Project #1877

Send a Child in India to School for a Year

by Seva Mandir
Githamala playing with his friends
Githamala playing with his friends

For the first time in three years, Githmal did not go to Gujurat to work in the cotton fields. His eldest brother, who usually tends the fields at home, has gone in his place. In Gujurat he made 100 rupees a month, 20 of which were deducted for meals and accommodation. In the end, he received closer to 80 rupees a month. At 13 years old, Githmal has only attended one month of school several years ago. His inability to read, write or count proved especially challenging during his work in Gujurat where he was not quite sure if he was receiving fair wages for the work he was doing and could not fully advocate for himself.

When he was still an infant, his father developed a mental illness and was unable to work or care for the family. Githmal and his elder brother were then looked upon to financially support their mother and two younger sisters. Over the past year and a half, however, Githmal’s sisters, who are now older, have begun helping their mother at home, tending to the livestock (2 oxen and 5 goats) and fields. One of his younger sisters, Lanka, is also attending camp with him. Lanka also attended a Shiksha Kendra/NFE last year.

Both his mother and brother urged him to attend camp this year after a Seva Mandir Zone coordinator visited their village to inform the community about the upcoming camp. Before coming to camp he considered enrolling in a local Non-Formal School like his sister. Yet when he went, he was discouraged by how young the children were and felt that he was too old to join the class. When he saw the bus loading up to take children from his village to the residential camp at Kaya this month he saw that there were older children and thus felt at ease about attending.

Githmal likes his teachers, the camp and the atmosphere at the residential learning camp. He is enjoying both Hindi and Math subjects. He does not want to return to work in the cotton fields and is hoping to enroll in an NFE and tend to the field at home. He would like to continue his studies even after marriage and would like to marry an educated girl. Yet he is not sure whether that will ever happen. When asked about what he would like to become, Githmal responds with a stark wariness beyond his years “I don’t want to dream big. I will take things as they come.”

Inspirational stories, like Githmal’s, are not in short supply at Seva Mandir. Each day teachers and other stakeholders of the education provided at Shiksha Kendras/NFEs see the benefits of Seva Mandir’s work in the eyes and heart of the children.

Thanks once again!


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,



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

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’.


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.




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Organization Information

Seva Mandir

Location: Udaipur, Rajasthan - India
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Priyanka Singh
Executive Director
Udaipur, Rajasthan (INDIA) India

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