Bangalore is a city of 8.5 million people in Southern India. It’s the “IT capital”, and well-known for its greenery, culture, cuisine, and thriving entrepreneurial space. This is contrasted by the poverty of its slums, with a large number of less-privileged communities. VIDYA believes we can harness Bangalore’s positive trends by starting young– that means providing children and youth with relevant education in academics, skills and values. As is the VIDYA way, we also work with underprivileged women, and we’re convinced in their ability to be both empowered individuals and effective drivers of social change.
We currently serve 1000+ students across twelve government schools, scholarships for 100+ students and have helped 1000+ women gain confidence and independence, through vocational training and courses in English proficiency, computers and life skills.
VIDYA’s “Beyond School Program” has made a significant difference to the lives of the government school students. Since its inception in the year 2010, 5000 students have benefitted through this program. The “Beyond School Program” provides English, computer skills and life skill training for the students of Classes V to X in 8 schools to enhance educational opportunities for students who come from regional language schools. The curriculum is devised using creative methods and innovative teaching aids are used for better understanding of the subject. Tests have highlighted a significant improvement in written English and vocabulary proficiency in comparison to those students who did not enroll in the program at the school examination level.
Objective of the Program: To improve the reading, writing, comprehension and spoken English skills of the students; Computer literacy; overall personality and attitude change through life skill classes.
English: In this global economy, we feel that it is essential for the government school students to have command of English that helps build up their confidence. Through our Beyond School Program, we impart spoken English communication, reading, and writing skills. We work very closely with the School’s English teachers to incorporate their input in our lesson plans, so that our work becomes more valuable for the children. Today, the children understand and converse in English, give speeches in English and win in competitions like Spell Bee.
Computers: The computer classes equip the students with computer skills as knowledge of computers is the need of the hour. The modules are taught through very practical, comprehensive and interactive methods.
Life Skills and Activities: The life skills program motivates and gives direction to the young minds to become responsible, productive and self-reliant citizens of a resurgent India. We achieve this through a structured Life Skills Syllabus, via guest lectures and regular personal and career counselling sessions. Art & Craft, Sports and cultural activities are a part of our Life skills program.
- To gain confidence in their approach towards dealing with the application of English language in day-to-day activities.
- To make the basics and grammar strong and help them to perform better in their examination.
- To help the students to acquire computer skills.
- To have an overall personality, confidence development & attitude change through life skill classes.
- Reduce drop-out rate by keeping the child motivated to learn
- Motivate the children to continue their education beyond Class 10. Selected students are given scholarships to continue their education up to graduation.
- Equip the students with the skills and capacities for further education and employability
The VIDYA scholarship programme was started in the year 2012, with the primary objective of giving the Beyond School students of VIDYA an opportunity to continue their education beyond class 10. The VIDYA Scholarship Program in partnership with our donors provides scholarship support for the students to continue their education at Pre-University, Under graduation, Engineering and Vocational training courses. The scholarship program not only funds the education but is also designed to address every intricate need of the student for successfully completing education. The students are given access to subject specific study material and coached by experts in the subjects throughout the term simultaneously coupled with constant mentoring for their overall well-being. The program currently has 78 scholarship students from poor economic background of which 49 are girls, most commonly with single parent supporting the family as first-generation learners who would otherwise acknowledge education as a dream beyond their reach, 5 students are pursuing professional degree courses. Over the past 6 years 150 students have benefitted through the VIDYA scholarship program,10 students completed their graduation and working in reputed organizations.
Short Term Objective: Preventing Dropouts -Providing financial support to the deserving students to continue their education beyond Pre-University.
Intermediate Objective: Future moulding and career guidance – Facilitating the students to choose a career path through career guidance sessions, counselling to build confidence in the students to face the challenges and successfully complete graduation.
Long Term Objective: Employability; support their family economically, be a good mentor to the other scholarship students showing the success path.
