Recognizing education as the key driver of societal change and as this was a primary need articulated by the communities Krupa serves, Krupa established various projects to address this need.
Proper Role Model
Over 1000 children have benefited through this initiative
Leprosy patients’ community were into begging or bootlegging or trash collection for a living. These were not role models for the children to emulate. Because of the disease of their parent(s), the children were unable to obtain school admission. Krupa began in 1995 to enrol these children in sympathetic institutions on their own guarantee, where the children were offered residential education. This also helped wean the children away from the social evils prevalent in their communities for most of the year as the children went home only for vacation. Today all children in the community go to school.
Over 1000 have completed school and gone onto gainful employment. Some with the right aspirations and aptitude have been helped to study further and are now nurses, physiotherapists, engineers, technicians and more. The community is now well on its way to mainstreaming into society.
Day Care Centres
Children who are covered under this initiative: 300
Essentially for communities at the lowest end of the social ladder, Krupa runs Day Care Centres at various Narikoravar (Gypsy) Colonies in and around Chennai. This community has no knowledge of personal or community hygiene, bathes rarely, lives in dirty and filthy colonies without protected water supply, sanitation, streets etc. which we so take for granted. Children would be part time family wage earners collecting metal scrap using a magnetised wheel that they run across the roads. The community, including the children, would forage for food left overs in restaurant refuse bins.
Though the parents, after much persuasion, agree to let children attend schools, schools refuse admission because of the lack of personal hygiene and basic social mores.Krupa’s Day Care Centres were established to be wen the children away from this and to provide them training in personal and community hygiene, social mores and the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic to get them ready for schools. The centres provide a hot meal to the children and mothers of the community. Change has been slow in coming and after close to 20 years of work, we have many children now going regularly to school and two have even completed school and are now in undergraduate courses in Chennai.
Assisted Study Centres
Assisted study centres make a difference in the lives of over 300 rural children Krupa Community College
A survey of rural communities threw up an unusual need from these communities. These are predominantly inhabited by illiterate daily wage earners who commute to the city for work. Most of them are underemployed as they lack skills and are normally casual labour at construction sites. Desiring a better future their children are sent to school, but drop out after grade 5 as parental tutorial support after school is not available for these first generation school goers. The next generation was also entering into the vicious cycle of illiteracy, under employment and poverty.
Krupa set up Assisted Study Centres in these communities using educated local youth and adults as part time teachers, to help these children with their homework and to clarify doubts. Starting first at a community near Padappai, this program was very successful and Krupa had to raise funds to build more class rooms for the local school. This model has now been extended to other communities around Chennai and Madurai.
Over 200 rural young people have benefited from this.
Rural young people find that school education alone is inadequate for a job. Higher education at a college is beyond everyone’s reach. Krupa noticed this need among rural young people and initiated an alternative, cost effective vocation based option that helped such people with a short term university diploma which increased their employability by adding spoken English , Computer usage and life coping skills to their vocation based studies to make them more employable. The students need to pay only for their examination fees and their books which is a small fraction of what a year’s college education would cost.