Poverty, illiteracy and lack of training are tragically common in Northern India. With increasing population, basic education and marketable skills have become absolute necessities in order to subsist in even the smallest communities. Hence, those who lack this education and training go to sleep hungry each night.
The Divine Shakti Foundation runs numerous free children’s schools in which impoverished children receive a free, quality education in order to provide them with the best chance possible to live a life free from destitution. Basic school supplies are provided to all, along with uniforms, sweaters, etc. in most of the schools.
Divine Shakti Foundation runs and sponsors free schools in Rishikesh and environs, throughout the Himalayan foothills and also in the Himalayan mountains (including new programs after the tragic flooding of June 2013 wiped out many schools), South India (sponsored and built after the tragic tsunami of 2004). More than 3000 children receive free education in schools being run/sponsored by Divine Shakti Foundation. Of those, more than 800 are residential.
Located in the Rudraprayag district of Chandrapuri, this school has been rebuilt by Divine Shakti Foundation.
In addition to a high quality education for approximately 200 children from the local flood-ravaged villages, this school serves also as a facility for trainings and workshops for students, teachers and school management on risk identification, preparation of school disaster management plan, training in first aid, search & rescue, fire safety and planning and designing of safe evacuation routes and practicing mock drills.
The school is empowered with green technologies such as bio-sand water filters, bio-toilets and green education, and basic sanitation and hygiene will be covered thoroughly in the classes and after school village empowerment programs.
Further, the school buildings are utilized as a women’s vocational training center in the afternoon/evening hours after school finishes so that the women and older girls of the village can receive training and marketable skills.
Divine Shakti Foundation is also reconstructing and rebuilding a large school in Laksheshwar, Uttarakhand. This school, with nearly 2000 students, was completely washed away during the June 2013 floods.
The new school will have 40 classrooms and serve as one of the only inter-colleges (11th and 12thstandard/grade) in the area. The vast majority of schools only go up through 10th standard/grade.
Imagine a childhood without the simple, health-giving benefits of fruit. Unfortunately, far too many children living in the Himalayas go without, simply because their families cannot afford it. Fruits contain vitamins and minerals that the body needs for proper health. Without it, children become more at risk for contracting digestive problems, diseases such as scurvy, and even certain cancers.
The My Tree/ Mid-Day Fruit Program is enabling schools to present each child with his or her own fruit-bearing tree. As the tree is nurtured by the students on school grounds, they learn valuable lessons about the wonders of nature. Later, they will experience the joys of harvesting their own fruits, which they can enjoy fresh from the tree.
In addition, their mothers will be empowered to add to their household incomes through the creation of Women’s Empowerment Cooperatives, which will enable them to produce, package and market wonderful products made from the uneaten fruits of their children’s trees.
Every day, some 1,200 children in India die due to the lack of access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). For this reason, Divine Shakti Foundation and Global Interfaith WASH Alliance are working to bring clean water filtration systems and proper, eco-friendly toilets for every school in the state.