Success Story: Chandan (A 2nd year BA, Scholarship Student)
From a young age, Chandan had a heart for sports but having none to help him rightly channel his immense love for sports, it amounted to nothing big growing up. Academically, he didn’t fare too well either. Having secured only a 54% in 10th boards, VIDYA still pursed his life believing in his potential. He recalls being called by the team, receiving words of faith and encouragement and being offered the scholarship to study beyond 10th which also meant opportunities for sports! The college picked for him aptly encouraged sports and had plenty of doors opened for his victories. Having a wild dream, desiring to play every sport in the world at least once regardless of the prize, the college has him ticking off umpteen of the sports on the list. He gained state level victories in swimming, skating and hockey of all the other prizes won. The hard work put towards those many victories has equipped him to now be a coach. Coaching children in 2 apartments and an academy in the city, he has trained 4 boys for state level victories, winning 2 golds and bronze. He is now striving to be as unique as possible in his game, aiming at growth and establishment as a certified coach.
Looking ahead with big dreams has him hopeful. Yet, looking back has him thankful that if not for VIDYA believing in his potential despite his below average academic performance, coming from a family that couldn’t offer any support and having parents restricted by health issues, he couldn’t be who he is today and reach where he stands today. Being taught to see life differently, Chandan considers him a better person today, with his grades too much better, rising to a good 72% in first year of degree. He admits that Chandan today is not only acknowledged as a Skate coach, but also as a good human being wherever he goes, for which with a smile he humbly salutes VIDYA.
VIDYA believes that one of the most effective ways to initiate social change in the next generation is to empower mothers, as they are highly influential in their children’s beliefs about women and equality. We’ve seen that women are often the most affected in a less-privileged community, but we find that they’re also the ideal agents of change and can influence their children greatly. This is why VIDYA places great importance on helping women gain economic independence, either by helping monetize skills they already have or enabling proficiency in a marketable skill in demand.
The VIDYA Bhagini Women Empowerment Center at Mali Foundation in Bangalore was founded in 2012 with incalculable help from Ms Rekha Rao, Executive Chairperson of The Mali Trust to provide skill based training, formal and non-formal education to underprivileged women. The programme offers training in spoken English, Computer basics and advanced with NIIT & Intel certification, NIOS, Nursery Teachers’ Training, life skills, yoga and vocational skill training like tailoring, driving, catering, block printing, embroidery and product making. The VIDYA women at Mali are constantly encouraged to enrol and engage themselves in courses and curriculum that are vital to build confidence, capability and self-esteem so that they could be contributing citizens of society.
The program operates out of Mali Foundation, East Bangalore and a centre at South Bangalore. The program has benefitted 1000+ women and many are now self-employed, wage-employed and have taken part-time jobs.
Project Aim: To empower the women and equip them with knowledge and skills to become self reliant through literacy and vocational training program.
- Empowering women through literacy program-spoken English, computer education, continuing education (X and XII) from NIOS, Nursery teachers training.
- Giving them skill based vocational training – tailoring, driving, Ahaar, embroidery and block printing, handicraft making and crochet.
- Conducting wellness programs, yoga, health camps, life skills / soft skills training to give them a holistic approach to life
- Five levels of Spoken English Module with certification by VIDYA.
- Computer Literacy course with NIIT certification.
- NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling) for Class X & Class XII ( school drop outs).
- One year diploma in Nursery Teacher Training.
- Six to eight month Tailoring Course with Singer Certification.
- Six to eight month course in embroidery and block printing. (Embroidery certification by Madura Coats, block printing classes by trained teachers)
- Driving course in tie-up with Bimal.
- Six to eight month course in cooking and catering followed by on-the-job training.
- Six to eight month course in product making.
- Yoga with specialized training by Total Yoga
- Soft skills to face job interviews as well as day-to-day challenges
- Self defence classes wherein our women are trained, counselled and advised on ways to stand up against the violence and exploitation prevalent in the society.
- Wellness camps – Talks and health camps are regularly conducted for initiating and motivating women to take care of their health and well-being.
Recognition: Post successful completion of the course, certificates disbursed to the beneficiaries
Success Story: Rajitha
Rajitha, a very quiet yet smart and dedicated student has made a mark and reached a milestone in her career by getting placed at Marriott as an engineering coordinator. Her dedication and passion towards her long-cherished dream of working in an MNC has been the motivating factor and the fire behind her achievement. She joined VIDYA for computer and English classes in which she did very well in. On completion of her course she was placed as an intern for 6 months at travel agency where she impressed her employer with her hard work and dedication. And then went on to getting her present job. She is making great strides in this job as well.
