Thursday, July 20, 2017

Earned one more smile... Isn’t it beautiful one... (Volunteer Experience)

It all started when I was coming from office. Cab drop point is around one km away. As usual I was walking towards home with earphones plugged in… suddenly realized someone behind me.. was calling me… I turned off music… one skinny lady, with sac of recyclable material picked up from garbage on road, was following me. She came to me.

Maaay moh kaee kaam milate kate pahave maaay.. durun aalo amhi.. parabhani warun.. tya neo city chya labour camp madhye rahato.. tithach kaambi karite.. lek balantin zaliye.. pagar naeee dila malakane… chul petawayala roj hyo kachara gola karite.. 5-10 rupye milatat kacharyache.. moh kaee kaam milate ka bagha. (Please see if some work I can get. We came from parabhani. Living in neo city labor camp. Work there itself.. daughter came for delivery. Haven’t got salary yet. Need some money to make every day’s bread and butter, that’s y picking up this recyclable material from garbage. I get few rupees out of it. Please see if I can get some work.)”

She sounded very much honest. But she is just passed 8th standard. She felt reluctant to work in office. So I asked her to come home for house work.

Second day she came with her son, around 12 yrs old son. While she was finishing work , I started talking with her son. I asked him in which school he is studying and all. I got to know he doesn’t go to school. His mother told me they are finding it difficult to get admission here as they don’t have school transfer certificate. So her two sons are not being able to get admission here and indeed their schooling is abandoned.

I called Rajani madam from Door Step school. Told her all the situation. She told me , she will inform her DSS representatives here and they will help me.

On Saturday I got call from DSS representative, they told they will meet me on Sunday.

I went to Neo City (construction site) labor camp on Sunday by 11 am to meet DSS representative. We found that there are few more students who are out of school. We talked with their parents, identified problems they are facing. DSS representative told me that they will help all parents to get admission in school. Kid’s parents looked so much grateful as they were doing Namaskar to all of us. We returned with promise from parents that they will send their kids to school.

The boy in photo is younger son of the lady who has started working at my house. Another kid in photo is her granddaughter (in other word cute photo of mama-bhachi).

I asked this boy to read book, he read few pages fluently. I asked him to tell tables. He spoke 1-30 tables. He told full ABCD. Sang few poems.

While listening to him few thoughts were running through my mind which resulted in tears in my eyes- "Look at this boy.. he is so much talented.. he was about to miss his schooling.. could have just abandoned somewhere because of many more factors not just poor family…"

Feeling amazed… few incidences which happened randomly in last few days are going to result in something valueable.. This talented boy is indeed will continue with his schooling.. just look at his smile in photo.. His smile has reflected on my face with tons of amazed happy expressions…

Thanks to Door Step School representatives. Without their help this was impossible…
School chale hum… ohoho…

- Hemshri Lakhapati, Volunteer

(This is a nice example of how every citizen, without disturbing their own schedule, can contribute towards education of out-of-school children. Thank you Ms. Hemshri, for sharing this wonderful experience! - Door Step School, Pune)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Story of Ganesh Sutar - A Bright and Promising Student

Ganesh Baburao Sutar, age 16 years, is studying in class 8th in Mahatma Phule School, Pisoli, Pune. He has two younger sisters, Pooja, 12 and Poonam 11. Their mother passed away when Poonam was just 6 months old and same time their father left the 3 children to life’s mercy and went away.

Ganesh’s maternal aunts and his uncle, who works as a construction labourer, stepped up and decided to take responsibility of the children. However, the siblings are separated, each staying with one relative so as to distribute the burden of expenses.

With a broken home and no one to look upto, Ganesh’s life would have been very different. But with the support from his maternal uncle and his own determination, Ganesh is doing very well as a student and a human being today.

Our team met Ganesh 4 years back through our “Parents’ Participation in Children’s Education” program in Undri area in Pune. Ganesh was already in school then but not his sisters and he always wished for them to be in school too. While conducting survey to find out of school children on the site, Ganesh was a big help to our team. When he understood our objective, he enthusiastically accompanied us to all the houses of kids staying in that area. He also expressed his wish to enrol his sisters to school and our team was more than happy to help.

