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 Children  India Project #24430

Help create a Billion Literates

by One Billion Literates Foundation
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Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Help create a Billion Literates
Distribution of Dry Rations
Distribution of Dry Rations

Life as we knew it has changed in the last few months. We see and hear of death and destruction of lives and livelihoods all around the world. Society has been trying to adjust to the seismic tremors it is being subjected to on a daily basis. And yet through all the suffering and despair, we have witnessed the most sublime in humans at unprecedented levels. Where Authority has failed, civil society has stepped in. Where prejudices were rampant, individuals have healed with a helping hand. Barriers of race, religion, colour, caste, social status are being broken by ordinary, simple beings, who just have the courage and the humanity to show they care! These truly are the best of times and the worst of times!

 

OBLF is proud of our small team of 4 courageous men – led from the front by our CEO Anish and Program Manager Mahesh – which for the last 9 weeks has daily braved the elements, the harsh terrain, the physical strain and the emotional and mental agony of witnessing extreme human suffering first hand. The team has been very ably supported by some of our rural Coordinators, who have the local knowledge of “needy pockets of population”, so that our relief reaches genuine beneficiaries. The local administration and police have also helped us identify remote areas which have been left behind.

 

Our team has traversed 3,700+ kms, into remote areas where no official or civil society has gone, distributed over 50 MTs of dry rations, to migrants and waste pickers, gypsies and even low income groups who are too shy to ask for help. We have handed out 15,000+ masks, 3,000+ sanitizers to front line workers, and even 200 PPEs to a government hospital, which was short on those! We’ve distributed Milk powder and fresh vegetables to a colony of migrant waste pickers who live in conditions not fit for man or beast. Our team has reached settlements in remote areas, in forests, on hill tops, and has kept in touch with them to replenish stocks when they are over. We have directly or indirectly touched about 33,000 lives!

 

A colony of migrant workers held a “thanksgiving & blessings” function for our helping heroes. A frontline worker, with tears in her eyes, had this to say “So far, in the last 12 weeks, we have been given just half a litre of hand sanitizer and one disposable mask – this, despite us having to go daily, for several hours, into unpredictable situations. Your team is the first to have come to this location, engaged in a conversation with us and armed us with good, reusable masks and hand sanitizers for our own protection”.

 

The heartening part is that in each of these colonies / settlements / groups, we find noble souls, natural leaders, who take upon themselves to organize their group, who help us in our distribution, who ensure that the distribution is equitable, smooth and with minimum hassle. And though life is limping back to normal – slowly – there is still a demand for rations, since the recovery to normalcy is painfully slow. We will continue to lend a helping hand to those in need. 

 

In the meantime, our team noticed that in many rural areas where we operate, there was not much awareness of the precautions to be taken to stop the spread of Covid. We have therefore started an awareness campaign for the same, with lectures, posters, demonstrations on hygiene etc. Our team is now being invited on a daily basis by various Panchayats (local rural bodies) to run this campaign in their villages, so that the spread is minimised.

 

Needless to say, we could never have achieved this without the generosity of all of you, our generous donors! We will be ever grateful to you for your care, concern and generosity. We can only assure you that we will strive our best and continue to help those in need.

Awareness Campaign
Awareness Campaign
Masks & Food Kits for Front-line Workers
Masks & Food Kits for Front-line Workers
Protective Gloves for Waste Pickers
Protective Gloves for Waste Pickers
Milk for the Children
Milk for the Children
Our Incredible Team
Our Incredible Team
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Anish Ramachandran - CEO
Anish Ramachandran - CEO

The more things change, the more they remain the same. And though  we at OBLF will continue to serve our under-privileged children in a meaningful way, we also want to bring fresh ideas, innovative methods, and creative thinking in the way we do it. Starting this month, Anish Ramachandran is the CEO of OBLF. Over the past 10 months Anish has already been working with us on multiple fronts and  brings with him tons of leadership experience, fresh approach, and a passion for the cause. He is a former Vice-President of Intel Corporation. Prior to his retirement from the corporate sector, he was VP and Director of Intel's Greater Asia Region operations, and worked at Intel in various leadership roles for over eighteen years. Prior to Intel, Anish was with Novell Inc. for close to seven years and before that with a couple of other companies. Anish is a Post Graduate alumnus of XLRI, Jamshedpur and a graduate in Commerce from Madras University. We are sure that under his leadership, OBLF will reach new levels of service.

Also, our 9th academic year came to a close at the end of February 2020. Our Year-end Assessments – Oral and Written – were held from 17th to 26th February, 2020 for each of our about 4500 children.  More than 30 of our rural Coordinators, along with our 8 Supervisors and the Management team took a lot of effort to conduct these assessments in the remotest of schools, under the most trying conditions.

An analysis of the same shows that 99% of the children (who had at least 60 days’ attendance), improved in their English language skills.

