With 25 million residents, Delhi is the world’s second most populous city. It is the capital city of India, and as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, it boasts of a unique history and culture.
But the city also includes over a hundred villages within its administrative borders. Large slums were created when people from the hinterland migrated to the city, which was not prepared for such an influx of people. While these communities are largely unlettered, they are determined and hardworking. VIDYA has been helping these communities as an NGO for thirty years. We believe that they can be empowered to become models for sustainability and prosperity to the rest of the country.
We believe that less-privileged students should have access to the same quality of education available at the country’s best schools.
Inaugurated in November 2009, in Gurgaon, Haryana, near Delhi, the VIDYA School is a state-of-the-art English medium school that houses classrooms, labs, computers, library and sports grounds on 5 acres of land, with a built up area of 76,000 square feet. It was CBSE-certified upto Class XII in 2015, and the quality of its education and facilities are on par with some of the best public schools in the city. This year, we won the British Council International School Award!
Our vision here is to provide 1000+ slum children with a high quality education, with the best infrastructure and facilities. We aim to make them well equipped to utilize the opportunities of India’s emerging economy, second to none in their ability to compete, excel and lead India into the future. Admission is open for only those whose monthly income is below Rs. 10,000/-. During admissions, special preference is given to the girl child and children of single parents. We endeavour to provide quality education to the less privileged along with nutrition, uniforms and transport facilities at minimal cost.
Kushi, A student of class III, secured the 25th rank in the highly prestigious and competitive International English Olympiad Examination. Another student, Sanajan, of class VIII, received a scholarship for excellence in academics from the Olympiad Association.
Both the state level education board of the government of Haryana and the Central Board of Secondary Education were so impressed by the services and contribution of VIDYA School to the community that they accorded recognition and affiliation to the school in a very short span of time in 2013. Recently, the school submitted evidences of assessment in academic discipline to the CBSE and received a certificate of extraordinary achievement from the Board.
The VIDYA School has also been selected from among 20 prestigious schools of Delhi/NCR for the innovative TOD FOD JOD project organized by the National Innovation Council headed by Sam Pitroda.
he faculty and staff always put in extra efforts to train the students and to prepare them for their Annual Board exams.
Currently, the school has 550 children, with the capacity to accommodate 450 more.
The future goals of the school include:
1. Expansion of the student body from 550 to over a 1000.
2. Increasing number of sections per class.
3. Upgrading and enhancing facilities and infrastructure.
Bal Vihar is the very root of the VIDYA Movement as it stands today– it was VIDYA’s first program, started 29 years ago. Since then, it has provided education for more than 12,000 children!
Bal Vihar is a primary school for the 300+ first-generation learners living in the surrounding slum communities. The school provides English-medium education from preschool till 5th standard. In addition to academics, students are provided a nutritious midday meal and exposed to arts and crafts, music and dance and sports activities. The school runs in two shifts to accommodate more children, all of whom come to school eagerly.
Over the years, the dropout rate has dropped drastically. The parents now understand the importance of educating their children, especially their daughters– the number of girl students has increased to a healthy 50:50 ratio. After completing 5th standard, we assist families navigate the daunting task of enrolling their children into secondary public schools. Some students have even gone on to graduate from college!
Bal Vihar’s goal for this year is to start a computer centre for the children and community, and also add classes up to the 8th standard. Each child at BalVihar has a dream and the school nurtures those dreams with fun-filled, immersive education.
Bal Vihar is entirely funded by our wonderful donor partners at Punjab National Bank Housing Finance Ltd.
We believe that dropout youth deserve a second-chance at realizing their potential and working towards their dreams.
Sainik Farms Bridge Course was established in partnership with the Rotary in 1999, and the Okhla Bridge Course was established in 2004.
The Bridge Course Projects at Sainik Farms and Okhla follow the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) program. NIOS gives youth who have dropped out of school by a second chance at completing high school. Till date, 2,500 students have gone through these projects and all have successfully passed their 10th and 12th standard exams. Over 100 youth are currently enrolled in the Bridge courses. Besides regular classes, students participate in extracurricular activities of sports, dance, drama, computer basics, English speaking and other awareness programs. Students are provided guidance in their career development through admissions in vocational training programs, such as hospitality and retail, which lead to many getting jobs in renowned hotels; they are also mentored by volunteers from various organizations. Students gain a sense of self worth, value, and a spirit of empowerment to better their lives.
This year, we aim to integrate the NIOS programs with the vocational training initiatives.
The Munirka Community Project is one of the first community projects started by VIDYA.