Ganesh is a smart and helpful kid. He is regular at school and is especially good in Mathematics. He also helps other students with their studies. The teaching staff is all praise for him as are we.

Ganesh’s prowess at Maths prompted our team to look for ways to further his knowledge on that subject. We approached Mr. Barve of Bhaskaracharya Institute, Pune for vacation course on Mathematics. After the workshop, Mr. Barve got impressed by the boy's hard work and dedication and suggested to send Ganesh to attend Mr. Gore’s coaching class in Shanivar Peth, Pune. DSS team helped him to take admission in the coaching class.

The distance between Ganesh’s place of residence and the class is 11-15 kms. The class timings are in late evening, from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm and Ganesh has to take a bus to commute. He has never complained nor has missed a class.

He manages his studies and helps his sisters and classmates too. He sees to it that all the children in his surrounding area attend school; in case they don’t listen, he informs DSS team for intervention.

In 7th grade, Ganesh stood 1st in his school and secured 85% marks with 96/100 in Mathematics. Since his last school was only till 7th, he has now been enrolled to a new school so that he can continue his education.

We, at Door Step School, strongly believe that every child can perform well with little help by right people at right time. Examples like Ganesh Sutar reiterate the importance and benefits of bringing all children into mainstream of education.

We wish Ganesh all the best for his further studies and look forward to help many other children out there waiting for support!

Friday, July 7, 2017

A journey of 10 years....in her own words.

At Door Step School, we mostly work with children from migrant communities. Due to the nature of their parent's work, children are often forced to move from one location to another and hence remain away from education due to disruptions.We try to bring them in main stream of formal education and try to track them even after they migrate. Many a times however, we do not succeed in tracking.

People often ask us why we spend so much time and efforts on children who are anyways going to migrate and majority of them discontinue their education due to various reasons.

Meet Mehraaz, a student of Door Step School, Pune since last 10 years. She will tell you why it is important to bring migrant children into schools at the right age. Sharing her journey from an ou-of-school child on a construction site to a star performer in a main stream school in her own words.....  




I’m Mehraz Mullani.

While my father worked as a mason, we lived in a small room on a construction site. Our parents would be at work, and we used to idle the day away playing in sand and roaming around the site. One fine day, a small four-walled school called Door Step School (DSS) started on our site, and that was it. As soon as I heard school, I rushed into my house and curled up into a ball hoping that nobody will find me. I was terrified by the thought of going to school, but somehow – by tempting me with different toys and using a lot of other techniques – Chhaya Ma’am and Sunita Bhosale Ma’am would get me ready and take me to the school.

For a long time, I would sit in the school waiting for their eyes to wander, and as soon as I realized I wasn’t being watched I’d leg it and find a new place to hide. Without complaining even once, they would patiently find me and bring me back to school. This routine had become a part of our everyday life.

After a few weeks, I turned six – and that is when school really started to get fun. Our teachers at DSS started getting us involved in fun games, teaching us to draw, paint, and dance and organized a bunch of other fun activities along with distributing sweets and snacks. We would now be present in the classroom even before school began!  Our teachers would hold our tiny hands and teach us Hindi alphabet. I remember I was so fascinated with writing that I took permission to carry a slate and a pencil home and learned the entire alphabet.   

Then one day, Bhosale Ma’am – along with a few other teachers – took my father’s permission and enrolled me in Nehru Education Society’s primary school in the first grade. I was seven years old then. The one prominent memory I have is of scoring 98% in the first grade and before telling anyone, I rushed to Bhosale Ma’am to give her the news. I can recall as if it were yesterday the way her eyes moistened and her face lit up as she saw the progress I was making.

Then life took an unfortunate turn. For certain reasons, my father took our entire family back to our village and decided to settle there. I turned my nights into days trying to establish some communication with Bhosale Ma’am, but to no avail. I cannot begin to describe my surprise when I found out that Door Step School had traced me down and my teachers were trying to convince my father to come back and enroll me in the school again. After heavy persuasion, my father agreed – it was one of the happiest days of my life.

I now went to school from 7 to 12 in the morning, and spent my afternoon from 2 to 5 at the Door Step School center. This place was a safe haven – all the things that I hadn’t understood in school or wanted explained again were explained to me here.  It was the best of times – my curiosity and ambition were being kindled and I was finding happiness.

