Initially our mission was to provide quality education for underprivileged.Education is both the means as well as the end to a better life.It is a means because it empowers children to earn their livelihood and an end as it increases one’s awareness on various issues, like importance of health care, to understanding one’s rights and in the process evolve as a better citizen.
we faced many obstacles in the process. We needed to sensitise the parents of the benefits of sending children to school rather than to work. Many children in this area were victims of child labour. Many of them worked in in industries or serving tea,cleaning tables and were also involved in working with hazardous chemicals. Due to poverty, most of the children worked full time to supplement their family income.
Once the school was established, we realised that the children faced many challenges to come to school . So we decided to actively involve the parents and get their support ensure that children really benefited from coming to school.
Most of the children would always come to school late.The children explained that they had to wait in queue to fill drinking water in pots and cans . Since their parents left for work it was left to these children to fill water. We took care of this problem by meeting the concerned officials in the water works department. We appealed to them to install drinking water tap connections in each of their house. However the water board officias expressed their inability to provide water tap connections individually to each house.They said that they would give permission to take tap connections from the community tap centre.so we held a meeting with the parents and motivated and encouraged them to do voluntary shramdhan as part of the Janmabhoomi programme.The management of Sai Seva Sangh offered to aid them financially in buying all the materials needed.Thus due to the involvement of Sai Seva Sangh ,this problem was taken care of and almost the households were able to get water tap connections.
Once this problem was taken care of, the people of surrounding areas gained a sense of accomplishment and felt proud of their achievement.
The people of this area now felt a strong bond with us and started sharing with us the problems they faced. They told us about the lack of electricity in their houses.Most of them were tapping power illegally.So we invited the electricity board officials and the parents for a meeting at our premises.We requested the officials to provide metres to them at concessional rate . We also advised the parents to pay their electricity bills regularly to prevent disconnection.
Another problem that these house holds faced was absence of drainage and sewerage and disposal of garbage. All of them defecated in the open areas. After meeting the concerned officials we ensured that, at least 50% of the households had their their own private and individual toilets.
In addition we also found that parents who faced scarce resources chose to educate boys rather than girls.Traditional beliefs and poverty were the reasons for the parents unwillingness to educate their girl child.The parents preferred to get their daughters married off. Child marriages often occurr due to various reasons including poverty,lack of education, gender inequalities etc.
So we conducted workshops for parents on the need for girl child education.They were counselled that girls had the same right to education as boys.The education of girl child can transform their lives for the better.Education not only provides the girls with skills,thus enabling her to earn a livelihood, but also makes them confident. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said, If,” you education a man you educate an individual ,if you educate a women,You educate a whole family.Women empowered means mother India empowered”. We told them that a change in the mind set towards girl child education was the need of the hour.
The covid-19 pandemic disrupted the livelihood of many of the families and put them in dire straits unable to afford food. Moved by their miseries and difficulties we provided food grains and other essential items.
We also spread awareness among the parents on the need maintain personal hygiene,use of masks,sanitisation and social distancing.
Thus through various ways we have been trying to give back to the society and improve the quality of life of the underprivileged sections of the society.