She would like to thank VIDYA for giving her such a wonderful opportunity to learn the job opportunity through its connections to work in such a prestigious organization as Marriott.
VIDYA believes that women’s empowerment comes not just from awareness, but from actually enabling women to become independent of their own effort. Shakti Livelihood Program for women in the communities aims to provide high quality vocational training, awareness programs and practical knowledge to women and promote women’s entrepreneurship. Currently 67 women from 4 communities in East Bangalore have been empowered through this program.
Project Aim: An exclusive program which aims at empowering women and equip them with knowledge and skills to become self reliant through basic literacy and vocational training program.
Objective 1: Empowering women through basic spoken English skills.
Objective 2: Giving them skill based vocational training in tailoring, art & craft and specialized cooking classes.
Objective 3: Conducting wellness programs, yoga, health camps, life skills/soft skills training to give them a holistic approach to life.
Scope of the project:
Communicative English: To provide an opportunity to gain basic communicative English language skills.
Vocational Skills: Tailoring; Cooking; Art & Craft – Help the women to earn extra income to support their families and learn additional skills which will help them in their current employment.
Life Skills: Learning to cope with day to day problems of alcoholism, Gender exploitation, Sexual harassment etc
The program empowers the women in the community to become professional beauticians. The Programe is in partnership with the world renowned Shahnaz Husain Group, and we are grateful to Ms. Nelofar Husain Currimbhoy for her personal participation and support in our endeavors to provide the best.
The program provides professional and comprehensive training in beauty to ordinary housewives of marginalized communities, and encourage them to work or open salons. The first batch of 20 students completed the course and received their certification. Students have made phenomenal progress, Rishikha is now a Studio Makeup artist, Sita Devi is working in a Salon in the neighbourhood and all other students have taken up home service.
Project Objectives: To provide a holistic, scientific, and natural approach to beauty and wellness.
- To provide training in beauty and hair care
- Basic Spoken English training
- Soft skills and Life skill training
- Computer & smart phone literacy
English Teaching– Special Spoken English classes focus on the technical language and vocabulary used in the profession, customer conversations are explained to the students through role plays and daily practise. Soft skills and grooming are imparted to the students.
Computer Teaching–The focus of computer literacy is to make the students comfortable with the use of computers in their profession. Students are taught to generate bills , Send Email, create promotional material, take feed backs and suggestions, maintaining stock and inventory, making challans and receipts.
Life skills Classes – Regular sessions on life skills, help students change their attitude, and get a fresh new out look to life. Regular counselling sessions provide the students a forum to discuss and find solutions to their personal issues with a trained Psychologist and there by emerge as stronger human beings.
- 6 months course, 6 days a week with 3 hours duration every day
- Shahnaz Husain trained faculty will conduct the classes
- Professional trainers from Shahnaz beauty chain will do the advanced training course and train the trainer
- Reach out to the potential beneficiaries through mobilization and outreach initiatives and encouraging women and girls to enroll for the course.
Recognition: Post successful completion of the course, Shahnaz Husain Diploma Certification will be disbursed to the beneficiaries
VIDYA in association with Swabhimaan provides digital literacy at Rajendranagara, Egipura Slum Community. 280 students from 3 schools in the community are getting benefitted through this centre which is located in the community.
Margam is an entrepreneurship initiative of VIDYA managed by VIDYA Alumni students who engage themselves in product making and selling the same through various stalls, individual orders, online initiatives etc. This is completely managed by the alumni students like a self-help group, monitored by a Margam coordinator. The students who are undergoing vocational training will also get an opportunity to get trained under the alumni students as on-the-job training towards the end of completion of their course. Through this Margam initiative the VIDYA Aahaar kitchen supplies snacks to 125 children of a bridge school of Samriddhi Trust everyday.
The VIDYA School Bangalore in Chikkaballapur is VIDYA Bangalore’s newest and most ambitious program, and it’s VIDYA’s first project set in a rural area. With incalculable help from Padma Shri Anita Reddy and DRIK, we are launching in June with our first batch. The school takes inspiration from our award-winning VIDYA school in Gurugram, and aims to become a premier institution for the empowerment and education of less privileged communities in the area.