When I joined 5th grade, I realized that the curriculum had started getting difficult and I wasn’t able to do well. Math had started giving me nightmares. As soon as I shared this with my teacher, she arranged for me to join Door Step School’s ‘Sandarbha Classes’ (Reference classes) and assigned a teacher who helped me  with math. I was a good talker, so Door Step School handed me the opportunity to anchor in one of their annual programs. They were kind enough to appreciate me for having done a good job by giving me small gifts.

After some time, I had to leave my primary school and enroll myself into a secondary school so I joined Shivajinagar in the 8th grade. Right from a very small age I had been interested in drawing and art, so I participated in the elementary exam for drawing and passed with flying colors. Later in 9th grade I also participated in the intermediate art exam and excelled. For this very reason, my photo was printed in the local Pune city newspaper “Sakal”. It was a moment of pride.

Because we used to go on quests in our childhood, I was not affected by a fear of facing people and sharing my experiences. Hence, throughout secondary school I always bagged the first prize for narration and anchoring.  We sang so many songs in Door Step School that I had developed a liking for singing. Hence, I was always the first to participate in all my school’s singing performances and competitions. I had a talent for dance, and won numerous trophies and awards in dance competitions in and around my school. I was also a good Hindi speaker, and participated in the national ‘Hindi Rashtrabhasha’ examination. Not only did I win the competition, but I was also felicitated with a gift and the certificate in front of everyone. Everything I learned while performing many science experiments with my Teachers at Door Step School helped me bag the first prize in the Science Experiment Competition held in my school when I was in the 9th grade.

Today I have completed my 10th grade and scored 72.40%. I stood third in my whole school. Although I’m 17 years old now, I am still the same student that I was when I was 6. Everything that I have been fortunate enough to accomplish I owe to Door Step School and their continued inexhaustible support.

For me, Door Step School was that first step on the ladder to success and achievement that lead to a land of limitless possibilities. It has been more than 11 years since Door Step School took that tiny little girl’s hand and taught her the Hindi alphabet, and I have never once looked back from there. Today, my eyes moisten and my heart jumps with elation when my teachers here at Door Step School call me their ‘All-rounder Queen’. I cannot thank them enough for providing me such wonderful opportunities and holding my hand whenever the road got rocky.

Now, I always tell all the small children in my area to go to the Door Step School center here, because I strongly feel like they should also make the most of the opportunities provided here.
I am eternally grateful to Door Step School for everything they have done for me.

Written by Mehraaz. Translated by our volunteer - Kshitij Kothari.

