The purveyors of wisdom, opportunities, and mentoring – NGOs prioritizing and transforming education in India
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” a well-known quote by an Indian scientist and administrator who made boundless contributions towards education – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. Translating his vision, mission, and discipline into reality, coupled with the backing of education evangelists and generous donors, a few NGOs in India have taken it upon themselves to change the course of education by steering the paradigm of equipped, efficient, and able educators.
This comes as a result of under-qualified, overpaid teachers, unprivileged children, outdated curriculum, inefficient infrastructure, un-fulfilled dreams, especially in a country that thrives to be in the confederation of a developed nation. Although the Government has taken various steps to educate children through different means, the country is in need of more than that. Realizing this need, the following NGOs have taken a step forward towards providing education to children from the weaker sections of the society.
- Room to Read: Building gender equality and literacy
Room to Read started in 2000, and since then, the non-profit has been focusing on two key areas of improvement: inculcating the habit of reading among primary school kids and building literacy, and empowering girls to pursue secondary school. What makes this organization unique is the way it approaches its global reach. Over the years, Room to Read has earned a reputation for offering international education programs by means of a university following and impacting the lives of over 7.8 million children to date. The non-profit boasts presence in 17 countries and 50 chapters, 15000 libraries, and over 11000 volunteers. The Global Journal for 2013 tagged Room to Read on the third rank in the list of educational NGOs.
Contact: +1-415-839 4400
- Pratham: Education and vocal training
Pratham was formed in 1994 and has since been involved in the initiative of educating children residing in the slums of Mumbai. Very soon after commencement, the organization widened its wings to help improve writing, reading, and arithmetic skills of kids between six and fourteen years old through the means of their flagship program – Read India. To date, through this initiative alone, Pratham has reached over 2.4 million children and trained more than 61000 teachers. A charity research organization, GiveWell, named Pratham as a “standout organization” in 2011 and positioned it on the first rank in the list of NGOs developing world education. Pratham was one of the top 100 NGOs in The Global Journal’s list in 2013.
- Teach for India: Eliminating inequity in education
Teach for India is a Mumbai-based non-profit working towards eliminating educational inequity in India, since 2007. The non-profit empowers education professionals and young graduates, mainly those that lack opportunities and resources; to enroll in its full-time, two-year teaching sessions in schools. With presence and operations in over five cities, namely Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, and Chennai, Teach for India has been providing and imparting basic education to all underprivileged children with the help of 700 fellows.
Contact: +91 22 25194284
- Barefoot College: Capacity building in rural villages
Barefoot College, also popularly known as “Social Works and Research Centre” was started in 1972 by Meghraj and Sanjit “Bunker” Roy with an aim to provide education to the poorest of the poor in rural India. Today, they help train local community members such as teachers, engineers, and other specialists in other fields. Barefoot runs entirely on solar power, and at the same time, also seeks to decentralize and demystify technology use, develop villages, and promote female empowerment. The voluntary organization was ranked number two by The Global Journal in the list of top educational NGOs in 2013.
Contact: +91 99101 48888
- Smile Foundation: Children’s education and health
The New-Delhi-based Smile Foundation focuses on providing education to children and, to date, has reached out to over 600000 underprivileged children, women, and youth through 250 welfare projects undertaken in 25 states of India. With a belief that teachers play a crucial role in fostering their students, especially the ones belonging to impoverished families or are first-time school-goers, Smile conducts periodic teacher-training programs to advance teaching techniques and overall quality of education delivered.
Doing Good Deeds – One Chalk & Challenge at a time!
These are just five of hundreds of non-profits working with complete passion, purpose, and perspective to provide less-privileged a life of wisdom, respect, and dignity. So, if you feel like taking a step forward, we have listed a few choices, to begin with!