The Assessment results show that 45% children scored over 60% marks at the year-end, as against less than 2% at the beginning of the year.

As against 45% of the OBLF children scoring > 60%, only 7% of Non-OBLF children scored >60%. This shows that OBLF’s Program on English language skills is indeed benefiting our rural children.  

Written Assessments
Written Assessments
Oral Assessments
Oral Assessments
Our Team
Our Team
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OBLF Classes in Action
OBLF Classes in Action

Time & Tide wait for no man! And in today’s fast paced digital world, this is truer than ever. We at OBLF, while maintaining stability of pedagogy, also believe that evolution is a slow but sure process, which needs to be embraced to maintain and upgrade the quality of our program.

Our normal classes therefore, are going ahead, bracing for our year-end Assessments at the month end. But we are anything but complacent. Even though year on year our Assessment Analysis shows a great impact of our intervention, we think we are now in a place where we can improve upon our own performance. Consequently, last month, the Board of Trustees has formed an Advisory Board, comprising 2 members, a couple with loads of experience in English language pedagogy.

Dr. Rajeevan Karal has been an English Language Teacher, Teacher Trainer and Master Trainer for over 45 years. For nearly two decades he was a member of the Faculty at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. Later he moved to the Publishing industry to set up the Publishing Division for Cambridge University Press, India and retired as the Senior Vice-President of the Press in 2012. Since then he has been an independent English Language Consultant offering consultancy services to different publishers and is actively engaged in training teachers and developing content for teaching-learning purposes. He has authored many course books for teaching English to learners at school and university level.  His major areas of interest include training, content development, curriculum development and self-directed learning. 

Ms. Geetha Rajeevan has been an English Language Teacher and Teacher Trainer for nearly 40 years. In the latter part of her career, she was the Head of one of the premier International Schools in Hyderabad for 15 years and retired in 2016. During those years, she was actively engaged in introducing innovative practices in teaching and teacher development. Her areas of interest include activity-based learning and classroom innovation.

Both of them have already started the process of reviewing our curriculum / syllabus / Assessment process, and will help us to bring it all to better standards.

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Sorting the Toys
Sorting the Toys

This quarter we continued with the serious business of Fun Learning. But this quarter is also interspersed by many festivals. This period is a period of celebration in our country and of people exchanging gifts and having parties.

However, for the under-privileged, there is not much to celebrate. Thus was born, a few years back, the “Joy of Giving Week”, which is now called “Daan Utsav”, to have a more inclusive effect. The week starts very appropriately, from the birth date of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October.

We at OBLF, use this opportunity to give toys to the under-privileged rural children in our program. This year we distributed toys to all the 1500+ children in the new 28 Rural Government Primary schools which we have adopted in our Program for the first time. Most of the time donors generously give for the education that we provide. But we feel that kids need to experience the sheer joy of getting something which is not always connected to education. And the unadulterated pleasures and smiles we see on their faces justify our belief.

Of course our rural ladies, as always, rose to the occasion, and happily sorted out and labelled the toys for each child!

We are extremely grateful to the employees of many corporates who put up Wish Trees for our kids and donated so generously to this cause.

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Tisket-A-Tasket
Tisket-A-Tasket

OBLF was born on 2nd July, 2010. Every year, end-July – beginning August, OBLF celebrates its Annual Day, when our Trustees, our management, our rural children and their teachers – our rural Coordinators – come together to enjoy, to encourage, to applaud, to celebrate merit, to show off their language skills and for a day of fun and bonhomie.

That is also the day we give prizes to our merit children. This year too we gave cash prizes of Rs.2,500/- to the 1st ranked, Rs.1,500/- to the 2nd and Rs.1,000/- to the 3rd ranked Senior level children. The 1st ranked children of the Middle level got Rs.1,000/- each. Other merit children were later given interesting books by the Coordinators

It was a fun-filled day of Prize giving, and as usual our children proudly showed off their English language skills by putting up a wonderful array of songs, rhymes and funny skits, amidst the mooing of cows nearby.

Our rural ladies too entertained the guests by singing a song.

We had earlier sent YouTube links of the same. For those who missed it, here are a few links. We do hope you will spare a few minutes of your time to view them.

The show ended with a simple lunch for our kids and all else present.

Interesting Books!
Interesting Books!
Celebrating Merit
Celebrating Merit
An Entertained Audience
An Entertained Audience
The Tailor of Topinagar
The Tailor of Topinagar
The Coordinators' Song
The Coordinators' Song
The Vain Butterfly
The Vain Butterfly
A Hearty Meal
A Hearty Meal

Links:

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Organization Information

One Billion Literates Foundation

Location: Bangalore, Karnataka - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @oblf_bangalore
Project Leader:
Anamika Majumder
Bangalore, Karnataka India
$38,660 raised of $75,000 goal
 
214 donations
$36,340 to go
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