Monday, May 29, 2017

DSS News in Divya Marathi Newspaper

हजारो शाळाबाह्य मुले आणली पुन्हा शैक्षणिक प्रवाहात

जयश्री बोकील । दिव्य मराठी | May 17,2017 5:50 AM IST

पुणे- विविध कारणांनी शिक्षणापासून वंचित राहिलेल्या मुलांना पुन्हा शिक्षणाच्या प्रवाहात आणण्यासाठी प्रयत्नशील असणाऱ्या ‘डोअर स्टेप स्कूल’तर्फे गेल्या वर्षभरात तब्बल ७४ हजार मुलांना शिक्षणाचा हक्क मिळवणे शक्य झाले आहे. संस्थेच्या प्रयत्नांमुळे प्रामुख्याने स्थलांतरित वाड्या-वस्त्यांमधील मुलांना शिक्षणाची वाट सापडली आहे.   
डोअर स्टेप स्कूलच्या संचालक भावना कुलकर्णी म्हणाल्या,‘संस्था स्थलांतरितांच्या मुलांसाठी वस्तीपातळीवरील वर्ग, चाकांवरची फिरती शाळा, सरकारी शाळांमधील मुलांसाठी वाचन संस्कार प्रकल्प असे अनेक उपक्रम सातत्याने करून मुलांना शाळांशी जोडून ठेवत आहे. २०१६-१७ या वर्षात सुमारे ७४ हजार मुलांना शाळेशी जोडण्याचे कार्य करण्यात आम्ही यशस्वी झालो आहोत. मुलांना एकवेळ शाळेत दाखल करणे सोपे आहे, पण त्यांना शाळांमध्ये टिकवून ठेवणे, शिक्षणाची गोडी निर्माण करणे, वाचनाची सवय लावणे, पालकांचे सहकार्य मिळवणे या गोष्टी अधिक कठीण आहेत. मात्र, सातत्याने केलेल्या सामूहिक प्रयत्नांमुळे संस्थेला या कार्यात सकारात्मक यश मिळत आहे,”.   
असे केले प्रयत्न   
चाकांवरची फिरती शाळा, अशा त्रिविध स्तरांवर ‘डोअर स्टेप स्कूल’ने प्रत्यक्ष कार्य आणि पाठपुरावा केला. याशिवाय साक्षरता वर्ग (१९२९), अभ्याससत्रे (३४१४), पूर्वप्राथमिक शिक्षण (३२००), वाचनखोल्या (५९८), मुलांसाठी मुलांचे वाचनालय (३६९), वाड्या-वस्त्यांवरील वाचनालये (३२८), संगणक प्रशिक्षण (३२३), चाकांवरील शाळा ४ (३० ठिकाणे), पुन्हा शाळांत दाखल केलेली मुले ५०५, शाळांपर्यंत मुलांना नेणे-आणणे (१९४१), असे उपक्रम मोठ्या प्रमाणावर घेण्यात आले. 
शिकण्याची ऊर्मी कायम, हे यश   
गेल्या वर्षभरात स्थलांतरित झाल्याने ३६६० विद्यार्थी शाळेपासून दुरावले. त्यापैकी १४९० विद्यार्थ्यांचा मागोवा (४१ टक्के) घेण्यात संस्था यशस्वी झाली. या १४९० मुलांपैकी ९७२ मुले नव्या ठिकाणीही शाळांमध्ये जात असल्याचे सिद्ध झाले. ही गोष्ट खूपच सकारात्मक आणि आशादायी वाटते. मुलांना नव्या ठिकाणीही शाळेत जावेसे वाटणे, हे त्यांच्यातील शिकण्याची ऊर्मी स्पष्ट करणारे आहे. - भावना कुलकर्णी,  संचालक,  डोअर स्टेप स्कूल 


Friday, May 26, 2017

Door Step School - Annual Presentation 2017

The Annual Presentation of Door Step School, Pune was organized on 13th of May 2017 at the auditorium in Nivara Old age Home, Navi Peth. Employees, volunteers, donors, and well-wishers of the organization attended the event in large numbers.

Celebrating yet another year of hard work and perseverance; Door Step School staff came together to review the activities conducted throughout last year, for the children from marginalized communities in the city. The day started with the diya lighting ceremony by our very own Founder and President, Mrs. Rajani Paranjpe. This was followed by a song that was beautifully sung by few members of the DSS team.

The main agenda of the event was to provide a report on programs and activities conducted during the year gone by. Team members gave a detailed analysis of all the good work their respective teams had put in throughout the year. Around 74,000 children were covered during year 2016-17, under projects like Educational Activity Centers and mobile classrooms for children from migrant communities, reading skill development program for children studying in government schools, citizens' campaign for bringing out-of-school children into mainstream education, arrangement of transport facility for regular attendance in schools, parent awareness program as well as a program teaching good sanitation habits to children at young age. Related statistics, monitored progress and future plan of action were shared with the audience.

Also on display, was some creative and well crafted work by the staff members of Door Step School, which surely left the guests gasping in awe. The students also enacted a small skit on child sexual abuse, which highlighted an existing issue in our society. On the occasion of Annual Presentation, Door Step School published a book 'Sarvansathi Shikshan' (Education for All), penned by Founder-President Rajani Paranjpe, based on experiences in conducting educational activities for children from urban poor communities. The book contains information and analysis of challenges faced while educating such children in Pune and Mumbai during first 10 years from starting the organization in 1988.

The Annual Day was concluded with felicitation of deserving volunteers and a small speech by Rajani Tai. The appreciation and encouragement from the guests have boosted the confidence of Door Step School team, for sure.

