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 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) as well as in different parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Many Thousands of children receive free education in schools that have been built/run/sponsored by Divine Shakti Foundation. Several hundred of these children are residential in their schools, receiving free room and board as well.
Divine Shakti Foundation is dedicated to working in communities, identifying areas of need for children and addressing these needs. Recently the lack of proper education and training for children, youth living in the major slums of Uttarakhand became clear, and in response we have opened a new center next to the largest slum of Uttarakhand.
The children of the slums receive basic, primary education through government programs called Anganwadi. However, these children, many of whom are malnourished, stunted and coming from illiterate families, are not able to grasp the concepts in school quickly enough to move forward with their class. Hence a tragically large percentage drop out of school or simply keep failing. Additionally, for those students who are able to grasp the concepts and thrive in their educational setting, there is a tragic lack of assistance for them to move higher and further in their education.
Therefore, in our brand new center we are offering tutoring programs for young children as well as coaching programs for older children to help prepare them for entrance exams to higher education.
Additionally, we are opening a computer center to make as many of the slum children computer literate as possible. In the evening the center also serves as vocational training for the women in the slum – teaching them basic, marketable skills including the making of incense, candles, soaps and other handicrafts.
Together with Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, Divine Shakti Foundation is working to bring WASH education (water, sanitation and hygiene) into schools and colleges of Uttarakhand. The WaterSchool program is already educating nearly 10,000 students across 70 schools in and around Rishikesh where the children receive education about how to protect and preserve water, and how to incorporate proper sanitation and hygiene habits in their lives. Additionally, the program builds toilets, handwashing stations and provides clean drinking water for the students, where more than 5500 students in 40 schools have received full new WASH facilities including clean toilets, water tanks and handwashing stations. Additionally: