“At every step of my life I’ve been supported by VIDYA. The word that comes to mind when someone says VIDYA is ‘development’.
VIDYA has helped in my all-around development.”
– Aarti Deokar, Class X, VIDYA
In 2000, VIDYA opened an office in Mumbai on the campus of IIT Bombay and began implementing decades of experience in the field of education and community empowerment. In no time, VIDYA began to grow. Extending beyond IIT Bombay, the staff at VIDYA Mumbai decided to settle within the community itself to reach more children, youth, and women, to better serve the community. Today, VIDYA Mumbai operates 32 centers in 7 communities and 17 schools, and reaches more than 8,500 beneficiaries.
Throughout the year, VIDYA Mumbai leads several initiatives, including Beyond School, Bhavishya Yaan, Youth Program, and School Partnerships. To support students, their families, and their teachers, VIDYA Mumbai manages the Computer Learning & Resource Center, Community Initiatives Cell, and Learning & Development Cell. The organization also organizes various events, activities, and excursions—from Sunday morning football to the annual literature festival.
VIDYA’s Beyond School Program for children and adolescents is run in the communities. The Supplemental Learning Programs offer opportunities for an enriched education and value-based Skills to Succeed program. The Beyond School Program’s effort is aimed to bridge gaps, create awareness, link education to employability, promote citizenship values and equip young people to make informed life choices. The vision of Beyond School is to create Socially Responsible, Aware and Productive Citizens of India. Currently we are reaching out to 700 students across 6 communities.
- Providing quality education to students from classes 1 to 10 that is required due to the gap created by poor education delivery in municipal and other low-income schools – focus is on academic assistance by strengthening language learning and mathematical and scientific concepts.
- Providing holistic development opportunities by keeping children interested in education through academic support and self learning opportunities.
- Reducing drop-out rate by keeping the child motivated to learn.
VIDYA’s Bhavishya-yaan program aims at filling the gaps in quality and holistic education in Municipal School. Bhavishya-yaan, literally meaning, ‘a vehicle to the future’, was conceptualised after realising the need for spoken English skills, life skills and computer skills as aids to further education opportunities and future employment avenues for students from marginalised backgrounds. Armed with these skills, students go out into the world as more eloquent, confident and tech-savvy individuals. The project has grown from 1 school in 2009 reaching 120 students to 10 schools today catering to almost 2000 students across Mumbai.
- To enhance the confidence and self-image of students academically and personally
- To make students better academically all rounded individuals
- To make students better all round individuals by discovering their many talents through Bhavishaya-yaan activities
- To encourage students to think, enquire, debate and discuss issues of personal and social relevance, thus making them more socially responsible citizens
- To ultimately equip students with the skills and capacities for further education and employability
India is facing the problem of under-skilled and unemployed youth. Youth who dropped out of school often look for a second chance to complete their formal education for a better and secure job, or an individual may need to gain more skills in order to acquire a job. VIDYA seeks to maximise the potential in lesser privileged youth by providing them avenues to continue and complete their education and gain employability skills. The aim is to meaningfully engage the youth through education and soft skills and making them job-ready and employable.
- Enabling the drop-out youth to complete their 10th and 12th through NIOS by imparting academic assistance at the VIDYA Youth Program
- Making each and every youth job-ready by training them in soft skills and life skills
- Helping them create their portfolio for employment
- Inculcating a sense of leadership and giveback to society through Youth Forums.
Across the globe, ICT (Information and Communication Technology) is being recognised as a tool to directly address poverty reduction and to achieve developmental goals. VIDYA has joined the endeavour to bridge the digital divide by setting up the Computer Learning and Resource Centre (CLRC) within the communities & school. The aim is to make computer literacy accessible and affordable to existing VIDYA beneficiaries and to the local community at large, thus enabling them to break barriers and explore new horizons.
This Program addresses the Digital literacy needs of Children, Youth and Adults. The DEP is the IT hub of VIDYA Mumbai, runs twelve computer centers in schools and communities across Mumbai that enables more than 6000 beneficiaries with Digital Literacy and Empowerment opportunities.
- Enhancing the Computer Literacy levels of the Beyond School and School Partnership children through our tailor made Digital Literacy Curriculum which introduces various digital tools to enhance the 21st century skills like Creativity, Critical thinking, collaborative and communication.
- Helping the Youth to create their portfolio for employment through industry recognized certification courses on IT skill development.
- Providing Technical Support and maintains the Beneficiary Database of all VIDYA Mumbai Programs.
Margam is a skill training unit for the community women by the community women empowered and mentored by VIDYA. It began as a VIDYA program to provide skill training and income generation opportunities through product making back in 2008. At Margam the core focus was to revive the ancient art forms like Warli and Madhubani and empower the community women by teaching them the craft and helping them to empower themselves and be financially independent. Skill training academy imparts Tailoring course affiliated to USHA international and Margam production unit with production of various other ecofriendly products have been added. Margam has played a crucial role in empowering a lot of economically weak communities in and around Powai region of the city of Mumbai. Most of the women of these household are housewives. They don’t have their own source of income and depend on their husbands for their livelihood. Various social issues are prevalent in these areas like addiction, adult illiteracy, domestic abuse etc. Margam works closely with community members to increase awareness drive initiatives leading to betterment of their socio-economic background, improve literacy levels, organizes educational initiatives and workshops to address local problems by empowering the community at large. It focuses on improving adult literacy, workshop on decorative items, facilitating micro-finance and Entrepreneurship empowering women at large.
- Empowering women toward financial independence through skill development
- Conducting Computer Literacy sessions for digital empowerment.
- Facilitating micro-finance schemes, empowering self-help groups
- Imparting skills in spoken English for global competency for all skill training program,
- Vocational English for women entrepreneurs to feel confident and be successful in their ventures
- Imparting functional literacy in the communities to continue their learning beyond basic literacy and acquire equivalency to formal education system.
- Mobilization of primary beneficiaries for various VIDYA courses
- Awareness sessions for secondary beneficiaries
- Identifying community issues through profiling and surveys and addressing the same in collaboration with community members and other networks
- Helpdesk in the community for any urgent issues and referring to partners for resolution