(Reported by: Angad Sidhu, Volunteer; Edited by: Sonal Kulkarni, Door Step School)




'डोअर स्टेप स्कूल' संस्थेचे वार्षिक सादरीकरण १३ मे २०१७ रोजी निवारा वृद्धाश्रम, नवी पेठ येथील सभागृहात आयोजित करण्यात आले. संस्थेचे कार्यकर्ते, स्वयंसेवक, देणगीदार, आणि हितचिंतक मोठ्या संख्येने कार्यक्रमास उपस्थित होते.

या निमित्ताने, पुणे शहरातील शिक्षणापासून वंचित राहिलेल्या बालकांसाठी गेल्या वर्षभरात राबविलेल्या विविध उपक्रमांचा आढावा 'डोअर स्टेप स्कूल'च्या कार्यकर्त्यांनी घेतला. संस्थेच्या संस्थापक-अध्यक्षा सौ. रजनी परांजपे यांच्या हस्ते दीपप्रज्वलन करुन कार्यक्रमास सुरुवात झाली. यानंतर संस्थेच्या काही कार्यकर्त्यांनी सुरेल गीत सादर करुन उपस्थितांचे स्वागत केले.

गतवर्षातील प्रकल्प व उपक्रमांचा अहवाल सादर करणे हा कार्यक्रमाचा मुख्य उद्देश होता. गेल्या वर्षभरात आपापल्या प्रकल्प गटांनी केलेल्या कामाचे तपशीलवार सादरीकरण संस्थेच्या कार्यकर्त्यांनी केले. स्थलांतरित मुलांसाठी वस्तीपातळीवरील वर्ग व चाकांवरची फिरती शाळा, सरकारी शाळांमधील मुलांसाठी वाचन संस्कार प्रकल्प, शालाबाह्य मुलांना शिक्षणाच्या मुख्य प्रवाहात आणण्यासाठी नागरिक अभियान, शाळेतील नियमित उपस्थितीसाठी वाहतुक सुविधा, तसेच पालकांचे सक्षमीकरण, लहान वयातच मुलांना स्वच्छतेच्या सवयी लावण्यासाठी उपक्रम, या सर्वांमधून २०१६-१७ वर्षात सुमारे ७४,००० मुलांपर्यंत संस्थेचे काम पोहोचले. या संदर्भातील आकडेवारी, नियंत्रित प्रगती, व भविष्यातील योजना उपस्थितांसमोर सादर करण्यात आल्या.

याबरोबरच, 'डोअर स्टेप स्कूल'च्या कार्यकर्त्यांनी तयार केलेली प्रकल्पविषयक साधने व माहिती कार्यक्रमस्थळी प्रदर्शित करण्यात आली होती. विद्यार्थ्यांच्या एका गटाने 'बाल लैंगिक शोषण' या समाजातील ज्वलंत विषयावरील पथनाट्यही सादर केले. वार्षिक सादरीकरणाच्या निमित्ताने, 'डोअर स्टेप स्कूल'तर्फे 'सर्वांसाठी शिक्षण' या रजनी परांजपे लिखित पुस्तकाचे प्रकाशन करण्यात आले. १९८८ साली संस्थेचे कार्य सुरु केल्यापासून पहिल्या दहा वर्षांमधे पुणे व मुंबई शहरातील वंचित मुलांपर्यंत शिक्षण पोहोचविताना आलेल्या अडचणींबाबत माहिती व विश्लेषण या पुस्तकात देण्यात आले आहे.

संस्थेच्या उपक्रमांमधे स्वेच्छेने योगदान देणार्‍या स्वयंसेवकांचा याप्रसंगी सत्कार करण्यात आला. रजनीताईंच्या छोटेखानी भाषणाने समारंभाची सांगता झाली. उपस्थितांनी केलेल्या कौतुकामुळे व त्यांच्याकडून मिळणार्‍या प्रोत्साहनामुळे 'डोअर स्टेप स्कूल'च्या कार्यकर्त्यांचा उत्साह नक्कीच वाढला आहे.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Kirloskar WaSH Award for Door Step School

Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WaSH) is a programme developed by Kirloskar Foundation. Objective of the programme is to create awareness on sanitation, hygiene, and cleanliness among children. The programme is being implemented at educational activity centers of Door Step School since year 2011-12. Our implementation staff receives formal trainings organized by Kirloskar Foundation every month. Apart from trainings, the Kirloskar foundation team also provides all the centers with printed material to conduct the activities with children. 13 DSS supervisors have received 4 WaSH trainings during year 2016-17.

