Educate for Life

Project – Hunar Ghar

MF Issue Area : Education, Health and Poverty Reduction

Educate for Life has been serving Bakhel Panchayat, an extremely deprived and marginalized rural, Adivasi community in Udaipur, Rajasthan, for ten years. Educate for Life runs an innovaOve primary school called Hunar Ghar, which also acts as a community hub, providing integrated educaOon, healthcare and community development services to the community, including a conOguous package of support from pregnancy to adulthood. Educate for Life involves the local community in the running of the school, adapOng curriculum material so that topics are meaningful to the experiences of first generaOon rural learners, and providing ongoing training, support and mentorship to their teaching staff. Educate for Life firmly believes that good educaOon and good health go hand in hand. Children at Hunar Ghar School are given two healthy, nutriOous meals each day, annual health checks from a pediatrician, vaccinaOons, weekly iron folate supplements and 6 monthly deworming medicaOon. Educate for Life believes in providing holisOc services to break the cycle of illiteracy in poor, rural areas.

MASUM (Mahila Sarvangeen Utkarsh Mandal)

Project – Adhar Gat

MF Issue Area : Women’s Empowerment

MASUM evolved out of a commitment to women’s rights within and outside the home. MASUM’s major goals include strengthening women’s self-reliance, providing vocational training and credit and nurturing women’s health. MASUM has a human rights approach, with the primary belief that people can resolve their own problems collectively with some amount of external support. In order to emphasize people’s participation in decision-making at every level, the staff is mostly local, especially women from marginalized sections of rural society. MASUM’s ‘Aadhar Gat’ members intervene in domestic violence situations, making the family realise that it is not acceptable in the village, encouraging neighbours and bystanders to intervene and providing overnight shelter and care to the woman and her children in the homes of members of the Aadhar Gat. Aadhar Gats not only try to save a woman’s life but also support her toward leading a life of dignity and rights.

Pragati Abhiyan

MF Issue Area : Poverty Reduction

To address rural poverty and lack of infrastructure for agriculture, the government of India formulated the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act – MNNREGA. It promises 100 days of unskilled manual work to each rural family, paid according to the minimum wage of that area. However, the residents of the poor, backward regions that the act is designed to help, are often unaware of its existence, and powerless to exercise their rights. Pragati Abhiyan works in the most tribal parts of Nashik district (Igatpuri, Triambakeshwar, Peth and Surgana) to ensure the effective implementation of MNREGA, organizing tribal youth and helping communities avail of the benefits due to them. Pragati Abhiyan will implement this work by conducting training workshops for tribal communities, on government schemes that are embedded in the law, such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and Right To Information Act. This will bring employment and livelihood to these areas in the form of infrastructure and natural resource management projects.

Resource and Support Center for Development (RSCD)

Project: Budgets, Orders, Schemes and Services (BOSS) Course

MF Issue Area : Women’s Empowerment

Sweeping reform of Indian government institutions has created space for women’s political inclusion at an unprecedented scale. One ¬third to half of all positions in Panchayats are now reserved for women. However, the political effectiveness of Elected Women Representatives’ (EWRs) is limited by their lack of political experience, information, and more generally by women’s marginal position in local political networks. EWRs on being elected often find themselves having to perform their duties in an information vacuum. RSCD develops and administers self-governance training and provides mentorship to EWRs in local government. These trainings, collectively called the BOSS course, are conducted in Marathi, and made further accessible through distance learning.

Suhrud Mandal

MF Issue Area : Education

Suhrud Mandal works for the Educational & Vocational training and rehabilitation of children with hearing impairment. Although initially Suhrud Mandal started schools in the interior of Maharashtra, in 1995 they decided to focus only on schools in Pune and around Pune. Now they have expanded to four schools in and around Pune city that impart education to 450 children with hearing impairment. Suhrud Mandal also runs a Teachers’ training College i.e. P S Mulgaonkar College of B. Ed (special Education) approved by the Rehabilitation Council of India and affiliated to Savitribai Phule University Pune. Suhrud Mandal’s current project involves adapting textbooks to hearing impaired needs. They have been creating such parallel textbooks for all subjects since 2011. They are now expanding this work to develop special textbooks for grade VI.

Swami Vivekanand Vidya Pratishthan (SVVP)

Project: Utkarsh Balghar

MF Issue Area : Education, Health and Poverty Reduction

SVVP provides quality education to the rural, tribal and economically poor children in village Takali Dhokeshwar and other parts of Ahmednagar district. Their project ‘Utkarsha‘ is dedicated to the education of these vulnerable children, specifically targeting nomadic tribes like Paradhi Bhilla, Dombari, Kaikadi, Ghisadi, Dhanagar, and Kolhati. These communities have traditionally been so poor that they have gained notoriety for begging, thieving, looting and other criminal activity. They are largely illiterate, unemployed, engage in child marriage, and are unwilling to go to doctors or hospitals due to superstitions. Due to their migrant nature, their children do not have access even to primary education, leaving them with few skills to earn a livelihood. Along with education and vocational training, Project Utkarsha provides these children with dormitories, bedding, clothing, nutritious food, regular exercise and health check-ups and counseling and mentorship. A unique feature of the program is their drive to help the older children find employment through government schemes specially designed for them such as ‘Rojgar Hami Yojana’.

Vanasthali Rural Development Center (VRDC)

MF Issue Area : Education and Women’s Empowerment

VRDC believes that the process of rural development has to be initiated at the grassroots level, and that education is the best way of making inroads into rural society. They also believe that external help is unproductive unless it is rooted in the village. Since it is hard to bring teachers from outside, VRDC trains minimally educated local women to teach in their schools. They thus satisfy a twofold outcome of addressing rural education of poor children and women’s empowerment, in a uniquely designed program that educates poor children in western rural Maharashtra by employing the underutilized capacity of local women. This allows women to make use of their knowledge of the area as well as offers them an opportunity for self-development, leading to their empowerment.

Project Prakash

MF Issue Area : Health and Education

Project Prakash has the dual objective of treating and educating curably blind children across the poorest swathes of India, across hundreds of villages in Haryana, Rajasthan, Orissa, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkand. Project Prakash serves children from rural areas and villages, screening them for multiple ocular abnormalities and severe refractive errors, and arranging for congenitally blind children who can potentially benefit from surgical care to come to Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital (SCEH) in Delhi for sight-initiating surgery. Once treated, these children have the opportunity to receive an education, increasing their chances for gaining employment. The next objective of the initiative is to provide a “bridge course” to children between their unschooled state due to blindness, and a fifth-grade level of scholastic proficiency. The bridge-course requires specialized curriculum since it compresses material that is typically taught in five years into a half-year period. After such a course, including working 1-on-1 with a tutor, children can be mainstreamed into conventional schools.

Tathapi Trust : Let’s Talk Sexuality

Project : ISoch

MF Issue Area : Education

Police crime records show that the percentage of crimes on young women is growing and that the perpetrators are increasingly adolescent and young men. Along with existing traditional forms of violence, newer forms of violence include use of mobiles, and video cameras. There is an urgent need for widespread discussion among youth on values around sexuality, safety and violence, and help them learn what makes healthy relationships. Tathapi Trust is using social networking media and internet to create a platform for such dialogue They have launched a web portal called ‘’ where 90% of the content is in Marathi. This project addresses violence against young women in an innovative way by aiming to change the mindset of the youth.