All of us go through life but some moments have a greater impact than others. Sometimes we see problems in our surroundings and we do 3 things-
Our founder Sandeep Kumar belonged to the third category and went a mission to educate underprivileged children around him.
Sandeep Kumar is born to a farmer in the village of Dhani Mahu in Haryana’s Bhiwani district. He stayed in the village until he could complete class 12, after which he moved to Chandigarh. After 12th he took up the Junior Basic Training Course, which presented him with the prospect of teaching students in government schools until class 5.
As part of his training in the final year, he worked (as an intern) with a government school in Bhiwani. The exposure caused him to identify some jarring gaps in the ‘free education’ system.
“The students were very intelligent and would pick up all the concepts that were taught in class. When he asked them if they were taking notes, they would stare at his with blank faces.”
‘We don’t have books, pens or pencils, masterji,’ the kids would lament.
Initially, the youngster shelled money from his pocket to fund these basic requirements for some deserving students. But as soon as word spread that a teacher was giving out free copies, many students started asking him for free books. This led him to probe the matter further.
“According to the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, the government provides free education to these kids until class 8 along with a certain amount of money for books and stationery. A lot of times, this money is transferred directly to their accounts but ends up being used for other things. But when I visited some students who were taking books from me, I realized they were living in abject poverty. Their families did not have enough money to put a square meal on the table, how would they use the allocated money to buy books? I was deeply disturbed, but I was clueless about what to do.”
After returning to Chandigarh, he saw similar issues in government schools, colleges and slums. But this time, he decided to visit these institutions and tried to personally identify students he could help.
“Because of a lack of textbooks and other study material, these students feel isolated from the rest of their class. He desperately wanted to find a way to help them.”
What happens to textbooks, guides, half-used books, and stationery once a student completes an academic year, he wondered. Well, they are thrown out or land up with the raddiwalas.
So, he took the first step of journey from own home.
“He found some of his old textbooks and half-used notebooks that had blank pages. He separated the unused pages and bound them together to make ready-to-use books and refilled old pens. He thought if he could inspire other people to do the same, we could help some deserving students.”
Many encouraged him to formalize the initiative and build a trusted network and this led to the establishment of his NGO, Open Eyes Foundation.
Every year thousands of students find it difficult to buy books, notebooks and general stationery to get holistic education. We understand that there are many children who live in abject poverty and find it difficult to get two square meals a day. For such children studying in school with all the necessary things like books, notebooks etc., is not possible.
Keeping this in mind we have initiated various programs for different stratas of society so that we can help as many children as possible. Our goal is to make the dream of education come true for as many underprivileged children as possible so that they can hope for a better life tomorrow.
Our main motto is quality education for all. We want children from all spheres in the society to get an education that they deserve which is the only thing that will help them build a better tomorrow.
Lack of proper education is hampering the future of the nation as a whole. If our children are not properly educated then there is no hope for a better tomorrow. We want to educate as many children as possible in an environmentally sustainable manner so that more children can use the same resources and we can be environmentally conscious.
Government has done a lot to address the matter of education but a lot is still left to be done. We want to create awareness and spread proper resources at the grass root level so that the truly needful can truly benefit.
We have spearheaded many projects till date and some of them are as follows:-
“Raddi Se Shiksha” Book Bank
We build up a “RADDI SE SHIKSHA” book bank. Any of the needy students can take the books from here for free. Additionally we extend the required help to other organization by sharing our collected resources with them. Along with this, its gives free informative books to the common people for free without any formalities.
Library of honesty
We build up small public library (Library of honesty) at public places where anyone can take any of the books to read for free.
We build up 2 “EDUCATION HUT” to provide the underprivileged children education. Presently the condition of the mentioned area is very poor and deteriorated with incomplete infrastructure. The housing quality is very low and living conditions are poor. It lacks key services such as sewage disposal, sanitation facility, and safe drinking water.
Hope on wheels
A mobile library that provides free access to educational books to needy students’ schools, colleges and their homes. Along with this, by visiting public places, it gives free informative books to the common people.
We run “NAYA SAVERA” project to educate the children who lost their father or mother or both. In this we take the responsibility of providing educational resources to the 50 single and orphan students.
RISE Women: Be Periods Positive
Every year we provide sanitary pads, towels and hygiene essentials to the 600 underprivileged women in the Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. Where the women reside have no proper drinking, bathing and sewerage. They are living in Unhygienic place.
Principally, we prefer to work with in-kind donation as I strongly feel that participation of the donor is equally important and it also saves our time and resources in procurement. State bank of India is our largest corporate donor and provided us with traveler bus and others educational items. Post Graduate Govt. College for girls 42, Chandigarh and Post Graduate Govt. Home Science College for girls 11, Chandigarh provide us human resource for voluntary work. Here are many other corporations, schools, institutions, and colleges who regularly conduct in-kind collection drives for us.
Work during emergency situation
Expanding our work, we also worked with the help of our donors and volunteers to provide clothes and sanitary pads during the 2018 Kerala floods.