Published: 01st November 2020
This Odisha-based foundation wants you to donate so that slum kids can go digital
Desire Foundation appeals to you to sponsor a child's digital education through its latest initiative, Sponsor A Child programme. We found out how it started and what's it all about. Read on...
We are all familiar with the Right To Education (RTE) Act. Here's Desire Foundation, dedicated to one of its sections — Section 12(1)(c). 'All specified category or private schools must reserve 25% of their seats for children belonging to EWS from the neighbourhood and provide them admission from Class I onwards', it states. This foundation, which started its operations in the year 2014 in Bhubaneswar, has a new project around the corner now — Sponsor A Child.
Going back to the beginning, the main programme that Desire Foundation — founded by Soumik Ghoshal — runs is conducting surveys in slums to identify children who should be in school. Then follows parent counselling sessions and connecting the children to nearby schools. "This year alone we have helped 100 children and we have another 600 names in our database," says the 26-year-old and adds, "Once they are admitted, we monitor their progress as well."
The team | (Pic: Desire Foundation)
Now that schools are closed, Desire Foundation has partnered with Adore India, a Kolkata-based organisation that teaches children online. And this is where their Sponsor A Child programme comes in. There are several households that have proper phones, but don't have enough money to upgrade their data packs. With them in mind, via Sponsor A Child, you can donate as little as `500 per month to help children from low-income households buy data packs and tune into their online classes. "Not just this, we are trying to make it a complete package so that they can also buy food, stationery and so on," explains the Durgapur-born.
Because they have a database in place already, Desire Foundation launched Sponsor A Child internally first. And with the help of their network of 40 interns and 12 members, they were able to sponsor about five children. "Marketing and social media plans are underway and soon, we will even put out a video, reaching out to all our stakeholders and letting them know about this programme," informs Soumik who works as a Business Consultant for ZS Associates India in Gurugram. Before the amount is transferred, the student needs to meet certain criteria, like having good marks and an assurance that continuous updates will be provided to the foundation. "We also stay in touch with the parents through it all," says the founder.
Soumik Ghoshal | (Pic: Desire Foundation)
"My friends and I started this foundation in the second year of our college. We wanted to involve youngsters and utilise their talent. We wanted to bridge the gap between them and the underprivileged. Since both are abundant in our country, we figured that one could help the other," he explains. And Sponsor A Child is another step forward in this direction.
In general, what does the Right to Education provide for?
- Right of children to free and compulsory education till completion of elementary education in a neighbourhood school
- It makes provisions for a non-admitted child to be admitted to an age-appropriate class
- It specifies the duties and responsibilities of appropriate governments, local authority and parents in providing free and compulsory education
- It provides for appointment of appropriately trained teachers, that is teachers with the requisite entry and academic qualifications
For more on them, check out instagram.com/desirefoundation