Below topics were covered this year since the programme started in July:

July 2016 - Formation of WaSH Club, WaSH processions in the communities (1,096 children participated)
August 2016 - Segregation of Waste (1,173 children participated)
September 2016 - Personal Hygiene (937 children participated)
November 2016 - Hand  Wash (988 children participated)
December 2016 - Awareness about Adolescents’ hygiene (29 children participated)
January 2017 - Parents Meeting (625 children and parents participated)

Children learnt importance of hand washing, clean water, personal and environmental hygiene, and cleanliness through practical methods. Significant impact is seen in many children in their awareness of these issues. Children are seen implementing these not only at home but also in their communities and schools. Door Step School has also bagged an award from Kirloskar Foundation, Pune for the year 2016-17 for "Incredible Contribution in Kirloskar WaSH Initiative"




'वॉटर ॲन्ड सॅनिटेशन हायजिन' (वॉश) हा 'किर्लोस्कर फाउंडेशन'चा एक उपक्रम आहे. सार्वजनिक व वैयक्तिक स्वच्छतेविषयी मुलांमधे जागरुकता निर्माण करणे, हा 'वॉश' उपक्रमाचा प्रमुख उद्देश आहे. २०११-१२ पासून हा उपक्रम 'डोअर स्टेप स्कूल'च्या शैक्षणिक केंद्रांवर राबविला जात आहे. हा उपक्रम प्रत्यक्ष राबविणा-या आमच्या कार्यकर्त्यांना 'किर्लोस्कर फाउंडेशन'तर्फे दर महिन्याला औपचारिक प्रशिक्षण दिले जाते. तसेच, या केंद्रांवर मुलांसोबत उपक्रम राबविण्यासाठी आवश्यक छापील साहित्यही 'किर्लोस्कर फाउंडेशन' तर्फे पुरवले जाते. २०१६-१७ या वर्षात आमच्या १३ कार्यकर्त्यांना 'वॉश' अंतर्गत ४ प्रशिक्षणांचा लाभ घेता आला.

गेल्या वर्षी जुलै महिन्यात हा उपक्रम सुरु झाल्यापासून खालील विषयांवर काम करण्यात आले.

जुलै २०१६ - 'वॉश क्लब'ची स्थापना, वस्तीमधे 'वॉश' प्रक्रियेची सुरुवात (१,०९६ मुले सहभागी)
ऑगस्ट २०१६ - कच-याचे वर्गीकरण (१,१७३ मुले सहभागी)
सप्टेंबर २०१६ - वैयक्तिक स्वच्छता (९३७ मुले सहभागी)
नोव्हेंबर २०१६ - हात धुणे उपक्रम (९८८ मुले सहभागी)
डिसेंबर २०१६ - किशोरवयीन मुलांच्या स्वच्छतेबद्दल जाणीव जागृती (२९ मुले सहभागी)
जानेवारी २०१७ - पालक सभा (६२५ मुले व पालक सहभागी)

या उपक्रमातून मुलांना हात धुण्याचे, स्वच्छ पाण्याचे, तसेच वैयक्तिक व परिसर स्वच्छतेचे महत्त्व प्रात्यक्षिकांच्या माध्यमातून शिकायला मिळाले. या विषयांबद्दल मुलांमधे लक्षणीय जागरुकता निर्माण झालेली दिसून येत आहे. यातून मिळालेल्या माहितीचा वापर मुले घरीच नव्हे तर वस्तीमधे व शाळेमधेही करताना दिसत आहेत. शिवाय, 'किर्लोस्कर वॉश उपक्रमा'मधील महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदानाबद्दल 'डोअर स्टेप स्कूल'च्या टीमला २०१६-१७ साठी किर्लोस्कर फाउंडेशन, पुणे यांच्याकडून विशेष पारितोषिक देऊन गौरविण्यातही आले आहे.