It would also help them pick up basic skills needed to join that industry. We are also tying up with skill institutes to train our children for specific skills that would make them employable in the future. Sarthak Educator Training : Every week, a training-meeting is organised for the Educators of all the Yellow Rooms where they come together and exchange their ideas. There are two trainers who train them for skills to handle the classes effectively. There is a training module that we have which ensures that Educators are honed with skills needed to handle and educate children in a nice and happy manner. Round Table India SARTHAK GURUKUL - We have established alow fee primary school where quality education is provided to children of Sonari and nearby villages. (Sonari is a village in the district of Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh). It has been observed that there are no good schools in that vicinity due to which the foundation of education remains weak for a lot of children. The intention is to create a model where children from villages do not have to move out of their villages to search for education and employment. The school revolves on one SIMPLE mission S - Sensible I- Independent M - Modest P - Playful L - Low-stress E - Equitable The school works towards: Making children responsible towards their community Sensitising them towards good behaviour with people and understanding equality Maintaining good health and hygiene for a better living Becoming interested in nature and environment and taking care of it Learning to control their negative emotions and channelizing them into a positive direction Imbibing good manners and practicing them with fellows. Letting them experience the fun of learning. Let school be a place where children enjoy what they learn.
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