This project has been changing lives for almost thirty years! Here, we offer many opportunities, focusing primarily on education and community welfare programs. First generation learners from this migratory slum community are provided non-formal and remedial education. The project caters to 240 children, youth and women. Non-formal education is an important component of this project and caters to the non-school going children to prepare them to be mainstreamed into the formal public school system. This project also offers remedial education for students that are attending public schools but need additional support to improve their academic performance in core subjects. Youth that have dropped out of school are able to enroll in NIOS classes and are given a second chance at completing high school. Many students have passed their exams and obtained their high school education, which is an empowering step towards a better life for themselves and their families. Programs for adults such as adult literacy, tailoring, and NIIT computer classes are offered to youth and women to give them employable skills and empower them to be able to earn money for their families.
The main aim of the program is to make the community sustainable.
Families living in this community were resettled to their current location in 1997 so that urban construction could commence on their former land. With few resources and little help from anyone, VIDYA stepped in to help this disoriented community.
First generation learners, especially at public schools, are at risk of dropping out due to lack of support at home and from their public school. This project offers an array of programs to 140 children and women from this community. Students that are attending public schools but need additional support for their performance in core subjects attend the remedial education program. Apart from academic support, students participate in various life enriching programs. Including a very successful computer basics program in partnership with NIIT, which help them to become competent and confident individuals. Women within the community also attend classes to learn essential skills such as reading, writing, tailoring and computer basics. The project strives to empower the women of this community and gives them skills to help them provide financially for their families. The women and children who attend Pappankalan are planting seeds of change within themselves, their families, and their communities.
We aim to make the community sustainable and to start a primary school here.
The Okhla Community Project providespivotal education to women and children since 2004, in one of South Delhi’s biggest industrial slums.
First generation learners in public schools are at high risk of dropping due to lack of support. This project caters to over 550 children, youth and women. They’re are provided non-formal and remedial education. Remedial education is for students who are attending public schools but need additional support to improve their academic performance in core subjects. Additionally, youth from the community utilize the project’s computer center and young girls are also offered classes in Indian Classical dance. Women from the community often attend Skills training classes in tailoring, health and beauty, English literacy and computer basics. Children and youth are allowed the opportunity to learn and gain knowledge which fuels their determination to move forward with their educational and career goals.
VIDYA appreciates the role sports plays in the life of an individual, and would like toprovide sports training to boys & girls in the community in future.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi was the location of the first program of VIDYA almost thirty years ago. Today, in partnership with National Social Service (NSS), women and children continue to be educated and empowered here.
VIDYA is honoured to have a partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, where it runs this project on their premises. Children from surrounding slum communities are offered remedial education. As first generation learners, they are at risk of dropping out of school. Therefore it is essential that they get this individualized help to prevent them from getting lost in the public school system.Additionally, in partnership with the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) program, youth who have dropped out of school are able to enrol in classes and are given a second chance at completing high school. Besides academics, students are also provided computer classes. Enthusiastic women from the community participate in basic literacy which increases their self-confidence and pride. 130 children, youth and women are supported in this programme by several volunteers from IIT and NSS.
This project began in 1990 as Udyog Kendra on VIDYA’s IIT campus. In 2011 it became its own independent enterprise called VISHESH.
VISHESH is a project that helps women achieve their potential and become economically self-sufficient and aware of their rights. Under the leadership of VIDYA’s social workers, 10 women formed their own independent enterprise. Like true entrepreneurs, women are taught how to stitch and make high quality handcrafted products to sell. Orders are taken, cost of raw materials calculated, work divided amongst the women based on their specialties, and the products are packaged and delivered. Not only do the women earn an income, but also dignity and self-confidence. Since 2000, over 500 women have become empowered and gained skills for self employment, enabling them to work from home and consistently earn money for their families.
VISHESH plans to spread awareness and provide skill training to more women. It would also like to provide advanced training workshops on new high quality, sellable and creative products. VISHESH would like to have display outlets in which to showcase the products they sell.
The VIDYA Mandira Women’s program is named after the late Mrs.Mandira Mukherjee, a VIDYA veteran who was an inspiration to us all.
It was one of her dreams to start a women’s program at VIDYA Delhi.
VIDYA shares her belief that women’s empowerment comes not just from awareness, but from actually enabling women to become independent of their own effort.
As of now, this centre conducts programs in IT Skills, Spoken english, life skills and professional driving. We aim to soon turn this into a center that provides high quality vocational training, awareness programs and practical knowledge to women from the surrounding slum communities, and a hub for enabling women’s entrepreneurship.
The center is generously sponsored by Federal Mogul, and we’re also partnered with NIIT for the IT courses.